I can't reproduce the whole thing: it's a play in two sections. In the first, Dusty and Doris are talking about men who may or will come to see them and Pereira seems to be a kind of sinister figure. He never actually comes but calls and Dusty talks to him on the phone. The women may be prostitutes but that is not explicit. In the second part they are visited by men who just got out of the war.
The opening of "Fragment of a Prologue" is like this:
DUSTY: How about Pereira?
DORIS: What about Pereira?
I don't care.
DUSTY: You don't care!
Who pays the rent?
DORIS: Yes he pays the rent
DUSTY: Well some men don't and some men do
Some men don't and you know who
DORIS: You can have Pereira
DUSTY: What about Pereira
DORIS: He's no gentleman, Pereira:
You can't trust him!
You get the idea. They go on about him for a while longer and the phone rings and they are frightened that it is Pereira, and it is. Doris gets Dusty to tell him she's ill and has her feet in mustard and water.
I know this is sketchy, but you see how he is a kind of background disturbing character who seems to have some hold on them--possibly supporting one or both, ( possibly pimping?), but one they wish to evade.
>>> [log in to unmask] 07/19/04 9:21 AM >>>
First of all, thanks so much to all those who suggested the names of English
travelling writers in Ravenna.
I do have another question, though. I've just finished reading a famous
Italian novel called "Sostiene Pereira" (that is, "Claims Pereira" or
"Pereira Claims") by Antonio Tabucchi, issued in 1993. It's the story of a
Portuguese journalist living in Lisbon in the 1940s, during the Salazar
dictatorship. He publishes an article about the violence of the Salazarist
police and has to flee to France. The novel is narrated as if it were some
report (told by Pereira and re-told by a third person) spoken during a
trial, and most sentences include the phrase «Pereira claims [that]».
Antonio Tabucchi included a note at the end of the novel, stating that the
name of the main character was inspired by Eliot's passage «What about
Pereira?» in Sweeney Agonistes. I must admit I have never read the passage.
Could anyone post it? (the university library will be closed for a month and
I have no way of getting Eliot's work).
I thank you in advance.