Giovanni Pontiero

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Giovanni Pontiero (10 February 1932 – 10 February 1996) was a British scholar and translator of Portuguese fiction, most notably the works of José Saramago and Clarice Lispector, two of the most celebrated names in Portuguese-Language literature. His translation of the Saramago work The Gospel According to Jesus Christ was awarded the Teixeira-Gomes Prize for Portuguese translation.

Pontiero was born in Glasgow and graduated from the university of Glasgow in 1960. In 1962 he was appointed lecturer in Latin American studies at Manchester. He was later promoted to senior lecturer and finally Reader in Latin-American Literature in the Victoria University of Manchester until his retirement in 1995.[1] He was the principal translator into English of the works of Clarice Lispector, and met acclaim for his translation of Lispector's A Hora da Estrela, known in English as The Hour of the Star. He was amongst those to note Pandeism to be an influence on the writings of noted mid-twentieth-century Brazilian poet Carlos Nejar.[2]

Pontiero is known for saying, "Encounters with the animal world are frequent in Lispector’s stories. Untouched by human contradictions, animals are more alive because they are more secure than human beings."

Giovanni Pontiero's papers are held by the John Rylands Library, University of Manchester.


  1. ^ Griffin, Nigel (11 March 1996). "Giovanni Pontiero". London: Independent (The). Retrieved 2011-06-09.
  2. ^ Giovanni Pontiero (1983). Carlos Nejar, poeta e pensador. p. 349. Otávio de Faria póde falar, com razão, de um pandeísmo de Carlos Nejar. Não uma poesia panteísta, mas pandeísta. Quero dizer, uma cosmogonia, um canto geral, um cancioneiro do humano e do divino. Mas o divino no humano". Translation: "Otávio de Faria spoke of the pandeism of Carlos Nejar. Not a pantheist poetry, but pandeist. I want to say, a cosmogony, one I sing generally, a chansonnier of the human being and the holy ghost. But the holy ghost in the human being.