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Afonso Cruz

Portrait of Afonso Cruz

Afonso Cruz est né à Figueira da Foz en 1971. Il est à la fois réalisateur  de films d’animation, illustrateur, musicien et écrivain. Cruz a étudié à la António Arroio Arts High School à Lisbonne, au College of Fine Arts  de Lisbonne et au Madeira Institute of Plastic Arts.

Sa carrière de  réalisateur inclut quelques films et séries. En 2007, il a enregistré un album avec le groupe The Soaked Lamb pour lequel il a composé les chansons originales, écrit les paroles, chanté et joué de la guitare, du banjo, de l’harmonica et du ukulélé.

Il a commencé sa carrière d’écrivain de fiction en 2008 avec le roman A Carne de Deus (Flesh of God).

  • EUPL Year: 
    2012
  • EUPL Country: 

Winning Book

A Boneca de Kokoschka (The Kokoschka's Doll)

A Boneca de Kokoschka est à la fois symbole et métaphore pour une histoire d’amitié, une histoire de comment l’Autre est fondamental pour notre propre identité. Les personnages de ce roman sont Isaac Dresner, un Juif affligé d’un boitement à la jambe gauche , à cause du poids que représente le souvenir de son ami tué devant ses yeux, pendant la Seconde Guerre Mondiale. Le lecteur découvre aussi Bonifaz Vogel, un homme qui n’a plus de conscience, Tsilia Kacev, un Juif orthodoxe qui voit soudain apparaître des stigmates sur son corps, et un millionnaire, Zsigmond Varga, qui veut peser l’âme humaine, en mesurant le mal et le péché avec une balance hydraulique. La musique rythme les pages, qui comptent aussi des poètes vaincus, un homme trop gentil, la poupée de Kokoschka et un joueur de guitare qui classe les gens selon les cordes : les philosophes barbus, par exemple sont une septième diminuée.

Cover of A Boneca de Kokoschka

Publishing House

Address: 

Edf. Office 123 - sala 3.6, Av. Duque de Loulé, 123, Lisboa, Portugal

Organisation: 
Companhia das Letras | Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial

Agent / Rights Director

Phone No.: 
+ 351 965 614 400
Representative: 
Tito Couto

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Excerpt

Translated by Nuno Quintas

 

My grandparents from my father’s side

 

The day is half death, half life, as can be grasped by the quantity of light and darkness that make it

 

That day, when death blends with life, was when my grandmother from my father’s side died, on Pentecost, during the preparation of a great lunch. My grandmother didn’t cook because she was pregnant, she could deliver at any moment.

 

A heavy oak table had been set in front of my grandfather’s house (he was a gravedigger). The great oak-tree at the entrance would cast its shadow without asking—as men do—anything in return. The blend of life and death could be clearly seen, the table being a dead oak, the oak’s shadow giving life.

 

Most guests didn’t show up, they didn’t want to share a table with the gravedigger (he was my grandfather from my father’s side), blending life and death, blending mouths burying corpses with mouths celebrating life: those who made a living out of farming and from toiling the land. However, deep down, a gravedigger and a farmer aren’t that different. Both place their hope on the land, some cast the seed, others the corpse, but both hope someday, from whatever is buried, life will burgeon.

 

My grandmother’s name was Marija and she was from Breslov—just like the rabbi Nachman. Funnily enough, her job was the opposite of my grandfather’s: she was a midwife. The two of them formed a circumference, a ring where the entire human drama is enclosed. That afternoon, from her belly, my grandfather brought his son to the world. A son born from my dead grandmother, in a movement contrary to the one my grandfather was used to accomplish: instead of burying the corpse in the grave, he took life from it, he unburied a child. He took from the land to seed in the air. That’s how my father, David Dresner, was brought to the world.

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