José de Sousa Saramago, GColSE (born November 16, 1922) is a Nobel-laureate Portuguese novelist, playwright and journalist. His works, some of which can be seen as allegories, commonly present subversive perspectives on historic events, emphasizing the human factor rather than the officially sanctioned story. Saramago was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1998. He founded the National Front for the Defense of Culture (Lisbon, 1992) with among others Freitas-Magalhaes. He currently lives on Lanzarote in the Canary Islands, Spain.
José Saramago was in his mid-fifties before he won international acclaim; his publication of Baltasar and Blimunda brought him to the attention of an international readership. This novel won the Portuguese PEN Club Award.
Saramago has been a member of the Portuguese Communist Party since 1969, as well as an atheist and self-described pessimist. His views have aroused considerable controversy in Portugal, especially after the publication of The Gospel According to Jesus Christ. Members of the country's Catholic community were outraged by Saramago's representation of Jesus Christ as a fallible human being. Portugal's conservative government would not allow Saramago's work to compete for the European Literary Prize, arguing that it offended the Catholic community. As a result, Saramago and his wife moved to Lanzarote, an island in the Canaries.
Saramago has also aroused controversy as a result of his opposition to Israel's actions in Palestine and Lebanon. In 2002, he wrote in El Pais, the international Spanish-language paper of record, that Israel brutalizes Palestinians because of Judaism itself.
Intoxicated mentally by the messianic dream of a Greater Israel which will finally achieve the expansionist dreams of the most radical Zionism; contaminated by the monstrous and rooted 'certitude' that in this catastrophic and absurd world there exists a people chosen by God and that, consequently, all the actions of an obsessive, psychological and pathologically exclusivist racism are justified; educated and trained in the idea that any suffering that has been inflicted, or is being inflicted, or will be inflicted on everyone else, especially the Palestinians, will always be inferior to that which they themselves suffered in the Holocaust, the Jews endlessly scratch their own wound to keep it bleeding, to make it incurable, and they show it to the world as if it were a banner. Israel seizes hold of the terrible words of God in Deuteronomy: 'Vengeance is mine, and I will be repaid.' Israel wants all of us to feel guilty, directly or indirectly, for the horrors of the Holocaust; Israel wants us to renounce the most elemental critical judgment and for us to transform ourselves into a docile echo of its will.
During the 2006 Lebanon War, he signed a statement together with Tariq Ali, John Berger, Noam Chomsky, Eduardo Galeano, Naomi Klein, Harold Pinter, Arundhati Roy and Howard Zinn, condemning what they characterize as "a long-term military, economic and geographic practice whose political aim is nothing less than the liquidation of the Palestinian nation".
Saramago’s novels often deal with fantastic scenarios, such as that in his 1986 novel, The Stone Raft, wherein the Iberian Peninsula breaks off from the rest of Europe and sails about the Atlantic Ocean. In his 1995 novel, Blindness, an entire unnamed country is stricken with a mysterious plague of “white blindness”. In his 1984 novel, The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis (which won the PEN Award and the Independent Foreign Fiction Award), Fernando Pessoa’s heteronym survives for a year after the poet himself dies. Additionally, his upcoming novel Death with Interruptions centers around a country in which nobody dies over the course of one New Year's Day and how the country reacts to the spiritual and political implications of the event.
Using such imaginative themes, Saramago succinctly addresses the most serious of subject matters with empathy for the human condition and for the isolation of contemporary urban life. His characters struggle with their need to connect with one another, form relations and bond as a community; and also with their need for individuality, and to find meaning and dignity outside of political and economic structures. Harold Bloom has stated that he considers José Saramago the "most gifted novelist alive in the world today".
|Terra do Pecado||1947|
|Os Poemas Possíveis||1966|
|Deste Mundo e do Outro||1971|
|A Bagagem do Viajante||1973|
|As Opiniões que o DL teve||1974|
|O Ano de 1993||1975|
|Manual de Pintura e Caligrafia||1977||Manual of Painting and Calligraphy||1993||ISBN 1857540433|
|Levantado do Chão||1980|
|1981||Journey to Portugal||2000||ISBN 0151005877|
|Memorial do Convento||1982||Baltasar and Blimunda||1987||ISBN 0151105553|
|O Ano da Morte de Ricardo Reis||1986||The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis||1991||ISBN 0151997357|
|A Jangada de Pedra||1986||The Stone Raft||1994||ISBN 0151851980|
|História do Cerco de Lisboa||1989||The History of the Siege of Lisbon||1996||ISBN 015100238X|
|O Evangelho Segundo Jesus Cristo||1991||The Gospel According to Jesus Christ||1993||ISBN 0151367000|
|Ensaio sobre a Cegueira||1995||Blindness||1997||ISBN 0151002517|
|Todos os Nomes||1997||All the Names||1999||ISBN 0151004218|
|O Conto da Ilha Desconhecida||1997||The Tale of the Unknown Island||1999||ISBN 0151005958|
|A Caverna||2001||The Cave||2002||ISBN 0151004145|
|O Homem Duplicado||2003||The Double||2004||ISBN 0151010404)|
|Ensaio sobre a Lucidez||2004||Seeing||2006||ISBN 0151012385|
|Don Giovanni ou o Dissoluto Absolvido||2005|
|As Intermitências da Morte||2005||Death with Interruptions||2008||ISBN 1846550203|
|As Pequenas Memórias||2006|