Sunday, June 20, 2010

Jose Saramago

Jose Saramago has died. He was a Nobel Prize winner and the finest Portuguese writer of his generation. I have read only one of his novels, Blindness, which I thought was a remarkable book, a rallying cry for humanity, as I described it in my review. I aim to read his other works.

Saramago did not accept that his novels were magic realist, but there are certainly traces of it in Blindness and, I believe, his other work. However, his brand of fantastic literature is the kind of writing that saves magic realism from disappearing into the meaningless parodic whimsy that overtook the genre in the post-Marquez generation. It is fantastic for a reason: to show us about ourselves.

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