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José Saramago Portugal    PWF 1994

José Saramago

In 1947 he started writing, and his first novel, Terra do Pescado, was published. The political situation of Portugal, which was then ruled by a fascist regime, prevented the publication of his second novel. An active member of the Communist Party, Saramago supported the Carnation Revolution but was fired from his job at the newspaper Diário de Notícias one year later for political reasons.  For the next five years he worked as a translator.

In the 1980’s Saramago won international acclaim with his book Memorial do Convento (in English: Baltasar and Blimunda). His most well-renowned books include The Stone Raft and the controversial (and condemned) The Gospel According to Jesus-Christ. He has written more than thirty books; novels as well as essays, plays and poetry compilations. His latest book to be translated into English is Death at Intervals (2008 for the translation).

Saramago is still a member of the Communist Party and involved in politics. He is publicly critical about the European construction. He was a candidate for the European Parliament election in 2004. In 2006 he signed a statement with other famous writers and thinkers (including Tariq Ali and Harold Pinter) against the military action of Israël, which he considered to be "a long-term military, economic and geographic practice whose political aim is nothing less than the liquidation of the Palestinian nation".

He was awarded the Camões Prize (1995) and the Nobel Prize (1998) because he is a writer "who with parables sustained by imagination, compassion and irony continually enables us once again to apprehend an elusory reality"

Saramago currently lives Lanzarote in the Canary Islands, Spain.

 

José Saramago

José Saramago: Nobel Lecture

30.09.2008 Readings

How Characters Became the Masters and the Author Their Apprentice

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José Saramago

José Saramago: Speech at the Nobel Banquet

30.09.2008 Readings

December 10, 1998

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José Saramago

José Saramago: A Writer’s Progress

30.09.2008 Interviews

José Saramago in conversation with Anna Klobucka

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José Saramago

Meeting with José Saramago at the European Parliament

30.09.2008 Articles

On 23 March 1999, José Saramago made his first visit to the European Parliament since the historic moment of 8 October 1998 which consecrated him as Portugal's first-ever Nobel literature laureate. The 76-year-old novelist addressed MEPs, officials and the public in a two-hour meeting-cum-debate organised by the GUE parliamentary group (Group of the United European Left), on the initiative of its Portuguese members.

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