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Travel
Author: Jose Saramago
ISBN: 1860467040
Subcategory: Europe
Publisher Harcourt, Inc. (2000)
Language English
Category: Travel
Rating: 4.3
Votes: 650
ePUB size: 1337 kb
FB2 size: 1775 kb
DJVU size: 1132 kb
Other formats: mbr mobi lrf txt

eBook Journey to Portugal / In Pursuit of Portugal's History and Culture download

by Jose Saramago


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Saramago was born in Portugal and won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1998. Journey to Portugal" is nominally a travel book, but of a special kind: it describes spiritual as well as spatial journeys. The book is written in the third person, with Saramago referring to himself throughout as "the traveller" when the street descends once more to the old cathedral so does the rain; it overflows the gutters and, as one idea follows another, the traveller remembers how the waters of the Minho ran down the hard s. .

Journey to Portugal (Viagem a Portugal in Portuguese) is a non-fiction book on Portugal by Nobel Prize-winning author José Saramago.

José Saramago takes us on a thrilling literary journey through the land, history and culture of his native country. Embarking in the autumn of 1979, Saramago resolves to travel to Portugal, as well as through it. From the misty mountains of the north to the southern seascape of the Algarve, the travels of Nobel Laureate José Saramago are a passionate rediscovery of his own land.

Journey to Portugal: In Pursuit of Portugal's History and Culture. When José Saramago decided some twenty years ago to write a book about Portugal, his only desire was that it be unlike all other books on the subject, and in this he has certainly succeeded

When José Saramago decided to write a book about Portugal, his only desire was that it be unlike all other . This is Jose Saramago's spiritual journey through (primarily rural) Portugal. It's not a light-reading travel narrative.

When José Saramago decided to write a book about Portugal, his only desire was that it be unlike all other books on the subject, and in this he has certainly. The feeling of this book is something of a cross between Henry Adams and James Michener. He paints the picture slowly, with deliberate brush-strokes that reveal the masterpiece when viewed from a distance.

When José Saramago decided to write a book about Portugal, his only desire was that it be unlike all other books on the subject, and in this he has certainly succeeded. Recording the events and observations of a journey across the length and breadth of the country he loves dearly, Saramago brings Portugal to life as only a writer of his brilliance can. Forfeiting the usual sources such as tourist guides and road maps, he scours the country with the eyes and ears of an observer fascinated by the ancient myths and history of his people.

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When José Saramago decided some twenty years ago to write a book about Portugal, his only desire was that it be unlike all other books on the subject, and in this he has certainly succeeded. Recording the events and observations of a journey across the length and breadth of the country he loves dearly, Saramago brings Portugal to life as only a writer of his brilliance can. Forfeiting sources of information such as tourist guides and road maps, he scours the country with the eyes and ears of an observer fascinated by the ancient myths and history of his people. Whether an inaccessible medieval fortress set on a cliff, a wayside chapel thick with cobwebs, or a grand mansion in the city, the extraordinary places of this land come alive with kings, warriors, painters, explorers, writers, saints, and sinners. Always meticulously attentive to those elements of ancient Portugal that persist today, Saramago examines the country in its current period of rapid transition and growth. Infused with the tenderness and intelligence that have become familiar to his readers, Saramago's Journey to Portugal is an ode of love for a country and its rich traditions.
Ionzar
I eventually struggled through to the end of "Journey to Portugal", more as a duty than a pleasure. After the first third, the sameness of the descriptions of churches, buildings and art works became a bit boring.

Sarmago certainly writes with insights that would resonate with readers who are familiar with the history, culture and art works of Portugal. I am not, so many of Saramago's allusions and comments on the churches and buildings he saw were opaque to me.

Having read (and reviewed) "Seeing", "Blindness" and "The Cave" by Saramago, I was a little disappointed at first with "Journey to Portugal". However, my disappointment was relieved by beautiful passages sprinkled through the text.

Saramago was born in Portugal and won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1998. "Journey to Portugal" is nominally a travel book, but of a special kind: it describes spiritual as well as spatial journeys.

The book is written in the third person, with Saramago referring to himself throughout as "the traveller".

Reflective travellers will understand when Sarmago says "...when the street descends once more to the old cathedral so does the rain; it overflows the gutters and, as one idea follows another, the traveller remembers how the waters of the Minho ran down the hard shoulders beside the street, how small the world is, all its memories jumbled together in the minimal space inside the traveller's head."

He also gives beautiful little word pictures of the lives and people he encountered on his journey. These are the real gems in this book, and why it is worth reading.

In one especially memorable story ("The Man Who Could Not Forget") Saramago gets into conversation with the waiter at dinner about his travel plans and learns that the waiter was born in Cidadelhe, one of the small, remote villages Saramago plans to visit.

Many years ago, when the waiter was a child, his sick young sister died on the way to get medical help, because none was available in their impoverished village. The waiter has never forgotten this family tragedy. His emotions are still raw as he talks to Saramago, who asks the waiter to come with him to the village and show him where he lived.

Saramago concludes thus: "The traveller returns to his room. He spreads out his big map on the bed and looks for Pinhel. There it is, and the road which heads off into the hills. At some point in this space a seven-year-old girl died; then the traveller finds Cidadelhe, on the heights, between the Rivers Coa and Massueime, it really is at the ends of the earth, the end of life. If there is no one to remember."

The book resonated with me for another reason. To quote Saramago: "The traveller preferred to admire the late afternoon gazing down towards the River Torto . . . . and then spent a long while leaning back against a wall . . . because from behind it there wafted the most exquisite perfume of flowers . . ."

Far too often in our travels we are driven onwards by an inexorable schedule that allows little time to stop and actually enjoy moments such as Saramago describes.
Kigabar
A very literary travel guide (as Umberto Eco in Italy or Gabriel Marquez visits Columbia). A bit repetitious about how he had to go look for someone to open a site for him to visit... until I went to Portugal and realized that's the way you have to do it!
Mautaxe
The translation leaves a lot to be desired. Extremely heavy on the landscape descriptions and lacking with historical background.
Mr.Champions
This is Jose Saramago's spiritual journey through (primarily rural) Portugal. It's not a light-reading travel narrative. The feeling of this book is something of a cross between Henry Adams and James Michener. It's a book to read slowly and savor, in order to appreciate Saramago's tremendous metaphorical skill. He paints the picture slowly, with deliberate brush-strokes that reveal the masterpiece when viewed from a distance.

Yes, his descriptions of churches, winding roads, rain and his seemingly unconscious cultural insecurity (his came from a poor family and was not a university graduate) can become tedious, but that's only if you don't grasp the larger picture: Portugal is a settled land with hundreds of years of historic layers. Saramago wants to peel those layers back for you to expose the core. Only the reader can decide if he's been successful.
Hǻrley Quinn
What can I say- in this book Nobel Prize-winning Jose Saramago reflects on Portugal as his journey through his beautiful homeland leads him to its heart and soul. It is not a travel log, per se, but as you read it you are drawn to visit the places and follow the trail that he describes.
Gosar
I love travelogues and this one is no exception. I'm planning a trip to Portugal and wanted to read this before going. Saramago is a bit difficult to read at times but his wit and insight bring a warmth to the book that can sometimes be missing. I'm already planning on reading it again.
Original
Not for the casual traveler. Very detailed with info on small towns. Perhaps interesting for natives .
Interesting book by the eyes of a very knowledgeable man.