Jose de Sousa Saramago
Nobel Prize in Literature-1998
Born: 16/11/1922 in Azinhaga, Santaren,
Died: 18/06/2010 in Tias, Lanzarote Island,
Spain. He was suffering from Leukemia. Portugal observed two days' of
mourning upon his death. Saramago's cremation took place in Lisbon.
Saramago was born in a small, remote
village about 120 km North-East of Lisbon to a landless peasant
family. When he was 2 year old, the family moved to Lisbon where his
father worked as a policeman. A few months' after relocation to
Lisbon, his elder brother passed away.
After completion of Graduation, Saramago
worked in many odd jobs, such as a car mechanic, a translator and a
journalist. During this period, he took writing seriously. His first
Terra do Pecado
published in 1947 and later translated as
Land of Sin.
Fame, however, eluded him till publication of his 4th Novel,
Memorial do Convento.
The novel fetched him Portuguese PEN Club Award. After the age of 60,
he got international acclaim when his works were translated to
Spanish, English and other languages.
Saramago had his share of controversies. His portrayl of Jesus in his
Gospel According to Jesus Christ
angered Portugal's Conservative Government under the Prime
Ministership of Cavaco Silva and the book was not allowed to compete
for the European Literary Prize. A disheartened Saramago announced
self-exile to the Spanish Island of Lanzarote where he spent his last
Saramago experimented with various styles
particularly long sentences. Urban life and its isolation and the
conflict of his characters between their individuality and social
pressure found beautiful expression in his novels.
Landmarks:* Saramago was
an atheist and a self-described pessimist. * He joined Portuguese
Communist Party in 1969 snd was a member till his death. *
Os Poemas Possíveis--Possible Poems(1966,poetry),
Os Apontamentos --
Viagem a Portugal -- Journey to Portugal
O Evangelho Segundo Jesus Cristo--The
Gospel According to Jesus Christ(1991/1993),
Ensaio sobre a Cegueira-- Blindness(1995/1997),
As Intermitências da Morte--Death
with Interruptions (2005/2008),
As Pequenas Memórias-- Small
A Viagem do Elefante--The Elephant's
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