Now an old man and a rancher, Riobaldo tells his long story to an anonymous and silent listener coming from the city. The book is written in one long section, with no section or chapter breaks. A facsimile of an original page of the book hanging in the Museum of the Portuguese Language. Riobaldo is born into a middle-class family and, unlike most of his contemporaries, receives an education.

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Shelves: list , l-america-and-caribian , bestest , crimanal-friends , has-devil-in-it , list-world-library I speak with twisted words.

I narrate my life, which I did not understand. You are a very clever man, of learning and good sense. Did the Evil One exist? The reason why this book is not read more in English world is because the English translation has been considered faulty — from what Brazilians over net have to say, that is only putting things very lightly. A big part of greatness of the original work was — the lyrical prose, the usage of culturally loaded words, stuff like that which is lost in translation.

It is supposed to be really, really hard to translate Can you imagine reading Ulysses in translation? The author knew it was bound to happen and was willing to compromise anyway — there is so far more in it beyond prose. And so English translation is no longer in publication. I had to read it anyway — it has devil in its title. What I read was a copy I found online — and whether or not translation was faulty, I really, really liked it. Reading story gives that Veredas like feeling in which every event is seen from various interconnected perspectives.

Grand Serta Great Becklands is a region of Brazil. As to English title, it refers to an event — a pact with Devil, which may or may not have happened in latter half of book. The narrator is not sure. Narrator "These things all happened later. I have got ahead of myself in my story. You will please excuse this bad habit of mine. It is ignorance. I hardly ever get to talk with anyone from the outside. I learned a little with my compadre Quelemem; but he wants to hear about the facts in the case, the inner meanings, the undertones.

Now, on this day of ours together, with you listening to me so attentively, I am beginning to learn to tell things straight. There is forever a sense of urgency, tension and doubt coming out of his words throughout the book.

Is this excitement of fear or guilt? Is he unreliable? At least he is trying to tell the truth. That being said story is told up in highly jumbled broken pieces at least in the first half of the book.

Also, there is at least one lie, a big one, that he maintains throughout before revealing the truth in the end. This big there-is-no-way-you-could-have-guessed-it kind of revelation turns the story over its head for n th time. So there you have it — this time I have an excuse to lie in my review. I know. But I want you to think my crazy words over. Search me. There are some clues thrown throughout, especially towards the end, but neither Riobaldo nor me are sure.

Could it be Devil? Could it be? R hints suspicions to the effect in the very beginning. He has, he says, come from the city — alright, may be officer of some kind? And why is he such a patient listener? Ask questions? Does he know psychotherapists get paid for that kind of thing? Occasionally he laughs as our narrator notices or thinks aloud as once again our narrator notices.

Sometimes Riobaldo will ask his listener a yes-or-no question which he seems to answer with a nod or a shake of head. Whatever the puzzle R. He is constantly breaking the already otherwise broken threads of his story to tell the unrealated stories of exorcisms and deals with Devil,black-magic etc. So is there a deal with Devil? Does Devil shows up in the story? If yes why is R. A deal with Devil for English title may suggest so much presupposes existence of Devil — or does it?

Somehow these questions are very important to R and his understanding of his life. Another thing really worrying for a Devil enthusiast that the novel is so much grounded into reality that a fantastic element like Devil seems out of place.

Still try to think from POV of a religious, superstitious, largely uneducated person. R believes in all the fantastic stories on the subject told to him. So is it imagination? This review is full of questions because the suspense within the novel is, IMO, a crucial part of its charm. Every new event, ever false alarm, brings a new way to seeing the things.

Bandits "So, it would seem that those over there-the Judases -were not all mad dogs but some, like ourselves, were merely jagunas working at their trade. Looking at it in another way : were we now, to avenge the killing of Joca Ramiro, terrible as it was, going to spend our whole time in wars and more wars, dying, killing, five, six, ten at a time, all the bravest men in the sertao?

A jagunco was a person hired by rich and powerful — as bodyguard or to kill people. The term later referred to bandits as well. R is more or less a bandit. Gang wars?

Well, there are gang wars — but R. He is more focused on his thoughts. Also R. Still he kills people, so what is evil? He wants to be a Jagunco but struggles in affirming to the philosophy of being one. How could I come this far without talking about Diadorium? But Diadorim took me with him, wherever he wished to go. I am sure that Diadorim could tell when I was thinking about Otacilia-he divined it and suffered.

He later meet Diadorium again as a fellow Jagunco and from there-on till the end of book, they are more or less togather. In very beginning of his long confession, we see R. As the story progresses, he becomes more obvious — either he seems to trust his listener more or it is just ever-growing-desire to make a complete confession. He is prejudiced against homosexual love. May be but from very first, R. That said, there is a lot of tension between two. Diodorium is obviously jealous when R tells him about his plans of retiring and starting a family or sleeps with women.

R on his part is jealous when he discovers that Diodorium had another equally close best male friend like R in past. And that ending, oh! That ending! If only I could talk about it. Was it on that occasion? Or some other? It was once ; I remember. My body longed for Diadorim. I put out my hand to touch him; but as I was about to do so, he looked at me-his eyes stopped me. Diadorim, grave, head held high. I felt a chill.

Only his eyes denied me. Did I know what was happening to me? My body longed for his body. Gloom surrounded us, as when a downpour threatens. I could bury my head in my arms , and stay that way, like a fool, without coming to any decision.

What was it I wanted?


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