Books: Agony in Affluence

THE MAIAS by Eça de Queiroz. 633 pages. St. Martin's Press. $7.95.

Jose Maria de Eça de Queiroz (1845-1900) presents a claim to fame that is also a patent of obscurity. He is the major novelist of a minor language: Portuguese. A scrawny chap with big buck teeth and a hook nose, Eça de Queiroz (pronounced Essa de Kay-rozh) spent most of his life as a Portuguese consul in London and Paris, fell under the spell of Flaubert and Zola, wrote a stack of realistic novels that appalled the provincial Portuguese and impressed some literate...

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