Jaime Montestrela, the son of a Portuguese and a Spanish woman, belonged to the generation of Portuguese writers who began to write and become politically active during the Salazar regime , as did Augusto Abaleira and Eugénio de Andrade . Montestrela studied medicine and started working as a psychiatrist at the Miguel Bombarda Hospital in Lisbon. In 1950 he published his first volume of poetry, Prisão , under the pseudonym Jaime Caixas , after the prison of the same name for political prisoners. In 1951 he went into exile in Brazil, lived in Rio de Janeiro and took Brazilian citizenship. He maintained a close friendship with the writer and critic Jorge de Sena . When the military came to power in 1965, he left Brazil and went to Paris. He died there in 1975 as a result of a ruptured aneurysm.
The texts of this extraordinary writer pervade such existential questions as those of the absence of God and the decay of the body. But Montestrela doesn't just strike a serious note. His language is as humorous as it is poetic, and sometimes crude. He was close to surrealism and was friends with some members of the Oulipo , who invited him as an honorary member in 1974.
- Prisão (1950)
- Cidade de lama (1962)
- Contos aquosos (1974), some of these anecdotes are presented by the inventor Montestrelas, Hervé Le Tellier, as "French translations" under the title Contes liquides ( Liquid stories ) published by Éditions de l'Attente, 2012.
Some short stories from the Contos aquosos by Jaime Montestrela can be found as fragments in the novel Eléctrico W by the French writer Hervé Le Tellier . The narrator Vincent Balmer tries - like the author himself - as a translator and editor of Jaime Montestrela's texts. The novel Eléctrico W will be published in German in autumn 2012 (translated by Jürgen and Romy Ritte) under the title "Nine Days in Lisbon".
Montestrela's texts, often funny short stories, condense strange encounters and absurd reflections into concise sentences, as the following example shows: On Good Friday, on the island of Tahiroha, the cannibals who have converted to Christianity only eat seamen.
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||Portuguese poet and writer|
|DATE OF BIRTH||June 12, 1925|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Lisbon|
|DATE OF DEATH||November 8, 1975|
|Place of death||Paris|