Years ago I read my first book by José Saramago, “Blindness”. I was hooked from that point on. His characters leapt off the pages into my mind’s eye and elicited real empathy in me as they experienced extraordinary circumstances. I didn’t stop reading Saramago, I have read everything he wrote that has been translated into English and I have never been disappointed.
Unique Writing Style
If you choose to read a Saramago novel you will quickly realize his use of punctuation is sparse. You may at first be a bit flummoxed by this, however after a few pages in you will wonder why writers choose to use so many interruptions in the form of punctuation. In his case a dialogue can become a page and a half. Just commas and little else. No need for “He said” or “She said” because the characters are distinctive and realistic.
Confronting the Surreal In a Real World
“Saramago’s novels often use the supernatural, allegorical, paradoxical and irrational to address questions of faith and existence.” – The New York Times
In most of his novels average people are confronted with surreal experiences they are unprepared to deal with and yet they must cope with them in realistic ways.
Saramago clearly rejected the idea that his work was related to Latin American ''Magical Realism”. I agree with Saramago. His work is straightforward, compassionate, and relatable to all of our human concerns and condition without attempting to be magical.
His work for me is a word collage of ideas and mental images in the form of a story. He was an artist using words and concepts to impact our view of our own experiences and beliefs and to inspire us to a greater understanding of ourselves. His writing is like no other.
Noble Prize in Literature
Saramago won the Noble Prize for Literature in 1998
The Swedish Academy praised Mr. Saramago ''who with parables sustained by imagination, compassion and irony continually enables us once again to apprehend an elusory reality.''
Art, Books, Inspirations and a few psychological and philosophical musings.