È morto a Lisbona Antonio Tabucchi
March 25, 2012 10:13 AM   Subscribe

Italian writer Antonio Tabucchi has died in Lisbon.

From Wikipedia: "Deeply in love with Portugal, he was an expert, critic and translator of the works of the writer Fernando Pessoa from whom he drew the conceptions of saudade, of fiction and of the heteronyms. Tabucchi was first introduced to Pessoa's works in the 1960s when attending the Sorbonne. He was so charmed that, back in Italy, he attended a course of Portuguese language for a better comprehension of the poet."

He was the author of Afirma Pereira ("Pereira Declares") in Portuguese, later made into a film in Italian, Sostiene Pereira.

He also wrote Requiem: A Hallucination, also made into a film.

An obituary in his mother tongue.
An obituary in his adopted tongue.
posted by chavenet (9 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Oh man... he's been on my personal list of authors to check out for ages now, but I had sort of forgotten about him. It's sad that it took his death to bring him back into my consciousness.
posted by Kattullus at 10:27 AM on March 25, 2012


For the thing that's called the heart.
posted by joe lisboa at 10:41 AM on March 25, 2012

posted by joe lisboa at 10:42 AM on March 25, 2012

If anyone's interested, he translated everything by Pessoa into Italian. Because Spanish ruins my Italian (i end up with nasty mush of both) i don't learn portugese or spanish, but because they are all extremely similar, 'translation' means putting the exact same word, perhaps a bit different, and often whole sentences are identical - nothing like translation from those languages to english -because of this similarity, i often read spanish or portugese in italian because i don't feel like it's 'reading it in translation'. Pessoa in english gets on my wick (=annoys me), but Tabucchi's italian version is good. Was published by Sellerio - the Sicilian firm that keeps going bust - not sure about recently.
posted by maiamaia at 2:05 PM on March 25, 2012


For his work on Pessoa.
posted by ersatz at 3:05 PM on March 25, 2012

Pessoa is worth this kind of devotion. I translate a simple poem for the occasion.

If after I die, my biography is written
Nothing could be simpler.
There are only two dates - my birth's and my death's.
Between one and the other all the days are mine.

posted by CautionToTheWind at 3:55 PM on March 25, 2012

While I’m not sure Tabucchi was a great novelist, he was undoubtedly a fine writer—Requiem is a lovely & and evocative book. To my mind he wrote particularly well about food: some of the meals in his books are so well-described you can taste them. If he’d ever put his hand to a non-fiction opus about Portuguese cuisine, I think it would have been a masterpiece.

posted by misteraitch at 3:29 AM on March 26, 2012

Sostiene Pereira is a good book, one that I very much enjoyed. A thumbnail sketch, executed with skill and precision, describing the small ways we can rebel against the strictures of authority and showing how even those who think of themselves as apolitical may discover that they can make choices they never knew they had. Grazie, Professore.
posted by hydatius at 4:02 AM on March 26, 2012

The day Pereira came to call, a short essay by Tabucchi about the origins of Pereira Declares.
posted by Kattullus at 2:08 PM on April 5, 2012

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