Glory and Its Litany of Horrors, by Fernanda Torres, translated from the Portuguese by Eric M. B. Becker, Restless Books, 2019
“When we are born, we cry that we are come to this great stage of fools.”
—William Shakespeare, King Lear
You just sat down, opened up your internet browser—Chrome, because any other browser is just subpar—went to asymptotejournal.com, and finally stumbled across this review of Glory and Its Litany of Horrors by Fernanda Torres. Before reading, you had decided to go for a run, five miles through the woods behind your house that looked similar to the Brazilian backlands. As you ran, you saw a group of soldiers dressed in camouflage about to fire at each other. Without knowing it, you were running through a paintball match; but, thinking it was real, you hit the deck and waited to see what fate would bring you, allowing you to identify with Mario as he struggles through the theater, his acting career, and own reality.
For some of you, this story could be completely true—all details being events that may have occurred throughout your day; for some, bits and pieces were true, while for others, only the act of reading this review is true. These levels of the “you” in reality and the fictional “you” in the above story are the same levels that exist throughout Mario Cardoso’s life in Torres’s work. Published by Restless Books in 2019 (originally published in 2017), Eric M. B. Becker renders Torres’s blurred lines of the protagonist’s fiction and reality (narrated in the first person) in a prose that flows like the action and lines of a play, drawing the reader even further into the scene.