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"Bank Gaze/The Implacable order of things" spirits the reader off to a strange, surreal world where the real and the fantastic intermingle. Elements of magic realism help to create an unfamiliar, fairy-tale, poetic universe reminiscent in many ways of the stories in the Bible. The protagonists live under the blazing sun of the Alentejo at a time that is difficult to determine. They include the sheperd Jose, the siamese twins Moises and Elias, attached by their little finger, the cook with her highly artistic dishes, master Rafael who has only one arm and one leg, who is blind from one eye and def from one ear, the more than one hundred and fifty years old Gabriel and the devil who foments the intrigue.

 

The "montes" (farmsteads) on which these figures go about their archaich activities seem like islands in the expansive plane of the barren and meagre Alentejo. The landscape is seething with symbolism - a real and purely poetic space.

 

"Bank Gaze/The Implacable order of things" is in two parts and revolves around the idea of deception. There are three central figures: a woman, a man who deceives and a deceived man. The action in the second part takes palce in the following generation thirty years later and is a variation on part one. Deception and guilt are like some inevitable fate that afflicts the main protagonist Jose in the form of a mighty giant.

 

With a suggestive force that is both compelling and poetic, Peixoto's novel adresses the question of human existence. Much remains unsolved, mysterious, demanding an interpretation. The language is simple, unpretentious, but highly graphic. The frequent repetition of central phrases lends the novel a particular intensity and captivating rhythm.

 

Manuel Vazquez Montalban on Jose Luis Peixoto: "He is an enormous boon form Portuguese literature and has an acute awareness of the poetry of language".

 

Nenhum Olhar won the prestigious Jose Saramago literary award in 2001. This award is given every two years for the best novel written in portuguese by a writer under the age of 35 years old.  Portuguese is nowadays spoken for over 200 million people all over the world.

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