inês botelho 

home | biography | bibliography | press | contact

________________________________________________________________________________

the past we shall be | prelude | the sceptre of aerzis

 

Elisa e Alexandre meet during a weekend at Caramulo. They are both young, belong to different circles and generally see the world in opposite perspectives, nevertheless they seem incapable to avoid the attraction that slowly grabs them.  Simultaneously willing and unwilling, always with backwards and forwards, they begin a relationship they do not fully understand and often question. But that will mark them forever.

Elisa is afraid of the moon and of windows without curtains. She thinks too much and wants to understand the world in its multiple aspects. Alexandre, on the other hand, goes through life without much reflection, mainly worried about enjoying the present before responsibilities seize him.

 

An initiation to adulthood novel, The past we shall be gives us the portrait(s) of a generation and the paths where it searches “its” truth.

 

In each person’s voice there is the world of a thousand stories. To write in the first person is to inhabit that multiplicity, is to get inside the other completely. That is the challenge I accepted: to venture myself into a book ruled by two distinct voices, even if closer to each other than they believe.

This is Elisa’s and Alexandre’s narration, the story of their cities, of the places where they lived, of the people they met, of the cheerful conversations, joys, confusions, discouragements, of the certainties they built and the ones they lost, of the consequences of what they decided and chose. But it is likewise the story of their idiosyncrasies and memories, of the imagery that informs them.

Elisa cannot forget the childhood or its worlds of wonders. She is captive of what happened and lives haunted by old fears, caught up both in dream and nightmare.  Alexandre cares little for either, but he knows the present in a way Elisa can hardly understand or mimic. Influenced by each other, they keep going forward while they try to escape the crowd and comprehend what surrounds them. Sooner or later they will have to choose, and that will differentiate them.

When I started structuring this novel, Elisa and Alexandre were a single entity yet they soon became independent individuals. In fact I was little interested in a romantic or amorous book, I wanted them. The plot may be based on their relation but the novel develops on them. This is what I offer you: the experience of being Elisa and Alexandre.