Saturday, 19 June 2010

Jose Saramago

I dug reading Saramago in Portugal.  Sitting below the statue in Lisbon so prominent in the Ricardo Reis book (the statue that's prominent, not me).  Intepreting with him the Lisbon skies, the streets, the water.  Enjoying the wryness of the voice in any page (any strange Saramago page).  Trying to write like him for the fun of it: _________. Being cantankerous correctly (a sentence he would never write).  I love his respect for Pessoa too.

Fans of fooling with history enjoy his The History of the Seige of Lisbon.  In it a proofreader inserts the word not at a crucial point in a narrative of the Crusaders and the famous seige at the heart of national stories in Portugal.  And falls in love--yes you fans of love, he doesn't forget about you.

The bulk of a Saramago book was a companion the many times I reached into or from my backpack, removing a piece or replacing one.  If I think about what those days were like, five to six months ago already, I think of that fabulous writer.

So he died the other day, had been sick.  It is said that his good-bye was placid and serene.

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