(Waldomiro Freitas) Autran Dourado

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John Naughton

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Last Updated on June 7, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 129

[The Voices of the Dead] is a spacious, leisured work reminiscent of earlier times, a baroque tale of an imposing manor-house in a small Brazilian town, wherein dwelleth a haughty lady (who never goes out, preferring to observe the world from her window) and her dumb servant. Into this stable, ordered, claustrophobic ménage comes an itinerant handyman who becomes the lady's lover, with appalling consequences. It isn't the tale that counts but the way Dourado circles its events, building up an absorbing picture of the private worlds inhabited by his three characters, and providing an exquisitely detailed case study of the tragic irreversibility of sexual commitment. (p. 701)

John Naughton, "Empty Houses" (© British Broadcasting Corp. 1980; reprinted by permission of John Naughton), in The Listener, Vol. 104, No. 2688, November 20, 1980, pp. 700-01.∗

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