The Ten Christmas Books |

In addition to the aforementioned Rilke, in this selection we can find Guy de Maupassant, David Mourão-Ferreira, José Saramago, Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen, Alexandre Nobre Pais, Charles Dickens, Truman Capote, a set of stories chosen by Vasco Graça Moura and art by the painter Paula Rego.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Mary’s life

Published in 1913, Mary’s life constitutes a complete cycle on the figure of the Virgin Mary. The sequence of poems follows a chronology that follows its most significant moments, guided by the plastic representations of two manuals of Eastern European art: the Painting Manual of the painter monk Dionysius of Mount Athos and the Paterikon of the Kiev Cave Monastery on icon painting. THE Bible it’s at golden legend by Jacobus de Voragine constitute the main sources of the text. As in the Duino ElegiesRilke operates a poetic synthesis of his dialogue with both Western and Eastern art forms. Portugal Publisher

Guy de Maupassant

Two Tales

the tales a Christmas Eve and Christmas nightby one of the greatest exponents of the genre, Guy de Maupassant, belong to the volume Entitled Miss Fifipublished in 1882. The first presents a manifestly macabre theme and the second appears full of humour. Delicious little narratives, well representative of the author’s spirit, as José Saramago, translator and preface of these tales, defined him: “truculent, capable of derision, destroyer of social and moral conformations.” Water Clock

Paula Rego

Life Cycle of the Virgin Mary – Chapel of the Palace of Belém

The sacred and the profane

Paula Rego was invited, in 2002, to create a cycle of eight paintings alluding to the life of the Virgin Mary, destined to occupy the former chapel of Nossa Senhora de Belém, in the official residence of the President of the Republic. With this surprising set, the painter operates an extraordinary synthesis between the sacred and the profane, between the biblical or the mythical and the everyday. This magnificent publication helps us to better understand the true meaning of this remarkable cycle of paintings: a complex and inspired dialogue between the cultural heritage of which we are heirs and Paula Rego’s experiences as a woman and artist. Museum of the Presidency of the Republic

David Mourão-Ferreira

Christmas songbook

Started in 1960, and which the author considered an “open” or “suspended” work, Christmas songbook was finally concluded with a 1995 poem, Christmas sound. In this collection of poems, written between 1960 and 1986, David Mourão-Ferreira evokes childhood memories, the inspiring figure of Jesus and the mystery of birth, proposes an idea of ​​detachment and sharing and notes, with irony, how the world of men departed from the spirit of Christmas. Finally, he envisages a time without time that is eternalized after death: “A time when Nothing takes on the color of the Infinite.” Assírio & Alvin

Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen

Christmas night

Joana has no siblings and plays alone. One day, she meets Manuel, “all dressed in patches”, and invites him to visit her magnificent garden. On Christmas Eve, she remembers her friend, poor and without gifts. Guided by a star, she crosses the forest and takes what she has received. A celebrated children’s tale on the theme of friendship and sharing and on the true meaning of Christmas, it was successively illustrated by Maria Keil, José Escada, Júlio Resende, and Jorge Nesbit. Porto Editora

José Saramago

The Gospel According to Jesus Christ

Few books have fractured Portuguese society as much as The Gospel According to Jesus Christ (1991). The Catholic sectors considered it blasphemous; the Portuguese Writers Association awards him the Great Prize for Romance and Novel. The government, in an act of censorship, crossed out the book from the list of candidates for the European Literary Prize. Angry, the writer left for Lanzarote. In 1998, he received the Nobel Prize for Literature. Past polemics, the novel remains one of the author’s best and, from its pages, a Christ of the deepest humanity stands out. Porto Editora

Charles Dickens

A Christmas Carol

William Thackeray commented (with a hint of envy?) that Charles Dickens’s books were written for an audience of adults with a child’s mind. Dickens thanked the remark and stated, “Precisely. I write for the human species.” None of the author’s works seems to correspond better to this premise than A Christmas Carol. The story of Mr. Scrooge, a miserly man who abhors the holiday season, transformed by the sight of three spirits, has become one of the greatest Christmas classics, beloved by successive generations of readers of all ages. Author’s Club

Truman Capote

a christmas

Profoundly different from the objective and documentary style of Cold bloodTruman Capote’s most famous narrative, the short story a christmas is a poetic, intimate and autobiographical text. A young boy, the son of divorced parents, entrusted to the care of an old cousin in a small town in Alabama, evokes the experience of a Christmas he was forced to spend with his father, whom he barely knows, in New Orleans. A touching narrative about an emotional mismatch and the end of childhood illusions. THEN

Alexandre Nobre Pais

The Nativity Scene in Portugal

The historian Alexandre Nobre Pais, Master in Portuguese Clay Nativity Scenes from the 18th Century, brings together, in a beautiful, profusely illustrated album, some of the most important national nativity scenes, including from different private collections. The Clay Nativity Scenes bring together two of the author’s main artistic areas of interest: sculpture and faience. In this rare document from the Portuguese bibliography, get to know some unexpected representations in these traditional sets of sacred art such as the Trojan War, hunting scenes, card games or a line of blind people. Kaleidoscope

Vasco Graça Moura and others

Gloria in Excelsis – The Most Beautiful Portuguese Christmas Stories

Vasco Graça Moura wrote in a poem evocative of Christmas: “in the poorest seed the intense dance / of adult time and child time”. In this volume, he selects more than 40 Christmas stories from the great Portuguese classics of the 19th and 20th centuries. Texts by Ramalho Ortigão, Eça de Queirós, Fialho de Almeida, Raul Brandão, Aquilino Ribeiro, Ferreira de Castro, José Régio, Vitorino Nemésio, Miguel Torga, Alves Redol, Sophia de Mello Breyner, Jorge de Sena, José Saramago, Natália Nunes, Maria Ondina Braga, Isabel da Nóbrega and José Eduardo Agualusa, among many others. quetzal

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