Saramago 1922 - 2010 (88)

In matters of feeling and of the heart, too much is always better than too little.



José de Sousa Saramago (1922-2010) was a Portuguese writer, poet, screenwriter, journalist and literary critic, awarded with the Nobel Prize in Literature. He was born on November 16, 1922, in a small village about 100 miles northeast of Lisbon. In 1924, they moved to Lisbon, where his father became a police officer. A few months later, his older brother died. At the age of 12 he dropped out of school and worked as a locksmith for about two years. He then attended a technical school and worked for another two years as a car mechanic. He used to read a lot from a young age and he loearnd on his own foreign languages; he managed to find a place in a newspaper and he started journalism and writing novels.

He appeared in letters in 1947 with the novel "Land of Sin", which was not successful. His second novel was The Handbook of Painting and Calligraphy (1977). He became famous with the "Chronicle of the Monastery" in 1982. In older age he wrote his most important novels, "The History of the Lisbon Siege", "The Stone Plan", "Blindness", "The Gospel According to Jesus" and "The year that Ricardo Reyes died."

Saramago was married in 1944, had a daughter in 1947, had joined the Portuguese Communist Party in 1969, and in April 1974 took part in the Carnation Revolution, which led to the fall of the junta. In 1988 he had a second marriage and in the last years of his life he lived in self-exile in Lanzarote in the Canary Islands, as in his country - the declared atheist Samaragou - had problems with the Catholic Church, because of his novel "According to Jesus Gospel". He died in 2010.