18 September 2014

"The truth is a discovery that is on your side" - an extract from Paulo Scott's 'Nowhere People'

Posted by the Bookshop

Brazilian novelist Paulo Scott joins us at the Bookshop on Friday 26 September. Ahead of his visit, here's just a brief taste of Nowhere People, a novel that his translator Daniel Hahn described as "exceptional . . . a clever, thoughtful, beautifully written, perceptive telling of a story that hasn't been told before"."

If, to make matters worse, the National Highway Police were to pull over wanting to know what all this was about, Paulo would say he had no very clear reason. He would confide to them that, these last three years, almost everything he’d done had been done out of a contagious inertia, a blind freedom that needed to be exercised urgently not only for himself, but for all the Brazilians who, having lived through the height of the military regime, now need to promise themselves that they can be just and emancipated and happy, and so much so that they will accept the most obvious determinism by which enemies can be easily recognised and by which the truth is a discovery that is on your side, comfortable, destined to hold out against all things. A line of argument that, if uprooted, placed into the context of a tv comedy show, would be just as useless and pathetic as silence, or as finding that, at such a moment, upon realising that the headlights were still on and the Beetle’s engine running, the sensible thing to do might be to walk the hundred, hundred-and-something metres back to the car and turn o! the lights, shut off the engine, find a suitable plastic bag in which to wrap the pieces of clothing and the towel, lock the doors, put the key away in his trouser pocket, and only then, with the reassurance of the police authorities (and the applause of the studio audience) resume his chasing after the Indian girl.

Download more of Paulo's story here