This week, Chad W. Post and Kaija Straumanis talk with Philip Graham — a co-founder and current nonfiction editor of Ninth Letter, author of several books, including The Moon, Come to Earth:Dispatches from Lisbon, — about Portuguese culture and literature, specifically the works of Gonçalo Tavares, whose book The Neighborhood is coming out this month with Philip’s introduction. (Which will appear here on Three Percent in the near future.)
There’s a lot of references included in the podcast this week, the main ones being to Sintra, an amazing town just outside of Lisbon that was once the playground of the aristocracy. It’s LOADED with castles and palaces and other intriguing estates.
The main stop is the Pena Palace which looks a little something like this:
Yes, this is a real place.
The part of Sintra I’m most obsessed with though is the Quinta de Regaleira, which you should really read about because it’s got all the intrigue AND underground tunnels that end in an “Initiation Well”:
Anyway, enjoy this podcast—I think it’s one of the best we’ve done.
And this week’s music is the suspension-building Intro by The xx.
Upon completing Albertine Sarrazin’s Astragal I was left to wonder why it ever fell from print. Aside from the location, Astragal could pass as the great American novel. Its edginess and rawness capture the angst and desires we all had. . .
When my eyes first crossed the back cover of Fabio Genovesi’s novel Live Bait, I was caught by a blurb nestled between accolades, a few words from a reviewer for La Repubblica stating that the novel was, however magically, “[b]eyond. . .
“I preferred the war to the plague,” writes Curzio Malaparte in his 1949 novel, The Skin. He speaks of World War II and the destruction it has wrought on Italy, the city of Naples in particular. But the plague he. . .
With the steady rise of feminist scholarship and criticism in recent decades, it is little wonder that the work of Louise Labé should be attracting, as Richard Sieburth tells us in the Afterword to his translation, a “wide and thriving”. . .
In Conversations, we find ourselves again in the protagonist’s conscious and subconscious, which is mostly likely that of Mr. César Aira and consistent with prototypical Aira style. This style never fails because each time Aira is able to develop a. . .
You are not ashamed of what you do, but of what they see you do. Without realizing it, life can be an accumulation of secrets that permeates every last minute of our routine . . .
The narrative history of. . .
Literature in translation often comes with a certain pedigree. In this little corner of the world, with so few books making it into this comforting nook, it is often those of the highest quality that cross through, and attention is. . .
Alessandro Baricco’s Mr. Gwyn is a set of two loosely interlinked novellas that play with narrative and the construction of character. Ably translated by Ann Goldstein, Mr. Gwyn plays some subtle metafictional games as Baricco delves into what it means. . .
I must admit upfront that I went into reading Saadat Hasan Manto’s Bombay Stories almost entirely blind. I have not read Salman Rushdie. I have read, perhaps, two short stories by Jhumpa Lahiri. I might shamefully add that I really. . .
Throughout his work The Gray Notebook, Josep Pla mentions many different authors, some of whom have inspired him to pick up a pen. One of them is Marcel Proust. Even though Pla normally prefers nonfiction, he lauds the French novelist. . .