Most Read... Rebecca WattsThe Cult of the Noble Amateur
(PN Review 239)
John McAuliffeBill Manhire in Conversation with John McAuliffe
(PN Review 259)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Patricia CraigVal Warner: A Reminiscence
(PN Review 259)
Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Tim Parksin conversation with Natalia Ginzburg
(PN Review 49)
Next Issue Gwyneth Lewis ‘Spiderings’ Ian Thomson ‘Fires were started: Tallinn, 1944’ Adrian May ‘Traditionalism and Tradition’ Judith Herzberg ‘Poems’ translated by Margitt Helbert Horatio Morpurgo ‘What is a Book?’
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PN Review 276
PN Review Substack

This interview is taken from PN Review 172, Volume 33 Number 2, November - December 2006.

António Lobo Antunes in conversation translated by John Pilling Raphaëlle Rérolle
Translated from the French by John Pilling

Now and then he looks at himself in the mirror in disbelief: 'António Lobo Antunes, that's you, don't you realise that's you?' There is irony and a wry playfulness, but also anguish, in Antunes when he takes on the role of 'great writer' which his books have conferred on him. It is on the basis of a considerable body of work expressed in a very distinctive style that, at 63, Antunes occupies a secure place in contemporary literature. Yet he is more than ready to accept, given the chance fluctuations in estimates of this kind, that his prose will disappear into oblivion. In the meantime he writes furiously ('It's the only way I know'), offering his readers a difficult, tormented world in which a profoundly tragic view of existence is bound up with a liveliness of feeling and paradoxical shafts of hope. All of which takes place in a mode gravitating further and further from the conventional novel in the direction of a poetic architecture, as evidenced by his most recent book Bonsoir des choses d'ici-bas (published by Christian Bourgois in a translation by Carlos Batista).

RAPHAËLLE RÉROLLE : You began by writing novels, then your books moved outside fictional norms, and now seem close to poetry. What would you now call them?

ANTÓNIO LOBO ANTUNES: I don't precisely know how to situate them, not at all. The last, Bonsoir... , I call a ...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image