A General Theory of Oblivion

José Eduardo Agualusa Daniel Hahn

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A General Theory of Oblivion

A General Theory of Oblivion On the eve of Angolan independence an agoraphobic woman named Ludo bricks herself into her apartment for years living off vegetables and the pigeons she lures in with diamonds burning her furnitu

  • Title: A General Theory of Oblivion
  • Author: José Eduardo Agualusa Daniel Hahn
  • ISBN: 9781846558474
  • Page: 460
  • Format: Hardcover
  • On the eve of Angolan independence an agoraphobic woman named Ludo bricks herself into her apartment for 30 years, living off vegetables and the pigeons she lures in with diamonds, burning her furniture and books to stay alive and writing her story on the apartment s walls.Almost as if we re eavesdropping, the history of Angola unfolds through the stories of those she seesOn the eve of Angolan independence an agoraphobic woman named Ludo bricks herself into her apartment for 30 years, living off vegetables and the pigeons she lures in with diamonds, burning her furniture and books to stay alive and writing her story on the apartment s walls.Almost as if we re eavesdropping, the history of Angola unfolds through the stories of those she sees from her window As the country goes through various political upheavals from colony to socialist republic to civil war to peace and capitalism, the world outside seeps into Ludo s life through snippets on the radio, voices from next door, glimpses of someone peeing on a balcony, or a man fleeing his pursuers.A General Theory of Oblivion is a perfectly crafted, wild patchwork of a novel, playing on a love of storytelling and fable.

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      Posted by:José Eduardo Agualusa Daniel Hahn
      Published :2018-04-15T19:55:30+00:00

    One thought on “A General Theory of Oblivion

    1. David on said:

      This book has been on my radar for a while but when it won the 2017 International Dublin Literary Prize, I needed to get it. Winning the prize helped because it actually was in available my local bookstore and no need to order it (a first for these kinds of books).I devoured this book in two sittings. It is a truly amazing work of literature. I have been reading Portuguese writers over that past year, spurred on by recommendations on GR. Their writers shine although not well known over in Canada [...]

    2. Sidharth Vardhan on said:

      Ludo is agoraphobic, even back in Europe she was afraid of sky. Even at age of seven she would carry a umbrella to school, no matter what the weather. And so, when she finds herself alone in a continent (of vast skies) she doesn't know in a time of chaos (Angola's independence) she bricks herself into her flat and lives alone except for company of her dog (who later dies) and books living like a cast-out on birds and animals, in a small unviable hole that the world around her is oblivious of. Sh [...]

    3. João Carlos on said:

      Update 2017/06/22José Eduardo Agualusa venceu International DUBLIN Literary Award 2017 - com um prémio monetário de 100.000€ (75.000€ para o escritor e 25.000€ para Daniel Hahn o tradutor)dublinliteraryaward/dublinliteraryaward/newUm grupo de mulheres mucubais a dançar - Angola - Albano Neves e Sousa - PintorJosé Eduardo Agualusa é um dos 6 finalistas (shortlist) do prémio literário Man Booker International Prize 2016 com o livro "Teoria Geral do Esquecimento/A General Theory Of Ob [...]

    4. Jenny (Reading Envy) on said:

      Agualusa has written a fictionalized account based on the true story of Ludovica Fernandes Mano, a Portuguese woman who barricaded herself in an Angolan apartment from 1975 (Angolan independence) to 2003 (Angolan civil war.) She is limited to what she has access to, starting with her own food stores and then the fruit from the terrace, pigeons, and burning books for fire. I was reading this for my Africa 2016 project, so was a bit disappointed that 1) the main character was Portuguese with very [...]

    5. Viv JM on said:

      A General Theory of Oblivion relates the story of Ludo, who at the beginning of Angola's civil unrest, literally barricades herself into her apartment (by building a wall) and stays there for 30 years. As well as her survival story, told partly through her journal entries, we also get vignettes of other players in the war. These are told in a factual way, similar to news reports. By the end, we can see how the strands weave together. No ambiguity here! (what a relief, after reading The Many prio [...]

    6. Resh (The Book Satchel) on said:

      What a fabulous book!!! Why isn't this book all over social media? Why isn't everyone talking about this book? I loved it to bits. This book is nothing like anything I have read before. I cannot think of any other books that I can compare it with. Review to follow. But pick up a copy already.

    7. Rita on said:

      Tornei-me (finalmente) fã de Agualusa!"Deus pesa as almas numa balança. Num dos pratos fica a alma, no outro as lágrimas dos que a choraram. Se ninguém a chorou, a alma desce para o inferno. Se as lágrimas foram suficientes, e suficientemente sentidas, ascende para o céu. Ludo acreditava nisto. Ou gostaria de acreditar. Foi o que disse a Sabalu: vão para o Paraíso as pessoas de quem os outros sentem a falta. O Paraíso é o espaço que ocupamos no coração dos outros.”Opinião no blog [...]

    8. Sarah Harakeh on said:

      I couldn't put it down at all. It has been a while since I read a perfect book that made me fall in love with it from the very first pages. It tells the story of a woman who shuts herself in her house for 30 years, while living the war in Angola. I won't say more because it contains some revelations throughout its pages or else I will ruin it. It is written really beautifully that one can't but fall in love with it and be affected while reading it. I totally recommend this to anyone who is looki [...]

    9. Alexandra on said:

      Am Vorabend der angolanischen Revolution mauert sich die portugiesisch-stämmige Ludovica, nachdem sie einen Einbrecher in Notwehr erschossen und auf ihrer Dachterrasse begraben hat, aus Angst für dreißig Jahre in ihrer Wohnung ein und schottet sich somit in einem selbst gewählten Exil von den Wirren des Jahrzehnte andauernden angolanischen Bürgerkriegs ab.Es klingt fast wie ein utopisches Märchen, könnte aber dennoch wahr sein. Sie braucht ihre umfangreichen Vorräte auf, sammelt Regenwas [...]

    10. antónio alves on said:

      A ação principal gira em torno de Ludo – uma portuguesa que foi morar para Luanda com a irmã, que se casou com um viúvo angolano. Com a revolução, irmã e cunhado voltam para Portugal, mas ela fica sozinha, em Angola. Apavorada por um assalto mal sucedido e para evitar uma possível ocupação do apartamento onde vive, constrói um muro na porta, determinada a não sair nunca mais. O seu auto-isolamento irá durar quase trinta anos.A forma como as estórias das várias personagem se cruz [...]

    11. Sotiris Karaiskos on said:

      Το βιβλίο που κέρδισε το φετινό Διεθνές Λογοτεχνικό Βραβείο Δουβλίνου, ήταν στη λίστα των βραβείων Booker και γενικότερα αγαπήθηκε από τους ειδικούς. Όσο για το κοινό τα πράγματα μάλλον είναι πιο περίπλοκα, ειδικά για αυτούς που διαβάζουν χωρίς αντικειμενικά κριτήρια, εκτιμώ [...]

    12. Paul Fulcher on said:

      Update: now chosen as winner of the 2017 Dublin International Literary Award, a rare award that allows translated and non-translated books in English to compete on equal terms."Os dias deslizam como se fossem líquidos. Não tenho mais cadernos onde escrever. Também não tenho mais canetas. Escrevo nas paredes, com pedaços de carvão, versos sucintos. Poupo na comida, na água, no fogo e nos adjetivos""The days slide by as if they were liquid. I have no more notebooks to write in. No more pens [...]

    13. Owlseyes on said:

      NEWS: (Agualusa is in!)The 2016 Man Booker International Shortlist Title (imprint) Author (nationality) Translator (nationality)A General Theory of Oblivion (Harvill Secker), José Eduardo Agualusa (Angola), Daniel Hahn (UK)The Story of the Lost Child (Europa Editions), Elena Ferrante (Italy), Ann Goldstein (USA): themanbookerprize/news/manAngola 1961: starts the war against Portugal, the colonial power.1975: Angola’s independence.2002: civil war ends.The writer, Agualusa. I read somewhere, so [...]

    14. Antonomasia on said:

      This was a free advance copy received in exchange for an honest review, via Edelweiss and the publisher, Archipelago Books.[4.5] You know those city novels of distant, interlocking lives set against the big events of history, usually in London or New York? Widescreen novels? I still love the idea of them, but it started to be a case of diminishing returns, probably because the events and types of people were so familiar; there could be a thrill of recognition or a cosiness, but no shock and wond [...]

    15. Czarny Pies on said:

      A General Theory of Oblivion is short terrifying tale of the state of post colonial Angola. The only person to find a coherent and morally viable strategy in the midst of the generalized horror is the protagonist, an agoraphobic woman, who chooses not to participate in any way in the affairs of the newly independent nation of Angola. She refuses to leave her apartment and limits her contact with human beings to that which is necessary to ensure her physical survival.This novel gives a profoundly [...]

    16. jeremy on said:

      the days slide by as if they were liquid. i have no more notebooks to write in. i have no more pens either. i write on the walls, with pieces of charcoal, brief lines.i save on food, on water, on fire, and on adjectivesgolan writer josé eduardo agualusa, independent foreign fiction prize-winning author ofthe book of chameleons, has penned some two dozen works, yet a general theory of oblivion (teoria geral do esquecimento) is but the fifth to be rendered into english. inspired by the true story [...]

    17. Ana on said:

      Teoria Geral do Esquecimento é um romance simultaneamente divertido e trágico, no qual o rocambolesco tem uma forte base de realidade. Sem ser um romance histórico, tem como cenário os acontecimentos no período da independência de Angola e toda a evolução sociopolítica desde então até aos nossos dias. A narrativa fragmentada apresenta-nos um conjunto de personagens e histórias mirabolantes, de início sem conexão aparente, mas que progressivamente se vão cruzando e encaixando num p [...]

    18. Stacia on said:

      Loved it. A compelling & circular tale set during the years from Angola declaring independence from Portugal & the ensuing decades of civil war. A gem of a story.

    19. Alex on said:

      What was this? A potentially interesting idea, put in a boringly written book. The format of the writing didnt appeal to me at all (short childish sentences, some sort of poems, lots of characters superficially presented). So it was a quick read („get it over with quickly“ kind of book, life is too short to waste it with things that don't produce some sort of mind organsmus). Interesting facts about Angola though, but unfortunatelly for Mr. Agualusa, I think i will take my infos about Angola [...]

    20. César on said:

      Li este livro num fôlego. A beleza destas estórias cruzadas da Angola da independência e da caminhada aos tropeções que se lhe seguiu vão ficar para sempre no topo da literatura lusófona. Não tenho a mínima dúvida.

    21. Roger Brunyate on said:

      Written on WallsIf I still had the space, charcoal, and available walls,I could compose a great work about forgetting;a general theory of oblivion.In this house all the walls have my mouth.In 1975, during the fighting that followed Angolan independence, a middle-aged Portuguese woman called Ludovica ("Ludo") Fernandes Mano bricked herself up in a top-floor luxury apartment in Luanda, and remained there for 28 years. At first, she kept a diary in notebooks, but when she ran out she used charcoal [...]

    22. LindaJ^ on said:

      I could not put this down. We see Angola go from revolution to independence to civil war to peace but in a way quite different. We see if through the eyes of a Portuguese woman who has barricaded herself in an apartment where she stays, alone, for thirty plus years.Ludo, after suffering a trauma as a young woman, secludes herself and refuses to venture outside her home in Portugal. Then the sister she is living with marries a mining expert from Angola. The newly-married couple insist that Ludo m [...]

    23. Lark Benobi on said:

      Novels about war there have been plenty of, but never one before now, I guess, that is told from the point of view of an agoraphobic woman who walls herself in her apartment even as Angola erupts in civil violence outside her doors. The story is a fantastic one and yet it has so much detail, recounted in the form that almost resembles journalism, that it slips back and forth between feeling like a bizarre tale, and feeling completely plausible. A very enjoyable and enlightening read, one that's [...]

    24. Xandra on said:

      Everything in this book is hampered by a severe lack of development. It seemed more like a skeleton of a story in an early stage of writing than a finished book. The blurb only mentions an agoraphobic woman who bricks herself into her house and lives in seclusion in the decades following the Angolan independence, but the narrative follows other characters too - all cardboard cutouts. Disappointing, it had a lot of potential.2.5

    25. Deborah on said:

      There appears to be some question about whether José Eduardo Agualusa's A General Theory of Oblivion is based on real events in the life of Ludovica Fernandes Mano, a Portuguese woman who immigrated to Luanda not long before the Angolan War for Independence reached there in 1975. In a Foreword and later Acknowledgements, Agualusa states,On a now distant afternoon back in 2004, the filmmaker Jorge António challenged me to write the screenplay for a feature-length film to be shot in Angola. I to [...]

    26. Filipe Miguel on said:

      Passado num período temporal que abrange a independência de Angola, a posterior guerra civil e o inicio do século XXI, Teoria Geral do Esquecimento conta as vivências de um punhado de personagens de variadas etnias, religiões e crenças.Mais uma vez, José Eduardo Agualusa, debruça-se sobre o nascimento de Angola como país independente e o seu progressivo crescimentoAo longo da narrativa, conhecemos uma mulher portuguesa que foi viver para Luanda com o cunhado e com a irmã, cujo passado [...]

    27. Pequete on said:

      A cada livro de Agualusa que leio, mais fico a gostar deste escritor. Felizmente, ainda me faltam muitos. Gostei destas histórias cruzadas, passadas antes, durante e depois da descolonização, que se vão cruzando ao longo do tempo, e no final se organizam num todo com sentido. Mas acima de tudo, gosto muito da forma de escrever deste senhor. O único defeito: soube-me a pouco.

    28. Ksenia (vaenn) on said:

      Чарівна аж до фантастичності Луанда. Тут бегемот співає і танцює, людину може зненацька проковтнути земля, голуби гидять діамантами, а маленькі хлопчики спускаються з небес.Our capital is full of mysteries. I've seen things in this city that would be too much even in a dream.А ще тут жінка із жаскою агорафобією замуро [...]

    29. Gumble's Yard on said:

      Ostensibly the story of a reclusive Portuguese lady Ludo who after “the accident” lives with her sister and subsequently moved to Angola with her after her sister’s marriage and lived in a luxury apartment. After her sister and brother in law disappear following the declaration of Angolan independence, Ludo bricks herself in the apartment and lives there (alone other than for pets) for 30 years.A book which completely fails to live up to (in fact does not even try to live up) to its premis [...]

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