RIP Jose Saramago

Nobel Lecture: “The voice that read these pages wished to be the echo of the conjoined voices of my characters. I don’t have, as it were, more voice than the voices they had. Forgive me if what has seemed little to you, to me is all.”

Book Magazine, 2002: “You may disagree with such a pessimistic vision. But if there is a way for the world to be transformed for the better, it can only be done by pessimism; optimists will never change the world for the better.”

Julian Evans, The Guardian: “It is difficult to find dissenters from Wood’s description of Saramago as an ‘attractive and sinuous’ writer, though the Irish novelist John Banville is one.”

“The Unexpected Fantasist,” The New York Times, 2007: “Yet Saramago also often appears to be disliked. In part this is the resentment of a country that has long been dominated by a small elite. In part, it is a matter of Saramago’s own unaccommodating personality. Everywhere I went in Lisbon in June, people described him as ‘cold,’ ‘arrogant,’ ‘unsympathetic.’ When my interpreter inquired at a DVD store if a documentary about Saramago was in stock, the young salesman, startled by the request, replied, laughing, ‘I hope not!'”


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