The first story in this classic collection evokes, not Portugal, but turn-of-the-century Amsterdam, a city of wealth and moral paradoxes. These are the paradoxes of Manuel Teixeira-Gomes' characters too, the differences between appearance and reality, between desire and its objects.
A young man boasts of his sexual exploits, but the author of Erotic Stories is an older man, reduced (if not diminished) by years and responsibilities. The narrator of 'Dead Woman's Grotto' embodies all that the author despises: lack of moral fibre and abuse of position. The author looks on, sardonic and even amused at the youthful lover's self-infatuation. Circumstances control the protagonists under a libidinal spell. Teixeira-Gomes's women, on the other hand, often try to direct and motivate their lives.
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DEUS EX MACHINA
THE GYPSY A letter to Antonio Patricio
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