LITERARY CRITIC DANIEL OSIECK INTERVIEWS LULA FALCÃO

General information:
Vultures in the Living Room is now available internationally
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1087881447
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1087881447
For a copy, please email: casafortepress@gmail.com
Digital copies: https://store.bookbaby.com/book/vultures-in-the-living-room
Or Kindle/Amazon: Please leave a review
ISBN #9781087881447

VULTURES IN THE LIVING ROOM, BY LULA FALCÃO

PRESS RELEASE: Daniel Osieck interviews Lula Falcão live May 5 2021

Falcão spoke with Brazilian literary critic Daniel Osiecki during his weekly Viva Literatura program about the very moment he thought he’d become a writer: it was in 1964, when news arrived of the military coup, which forced his father to immediately strike a match and set the entire family library on fire. Book-lovers, intellectuals, artists, students, became enemies of the state.

“From Lenin to (Pope) John XXII, we burned everything,” said Falcão, describing his father’s attempt to save his own neck in the days following the coup. “My father was an Atheist but he loved John XXIII,” he added. A Communist and intellectual, Falcão said his father was a voracious reader of Russian literature, sharing his devotion early on with his son.

Disappearing for six months into the mythical Sertão, the semi-arid Brazilian outback, his father later re-emerged to a country ravaged by the ultra-nationalist, U.S.-backed regime. The “Lead Years” ensued, and echoes of the torture chambers resonated through every corner, a dark, overhanging cloud of horror became stationary for many years to come. That eeriness, against a backdrop of our paradisiacal tropics, has given birth to this very contemporary narrative we associate with Falcão.

Lula is a newspaperman, a product of clacking and chaos of the Diario de Pernambuco newsroom, as he told his host. Having been there, I can attest it was like stepping into a film noir classic, where most of the editorial decisions were negotiated at the seedy downstairs bar. He opened up about his circadian, extra-curricular activities during the military dictatorship: “In the daytime I was a newspaperman, but I was also working for the “movement” clandestinely.”

Here are some translated quotes from the interview:

“I place my characters in completely absurd situations from the standpoint of physics, they traffic through a disturbed natural landscape.”

“I have no ritual and I try to have an undisciplined approach. In the old days, I used to think that I could only write if I heard newsroom noises, those newsroom noises were something phenomenal, I began noticing that I was distancing myself from journalism when those noises began disappearing. And as I left the noise of the newsrooms, the noise also left the newsrooms. Today newsrooms sound like intensive care units, incredibly quiet… in the old days we would shout, smoke… even when computers arrived, but suddenly, newsrooms became smaller, more quiet…”

“ I don’t try to be fantastical in my stories. They are stories sometimes set in a dystopian environment, sometimes in a distorted in environment, sometimes in an environment that seems apparently normal…our reality now shows that anything could happen, may happen, could have happened.”

Please contact casafortepress@gmail.com for review copies


Lula Falcão

VULTURES IN THE LIVING ROOM

Urubus na Sala

BY LULA FALCÃO

Translated by Helena Cavendish de Moura and Edited by Matt Miller

For more information and review copies: casafortepress@gmail.com

Casa Forte Press is delighted to announce its first translation of Lula Falcão’s Vultures in the Living Room, available in all bookstores worldwide and on Kindle in February 2021.

Lula Falcão is a recognized name in the world of culture, journalism, and political activism in Brazil.

Falcão’s writing is unmistakably original. He balances the impossible in storytelling: his prose is atemporal but deeply rooted in Brazil’s recent dark history. It is fiction rooted in physics, Big Bang theory, and the geophysical apocalypse of the Anthropocene era. It is funny at times, slightly absurdist, suffused with irony and biting criticism. Falcão’s Vultures in the Living Room, like Ionesco’s post-war Rhinoceros, is an important reflection on human vulnerability during times of political and social uncertainty.

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RIFLES

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Rifles

Translated by Andrew Michael Brown

The firing squad is in place for the new government’s first execution. There’s a festive atmosphere in the crowd, and national media’s live-streaming of the event is also available to spectators at home. We haven’t watched a public execution in 142 years, since 1876, back when the slave Francisco was hanged in the town of Pilar in Alagoas state. Now, it’s a different method. Handsome imported rifles will put down this traitor to fatherland and family values, a short and frightened little fellow accused of writing criticisms of the government’s improprieties. The public supports it and that’s all that matters, the new President announced to a press corps readied for the spectacle. Corporate sponsors include a cosmetics company and a bank.

During the week, through consistent announcements, the media covered the upcoming execution with a certain sobriety. But gradually, as the audience grew larger than expected, livelier spots began to emerge, like ads for football and Formula 1.  On TV news shows, reports profiled family and friends of the soon- to -be- deceased, and,  despite their sadness, expressing optimism for the government’s innovative ways of directing people to respect authority and preserve traditional values.  “It just couldn’t stay the way it was,” noted the defendant’s mother, an enthusiastic supporter of the new regime.  In a show of patriotism, she didn’t shed a tear.

Fuzis

O pelotão de fuzilamento está a postos para a primeira execução do novo governo. Há um clima de festa na plateia e os telespectadores também poderão acompanhar o evento transmitido em cadeia nacional. Desde 1876, há 142 anos, não víamos uma morte pública, demandada pelo Estado, quando o negro Francisco foi enforcado no município de Pilar, em Alagoas. Agora, o método é outro. Belos fuzis importados abaterão o traidor da pátria e da família, um sujeito assustado e baixinho, acusado de escrever impropérios contra o governo. O povo apoia, é o que interessa, disse o novo presidente a uma imprensa já preparada para o espetáculo. Os patrocinadores são uma empresa de cosméticos e um banco.

Durante a semana, em chamadas regulares, a TV anunciou o fuzilamento com certa sobriedade. Mas aos poucos surgiram vinhetas mais animadas, como nos anúncios sobre futebol e Formula-1, pois a audiência tem sido acima do esperado. Nos telejornais, matérias com a família e amigos do futuro morto que, apesar de tristeza, viam na medida governamental uma forma inovadora de conduzir o país dentro de padrões de respeito à autoridade e preservação dos bons costumes. Não dava para ficar do jeito que estava, observou a mãe do réu, eleitora entusiasmada do regime recém-inaugurado. Numa demonstração de patriotismo, ela não chorou.

Additional editing by Helena Cavendish de Moura