Friday, 18 June 2010

José Saramago (1922-2010)

José Saramago, the only Portuguese Literature Nobel prize and indeed the only Portuguese-speaking Literature Nobel prize winner, died today. I still remember the joy of finding out he had won.

Controversial, praised, hated, communist, all these describe him, but ultimately he will remembered or not because of his work. I personally loved "Memorial do Convento" ("Balthasar and Blimunda" in English) which I read for school when I was 18. I read 2 more of his books which i liked much less and left a fourth unfinished, and have to admit that his personal style defeats me more than engages me - I can only read him in special moments. Still, I am curious about two of his later novels which I might pick at some stage.

The cover's design, recently replaced for something brighter, was one of the things I always admired in the edition of his books (well, the Portuguese ones, anyway). They were elegant and gave nothing away.

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