Pilar del Río curiously recounts that on April 24, the day before the anniversary of the Carnation Revolution that brought democracy to Portugal, José Saramago received a call from a journalist friend announcing what his newspaper would publish the next day: conservative Cavaco Silva, Europe’ He had eliminated a book by Saramago that had been chosen by three cultural institutions to represent the new Portuguese literature in Spain. The rationale put forward by Portuguese conservatives was that the Gospel According to Jesus Christ offended Portuguese Catholics, the author was a dogged communist, and finally the book was poorly written.
As the days passed, the pressure on the writer became more pronounced and the reactionary media escalated a smear campaign against José Saramago, wanting to go back to times past when he dictated the news and, of course, the law. The Vatican press joined the Vatican press, which was particularly offended by Saramago’s episode describing the sexual act of Joseph and Mary that would lead to the birth of Jesus. Shows of solidarity by cultural and political figures from the rest of Europe like Jack Lang were useless; and the pressure became unbearable for the author. A Saramago who traveled to the island of Lanzarote at the invitation of her brothers-in-law, who lived there a few months ago, is in a beautiful town called Taís, where the author knows “the silence of volcanoes at dusk.” “Saramago reacted to the insidious campaign in his country by saying it was just a novel, while rubbing his hands with the publisher’s envisioned business.
Nine months later, more or less, their new home, ‘A casa’, was ready to accept two culturally self-exiled couples who took advantage of a piece of land next to their relatives’ house to build a new building.
Soon after, the author, with his light suitcase, had his office “in a house made of books”, overlooking the sea and surrounded by lava, and discovered a place where he felt free despite the difficulties: “Living on an island is an act of faith.” Along with the artist César Manrique, Saramago also celebrated the visit of important personalities such as Portuguese president Mario Soares, who put the island on the other hand, while fighting against the degradation of the land that has caused some disturbances in the business sectors. on the map.
The writer from the village of Azinhaga wrote most of his literary achievements there, the books that would lead him to win the 1998 Nobel Prize in Literature. By the way, she learned this from a stewardess at Frankfurt airport. The Book Fair was being held because his wife had been warned the day before by a Committee member, that the author had promised to keep quiet even to himself. Essay on blindness, one of his most famous works (“What if we were all blind?”). Or the Cuadernos de Lanzarote, passing through those places: «the soul goes into a kind of trance, it grows, expands, bursts with happiness. What else but crying?” Or…
Finally, Andalusian Pilar del Río wrote “a book for friends” by José Saramago. A well-deserved tribute to an intellectual who has always believed that the Iberian Peninsula should walk together, as he clearly implies in Stone Sal.
Good. Years ago Concha and I traveled to Lanzarote with some friends and toured the same sights as Saramago treads. Two of her works shared a backpack, perhaps in case we stumble upon her and want to dedicate them to us: The Traveller’s Suitcases, where her great-grandfather left a lofty picture: “They told me he had murdered a suspicious man. Although the work I wanted to write was A Journey to Portugal: From Tras-os Montes to the Algarve and from Lisbon to the Alentejo, it reproduces the “authentic face of an inexhaustible country.” Those who know Portugal or indispensable for those who have not yet decided to set off.