Hegemonic I

pereiraAntonio Tabucchi:  Pereira Maintains
I maintain that this is a heart-warming story, to say the least. I took an instant liking to the main character, Pereira, an old journalist with a weak heart and who struggles to forget the past, his dead wife, and his good old days in Coimbra. Set in Lisboa, 1938, under the dictatorship of Salazar, Pereira’s life is turned upside down upon meeting the young and wild Monteiro Rossi and his beautiful lady Marta. What happens next is beyond Pereira’s grasp, his old safe ways are no longer valid, he needs to change his point of view. Most importantly, he needs to stop talking to his dead wife’s portrait and stop running away from what’s happening around him, ergo, the cruel censorship that weighs upon his career. I can picture the fat and lazy Pereira sipping his cold sweet lemonade, against the wish of his cardiologist, the same doctor that suggests that the soul is not undivided, but made out of many facets, each one erupting when need be. I maintain that maybe the most exciting part of the book is seeing Pereira’s “hegemonic I” unfold.

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