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Category Archive for 'Portugal'

In what may be Nobel Prize winner Jose Saramago’s most playful—and, perhaps, popular—novel, Tertuliano Maximo Afonso, a secondary school history teacher, views a film given to him by a colleague and discovers in the film an actor who looks exactly like him in every respect. Though the film was made five years before and the actor was wearing a mustache, the two men are identical otherwise. Tertuliano, a somewhat gloomy, divorced man, has always liked the routine of his solitary life, and though he is a daydreamer, he has never before acted on those dreams. When he sees his double, he is stunned. “One of us is a mistake,” he declares, and as he begins, typically, to overanalyze the situation and chat with himself about the fact that “never before in the history of humanity have two identical people existed in the same place and time,” he finds himself wondering what it would be like to find and meet this double.

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