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Rien n’est beau que le vrai (Boileau, p 28)Who doesn’t love a good romance? This book follows the 19th century style in the manner of the Romantics Lord Byron anyone? How about a Portuguese tale? Our writer makes a trip north from Lisboa to Santarém He checks out the beautiful scenery, it’s historic walls, churches while pondering literature and history A true romantic.In the midst of the historical sightseeing of Santarém, we get the story of Carlos and Joaninha, the girl of the nightingales (a menina dos rouxinóis) Joaninha meets Carlos fighting in the civil war, who is bivouacked in town She falls for him; however Carlos loves an Englishwoman, Georgina Ah, the love triangle, add in two different countries, the politics of the day and this makes a great yarn Oh yeah, Joaninha has a blind grandmother and her father is dead What happened to them? And her mother? Beloved reader, read on.This is one of those books that the storyline and the wonderful witty observations of Garrett held my attention The romance is over the top The ending, even better If you need a little escapism, this book will do wonders.This is another book read on the list of 50 books in Portuguese to read I can see why!A solid 3.5 maybe 3.75 Viagens na Minha Terra (Travels in My Homeland) by Almeida Garrett has been established as one of the literary classics in Lusitanian soil and for good reason The sole fact of it being one of the very first proper novels to be written in the country, preceded only perhaps by Alexandre Herculano's Eurico, the Presbyter, should be enough to give it at least some credit But the fact that it went beyond Herculano's WalterScottinspired, yet somewhat unsophisticated historical prose, and delivered several stylistic innovations and structural experiments, until then pretty much unexplored in Portuguese literature, justifiably grants it its classic status.Throughout its diary, epistolary, novelistic and poetic forms of narrative, Garrett demonstrates his premodern penchant for (melo)drama, keen aesthetic awareness, outstanding erudition and classical knowledge, passionate social and cultural sensitivity, displaying deep humanistic love for native traditions, peculiarities and heritage, while at the same time never holding back on his sharp tongue and acerbic wit, revealing also amusing selfconsciousness, bitter irony and disposition for chastising his own self, which is at its worst, highly entertaining and at its best, completely hilarious The author's reflective tirades, despite his own distancing and even criticism of philosophical aspirations (a detail that went over some reviewers' heads unfortunately), unveil his nature as a concerned citizen and independent thinker, often alluringly pushing him closer to the mundane yet profound wisdom of the common folk that he both praises for its naivety and honesty, while also censuring for its inertia and indifference.The fact that various Goodreads users have expressed dismay and bewilderment towards their own inability to ascertain if in certain passages the author was revealing himself as either boastful or sarcastic is certainly baffling and definitely explains at least partially the book's current rating on this website One ought to feel confused as well when some of the book's criticism is founded on arguments such his references are obscure or too specific or ancient, which in educated ears is bound to appear asof a problem belonging to the reviewer than to the book itself.Truth be told, Travels in My Homeland is far from being a perfect novel, its stylistic variations may appear disconcerting to some and the fairly typical XIX century melodrama that supports the main narrative story may ring a tad corny and predictable to readers living in a age that has hatched after Romanticism, Realism, Naturalism, Existentialism, Futurism, Modernism, PostModernism and other literary isms of particular significance from the past 150 years It is also fair to assess it as a very late development in comparison with other European countries, a criticism that may be sadly extended to pretty much any and all artistic enterprises in the country, from painting, music, poetry, architecture, etc.Also, one may agree the book may not be entirely fitting for current high school teaching (as it has happened for many decades before, probably resulting in many scarredup Portuguese teenagers), as the current model needs some updating and considerable adjustments to keep up with times, however there's no reason to believe a fully grown adult will not be able to grasp and understand its charm Sure, modern readers will also assuredly struggle with the, now considered archaic, lexicon and grammar, but doesn't the same happen (maybe even ) with very same Portuguese readers studying the Lusitanian worldclassic The Lusiads or Gil Vicente's plays?In any case, the fact is that Almeida Garrett's prose is very eloquent, rich and inventive especially for today's standards, not to mention deeply affecting at times, notably on his lyrical nature descriptions and ardent historical sketches, or in the sections where he carefully dissects the human and familial bonds that tie his characters and when he mournfully knits a sociohistorical overview of Portugal's past His geographical, architectural and societal descriptions are brimming with sharpness, wit and liveliness and offer priceless insight into a world since gone by, which didn't get the chance of being preserved by photographic records and in many cases literary documents.Indeed, this is a book that devotedly exalts the best (and rabidly denounces the worst) of the country's aspects at the time (and which are regrettably still seen today), and succeeds immensely at that It's a shame thatrecent generations have often found the book dull, sometimes even unpalatable, given that it offers so much for minds willing to overcome the quirks of the age and open to embrace it for its timeless qualities Not only that but one may also look at it as the precursor of other towering literary personalities from the same century such as Eça de Queirós or Camilo Castelo Branco, authors who despite presenting many of Almeida Garrett's qualities and shortcomings, notwithstanding their differences, seem to have a free pass when it comes to those same issues.In summary, Travels in My Homeland is a book that, despite some of its (naturally) aged features and eccentric experimentation, displays manyappealing traits that make it virtuous, stirring, humorous, informative, fun, thoughtprovoking, and overall a distinctively pleasant reading, not to mention particularly relevant, given its historical context. Thank God I have finished this I don't like this book very much, but it was nice to see that this second read was really different compared to when I read it foe the first time I only give 3 stars, which is already a lot This book can almost be divided in two: one that justifies the title, where the author describes in first hand a travel from Lisboa to Santarem; and a parallel story about the forbidden love between Carlos and Joaninha and their relationship with their grandmother and a mysterious character called Frei Dinis The first is hardly worth two stars, while the second could possibly go for a four stars It left me, however, with an impression of being incomplete and badly contextualized The writing style is almost baroque, and the romantic style of narrative gave it a slight Mary Shelley or Brönte sisters atmosphere Possibly the best was the description of the fights between the liberals and the Realists in the 1830's, but I feel that even that was only weakly and superficially explored I was in doubt between two or three stars, but the writing style pushed it to the upper choice (although I think many modern readers would not like it) The first 60 pages are almost unnecessary and I thought of dropping the book several times until the parallel story begins. ( DOWNLOAD BOOK ) ⚐ Viagens na Minha Terra ⚔ Classicos da Literatura PortuguesaO livro Viagens na Minha Terra, publicado em volume em , é o ponto de arranque da moderna prosa literária portuguesa: pela mistura de estilos e de gêneros, pelo cruzamento de uma linguagem ora clássica ora popular, ora jornalística ora dramática, ressaltando a vivacidade de expressões e imagens, pelo tom oralizante do narrador, Garrett libertou o discurso da pesada tradição clássica, antecipando o melhor que a este nível havia de realizar Eça de QueirósMas a obra vale também pela análise da situação política e social do país e pela simbologia que Frei Dinis e Carlos representam: no primeiro é visível o que ainda restava de positivo e negativo do Portugal velho, absolutista; o segundo representa, até certo ponto, o espírito renovador e liberal No entanto, o fracasso de Carlos é em grande parte o fracasso do país que acabava de sair da guerra civil entre miguelistas e liberais e que dava os primeiros passos duma vivência social e política em moldes modernos I did not like it at all An impressive incursion through the portuguese history and politics The author manages to capture the readers atemption to several details of the Governement State vs the different ideals of the time, the war benefits and prejudices, giving his opinions and concepts on the literature and philosophic ideals that were dying and being born He manages to talk all about these subjects, while he narrates a love story. I really loved this book From the way in which Garrett aproaches the reader to how he interacts with his own characters everything's very well put Even thought it can be hard to read due to the amount of literary and historical references it is amazing and I highly recommend it. For me this book is portuguese literature at its best Is one of the mandatory books I really enjoyed reading Supreme.