The Songs of Antonio Botto

The Songs of Antonio Botto

by Antonio Botto
     
 

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António Botto was one of Portugal's first openly gay writers, a poète maudit whose unapologetic and candid verses about homosexual life and passion were both praised and reviled when they appeared in Portuguese in 1922 under the title Canções. Botto's poetic voice-confessional, personal, and intimate-revels and luxuriates

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Overview

António Botto was one of Portugal's first openly gay writers, a poète maudit whose unapologetic and candid verses about homosexual life and passion were both praised and reviled when they appeared in Portuguese in 1922 under the title Canções. Botto's poetic voice-confessional, personal, and intimate-revels and luxuriates in eroticism while expressing the ache of longing, silence, and suffering. Yet for all of his acclaim and notoriety-he was both hailed as one of the great poets of his day and condemned for his frank depictions of male-male desire-Botto and his work fell into oblivion after his death.

The Songs of António Botto recovers this important, urgent voice in modern poetry by making available-for the first time since its private publication in 1948-the English-language translation of Canções that Botto's friend and artistic collaborator, Fernando Pessoa, completed in 1933. Pessoa, Portugal's preeminent modernist literary figure, considered Botto the only Portuguese poet worthy of the label "aesthete" and, as a critic and publisher, championed his work. Featuring an introduction to Botto's work and Pessoa's previously unpublished foreword to the 1948 edition as well as a new translation of Botto's 1941 elegy to Pessoa, The Songs of António Botto establishes Botto as a pioneering figure in modern gay literature and places him alongside C. P. Cavafy and Federico García Lorca as one of the major poetic voices of the twentieth century.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"In Antonio Botto’s poems, the mouth trembles, kisses, lies, tells the truth, bites, bleeds, laughs, pleads, and sings, while the hand writes it all down trying to create something beautiful out of the dirty silences that surround unsanctioned love and sex. Even reading the poems a half century after they were written, one feels the flesh burn." —Henri Cole

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780816671007
Publisher:
University of Minnesota Press
Publication date:
12/02/2010
Pages:
168
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

António Botto (1897-1959) published more than twenty volumes of poetry, short stories, children's tales, and dramas during his lifetime. He worked as a civil servant in colonial Angola and Lisbon until, in 1942, he was dismissed from his post for lacking "moral character." In 1947, he emigrated to Brazil with his wife. He was fatally struck by a car in Copacabana in 1959.

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