Tiredness pressing on her kidneys. Her seeing herself as a queen, believing that someone, someplace, could be waiting for her just as one awaits a queen. The mixture of extreme sensitivity and great toughness and resourcefulness which Ludo — short for Ludovica — possesses rang very true, and similar to a couple of agoraphobic people I've known as friends, albeit their circumstances were nowhere near so hard or isolated as hers. The importance of pets, too, was well-observed. Quibble with the translation here: the use of the word 'terrace' to indicate what must have either been a large balcony, or a garden fenced off from the other flats, was confusing, and meant I was never quite able to picture her patch of outdoor space and how it was concealed.
There is a much larger cast who get almost as much attention as Ludo, linked to her by various devices, including relatives and pigeons, and there's a lot of action. It's a very visual book, adapted into a novel from the author's unused screenplay. I've enjoyed quite a few novels by screenwriters, and this is no exception. Disappearances and their investigation provide another link to South American lit — only many of the ones featured here aren't so organised, but the overall impression is livelier than I remember from One Hundred Years of Solitude.
And like this prison being described, the book contains a motley sort of lot: an extraordinary collection of personalities. American and English mercenaries, taken in combat, lived alongside dissident exiles from the ANC who had fallen into misfortune. Young intellectuals from the far left exchanged ideas with old Portuguese Salazarists. There were guys locked up for diamond trafficking, and others for not having stood to attention during the raising of the flag. A nice coincidence, after Warwick had mentioned the dandy cult of La Sape in an aside on reading Congo , was to find a sapeur here only days later: He was met by slim man in a pink jacket and trousers and a livid red tie and hat.
His shoes, which were highly polished, shone in the gloom. Sapeurs are what they call the fashion-mad in the Congo. Some readers have been put off by the amount of political history in the novel, but rather than looking things up, I decided to take a lesson from reading Laurus and let any lack of knowledge mirror Ludo's fragmented information about what was going on — although in the end I thought the book gave a good sense of changing times and the reader heard a lot more than she did: the unrest after independence, oppressive communist dictatorship, and as the years went by.
The socialist system was dismantled by the very same people who had set it up, and capitalism rose from the ashes, as fierce as ever. Guys who just months ago had been railing against bourgeois democracy at family lunches and parties, at demonstrations, in newspaper articles, were now dressed in designer clothing, driving around the city in cars that gleamed alongside the urban poor, and compatriots living traditional tribal farming lives out in the countryside.
Jun 25, Owlseyes inside Notre Dame, it's so strange a hour blaze and NEWS: Agualusa is in! Angola starts the war against Portugal, the colonial power. The writer, Agualusa. This story certainly has Kafkaesque moments and characters. Once Agualusa was asked to write a script for a movie, by film-maker Jorge Antonio. It would be based on the veridical story of a Portuguese woman who got cloistered in a flat for almost 30 years, in the city of Luanda, Angola.
The movie was never made. The story that follows is of the book at stake.
I could try a translation for the book title: General Theory of Forgetting. I know now it's been translated as A General Theory of Oblivion. That's OK. The Fiction. This is the story of Ludovica Ludo. The latter is a teacher of German and English. Ludo never married and when she was a child she feared open spaces; even on summer, she used to carry an umbrella around. So, when Odete got married and moved to Luanda, Ludo went along,…for some time living with the couple in a luxurious apartment.
Ludo does domestic service, reads from a vast library and has got a pet dog: an albino, a German shepherd dog named Ghost. And then the tumultuous days of came. Orlando refuses. Later on,he would agree. There are shootings in the streets. These men would show up at her apartment; Ludo killed one of them, and buried him in the terrace. Orlando and Odete had left. Now Ludo is on her own, alone…. She starts "hunting". She catches a pigeon…. She robs chicken from neighbors.
She had built a wall: no one can get access to her apartment. Now, she ventured into the terrace: she plants lemons and corn and beans and potatoes. Hunger will strike. No radio, no electrical power. Ludo has got a diary. She talks to herself…for some time she sees no birds in Luanda sky…but bats.
José Eduardo Agualusa ‘A General Theory of Oblivion’
Meanwhile, other characters enter the plot. Little Soba Arnaldo Cruz , for several times jailed…and released. Madalena finds him and saves him. Ludo is losing sight. She cannot read now. Getting mad? She kills a monkey. Capitalism has returned and socialism got dismantled. The first president of Angola had died. Ghost dies. And the case of french Simon-Pierre Mulamba: swallowed by Earth.
Daniel Benchimol has got a letter from Portugal; a clinical Psychologist is looking for Ludo. Her biological mother is Ludo. Ludo has no more food. She has burned the furniture…and many books, only left less than Some bread appears miraculously on her flat; who brought it? Ludo falls, breaks a leg. A seven-year -old boy called Sabalu brought her medication and food. She teaches Sabalu how to read and play chess.
Sabalu tears down the wall. True,it sounds like a land-Crusoe story. After all, Ludo discloses in the last pages of the book, she had been raped when young, her parents never accepted it; the child was taken away from her. In the end, Ludo still has got two diamonds.
To hand over. What was this? A potentially interesting idea, put in a boringly written book. The format of the writing didnt appeal to me at all short childish sentences, some sort of poems, lots of characters superficially presented. Interesting facts about Angola though, but unfortunatelly for Mr.
Agualusa, I think i will take my infos about Angola What was this?
View all 4 comments. Jan 04, Gumble's Yard rated it did not like it Shelves: mbi-shortlist , , international-dublin-literary.
José Eduardo Agualusa ‘A General Theory of Oblivion’ – South of Paris books
After her sister and brother in law disappear following the declaration of Angolan independence, Ludo bricks herself in the apartment and lives there alone other than for pets for 30 years. Instead the author ranges, almost George R.
I found this book rather delightful despite it being a rather sad and bleak tale. The writing itself had a wonderful rhythm and pace, as Agualusa manages to weave a folktale-like story from within a harsh, realist setting. The short chapters, jumping from lead character Ludo's reclusive perspective to various other characters enmeshed in Angola's revolution, worked really well for me in setting off contrasting realities.
I believe some other reviewers found Ludo's predicament somewhat I found this book rather delightful despite it being a rather sad and bleak tale. While Ludo professes a desire to forget, to march toward oblivion, she does this largely by writing. In diaries, on walls, etc. Writing, it seems to me, is a matter of documenting, preserving, capturing.
Perhaps, not the opposite of forgetting per se, but I can see it also as a form of unburdening, an exorcising of one's past and one's emotional demons. The words, once out, can carry the weight of the past into the future so that the individual need no longer carry the psychological weight.
And no matter how much we wall ourselves up, the past will remain on the inside with us, and the rest of life will inevitably find us whether that be in the guise of tragicomical monkeys named Che Guevara or curious children. Shelves: african.
- Warriors Without War: Seminole Leadership in the Late Twentieth Century;
- A General Theory of Oblivion?
- The Watermans Song: Slavery and Freedom in Maritime North Carolina (Default).
- How To Write A Love Letter?
- A Practical Survival Guide to Driving in France (A Practical Survival Guide to Your Life in France);
A General Theory of Oblivion is short terrifying tale of the state of post colonial Angola. The only person to find a coherent and morally viable strategy in the midst of the generalized horror is the protagonist, an agoraphobic woman, who chooses not to participate in any way in the affairs of the newly independent nation of Angola. She refuses to leave her apartment and limits her contact with human beings to that which is necessary to ensure her physical survival. This novel gives a profoundly A General Theory of Oblivion is short terrifying tale of the state of post colonial Angola.
Related Teoria Geral do Esquecimento (Portuguese Edition)
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