Valter Hugo Mãe

Valter Hugo mother from writing to drawing without capital letters

February 12, 2021 0 By Bernardo Vasconcelos

Valter Hugo Mãe


- Featured photo © TimeOut

Born in Angola, on September 25, 1971, Válter Hugo Lemos, better known as Valter Hugo Mãe, comes to spend his childhood in Paços de Ferreira. Graduated in Law, he completed a Post-Graduation in Modern and Contemporary Portuguese Literature at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Porto.

With seven published novels, he is one of the most acclaimed Portuguese writers of the moment.

In 2007, it won the José Saramago Awardwith romance Baltazar Serapião's Remorse. Considered, by José Saramago himself, a ex-libris literary: “Sometimes, I had the feeling of watching a new birth of the Portuguese language”, Saramago's words, during the delivery of the prize.

Prémio José Saramago Valter Hugo Mãe

With José Saramago at the ceremony to deliver the Literary Prize with his name in 2007 - Photo © Blogue José Saramago Prize


As a good artist, VHM, he is not limited to literature, prose and poetry, he is also a musician and visual artist. In order to give our readers some taste, we will talk about three books by this writer: The Spanish Making Machine (2010), Son Thousand Men (2011) and Recklessly Poetic Men (2016).

The Spanish Making Machine, tells us the story of Mr. silva, 84, who, after the death of his wife, laura, is placed, by the children, in the happy old home. After 48 years of marriage, two children, and the times lived during the Estado Novo regime, Silva is in pain, feeling abandoned when he is placed at a happy age. After some time of inadequacy and longing, silva begins to integrate and make friends with other users of happy age. A book on suffering, but not on whining, we delighted for 318 pages, with stories and memories of those who feel that there is little left to live. It is a book about acceptance, and more about life than death. A heroic act, which proves to be excellent, for being able to romance and give voice to the elderly, without ever having lived in it.


Valter Hugo Mãe, Filho de Mil Homens

Valter Hugo Mãe, Son of a Thousand Men


Son of a thousand men, an “intoxicated” existentialist novel, in the thoughts of Jean-Paul Sartre and Viktor Frankl, brings us chrysostom and isaura. In a village, we observe the lives of several characters: chrysostom, aged 40, sees, in his life, the melancholy of loneliness. Isaura, a deluded woman, who tries to give in to everything, in order to achieve love. A cocktail of feelings, focused on conservative behaviors, which generate nothing more than pain, but stamped by everything that we all seek: such happiness.

Recklessly Poetic Men, presents the story of itaro, the artisan, and of saburo, the potter, two neighbors and enemies. As a background, we have an ancient Japan and a narrative that takes place in the forest of suicides. Itaro carries the fate of taking care of his small family, composed by Mrs. kame, her blind sister, and girl Matsu, that is, with very few financial resources. Surrounded by death, itaro has a gift: through death, he is able to foresee the future. All the characters in the book are composed of mystery and enigmas, and, once again, VHM, gives us its interpretation of humanity, as something mystical and unique.

Valter Hugo Mãe, Homens Imprudentemente Poéticos

Valter Hugo Mãe, Recklessly Poetic Men

Throughout these descriptions, all names were written in lower case, not wanting to break the author's writing like this, because, as he said, for him the words are all of equal importance.

VHM, is a man of multiple talents, such as, his illustrations and drawings, his poems, highlighting the books Classical Pornography and Mortality publications, the last one launched by Assírio & Alvim. As a lyricist, he largely accompanies the alternative rock band, Mundo Cão.

In painting and drawing, he has some exhibitions: The Mouth that looks, the first individual exhibition in his name, which was present until last year, at the Corpus Christi Convent in Vila Nova de Gaia. The exhibition featured 30 drawings, in nankin and ecolines and 14 acrylic canvases. In his work, we find a lot of VHM writer, in a scenario Kafkaesque, transporting the human figure to a deterioration.

Valter Hugo Mãe is, without a doubt, an important contemporary writer and artist, whose work will remain in our narratives.

You may be interested in: José Gomes Ferreira, Total Artist

Bernardo Vasconcelos
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