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The Aquarium – 1963

Please note that all books are in Portuguese, except the Aquarium, which has also an English translation


The Aquarium - 1963

Revelation Prize of the Portuguese Writers’ Society (SPE), 1963

Alice Sampaio succeeded in writing a profoundly original book thanks to a powerful dislocation from time and space, which allows her to strip the problem of human destiny of its secondary or contingent components, to get right to the heart of the matter.


In this science-fiction, utopian/dystopian novel we are transported to a universe of easy living, inspired by Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, but one which also incorporates fantastic and even frankly disquieting elements. With extremely colourful and expressive writing, bordering on the visionary, the author builds a world of unimaginable landscapes and beings, full of throbbing mineral cities and underground lives, evoked through a form of deeply disturbing poetry of the strange. 

The book is written in highly poetic, almost scintillating language and rich with psychological and philosophical enquiry. Alice Sampaio sought to demystify “progress” (in the limited sense in which it is commonly understood), and to explore human destiny; having overcome the limits of our current condition, all that remains is, as today, the mystery, its anguish, and the perpetual doubt each imperfect solution provides.



Sans le Mouvement, tout serait une seule et même chose.



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