The latest addition to my website is Gonçalo M. Tavares‘ Jerusalém (O Reino (The Kingdom) series) (Jerusalem). This is another gloomy, depressing book from Tavares. Much of it is set in the early hours of the morning in the usual unnamed city, with the main characters wandering around. The book eventually explains why they are where they are and who they are. Ernst Spengler is about to throw himself out of a window. Mylia Busbeck is in considerable pain and the doctors do not seem to be able to help. Her ex-husband, Theodor, future author of a seminal but controversial work on the relationship between history and atrocity, leaves his twelve-year old handicapped son, Kaas, to go and look for a prostitute. Kaas later wanders out himself. Finally, there is Hinnerk Obst, a former soldier who has returned from war with two things – a gun, which he threatens to use, and fear. The Georg Rosenberg Asylum and its strict director, Dr Gomperz, are a link to most of these characters. After an explanation of why they are where they are and who they are, we return to the city streets where things inevitably do not turn out well. It is grim and, at times unpleasant, but Tavares is showing us a view of the world which may have some validity for some people.
- Post author:tmn
- Post published:5 January 2015
- Post category:Portugal / The Modern Novel website
- Post comments:2 Comments