Monday, March 02, 2009

António Lobo Antunes: The Fat Man and Infinity: And Other Writings

Babara Fisher reviews António Lobo Antunes' The Fat Man and Infinity: And Other Writings

António Lobo Antunes, one of Portugal's most esteemed novelists, for many years published short pieces of memoir, reflection, and fiction in weekly or biweekly columns in Portuguese newspapers. Collected here are a selection of autobiographical pieces that focus on his pampered childhood and fictions that focus on a variety of dismal or damaged lives.

The autobiographical pieces are both sweetly nostalgic and slyly self-mocking. Antunes recognized his calling to be a writer at an early age, sacrificing his career as an ice-hockey player and abandoning his dream to become Spider-Man to fulfill his artistic destiny. One piece, titled "Old Age," concludes, "I'm not an elderly man with the heart of a child. I'm a child whose envelope has grown slightly worn."

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