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This report is taken from PN Review 180, Volume 34 Number 4, March - April 2008.

Bruno Tolentino Chris Miller

12 November 1940-27 June 2007

The Brazilian poet Bruno Tolentino, who died last summer, was a personage far stranger than fiction. He won the Prêmio Revelação de autor for his first book, Anulacão e outros reparos (1960). Moving to Europe to translate Ungaretti, he apparently worked as an interpreter for the then EEC before publishing the very fine French volume Le Vrai Le Vain (1971): it is a graceful meditation on phenomenology as experience. He subsequently worked at Bristol University, teaching Portuguese, before moving to Oxford, where he published a striking but incompletely successful volume in English, About the Hunt (1978), under the imprint Oxford Poetry Now. When I met him in Oxford, he lived a life of Epicurean leisure and claimed acquaintance with the cream of Europe's literary figures. How much of this was true, I never knew; most of it, I suspect. I know he was friends with Yves Bonnefoy and Eugénio de Andrade and knew Charles Tomlinson and Michael Hamburger. His then aisance was explained some years later when he was convicted of cocaine-smuggling. He partly served his sentence in Dartmoor and was deported to Brazil, where he published As Horas de Katerina (Prêmio Jabuti, 1995) and A balada do cárcere (Prêmio Abgar Renault, 1997). He won a second Jabuti in 2003 for


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