God's Comedy

The “hero” of Recollections of the Yellow House re-emerges as the manager of a Lisbon ice-cream parlor (!), one whose success “isn't based on ordinary, everday tastes” in Monteiro's deliciously vulgar clarion call for obsession, sensual pleasure, and dessert. “Communist? My policy is ice cream,” vows João de Deus (Monteiro) as he recites the political and social history of the love of ice cream, a “sense of pleasure we inherited from the Romans,” that “shouldn't be permitted in Parliament.” Ice cream isn't João's only sense of pleasure (his “book of thoughts” contains, literally, pages of female pubic hair), and such private obsessions are soon weighed, and found wanting, against the public good. Shot entirely with natural light, rich in visual oddities and flourishes (João pacing behind a scale, a woman “swimming” through air, a gaunt man sinking in a milk bath), God's Comedy is a delirious embrace of all “senses of pleasure” and “practices of singularly unwholesome falsification” that stand firmly-and happily-against polite society.

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