>José Sousa was born poor. So poor that he could not inherit the father’s name, but only the familiar nickname, the Saramagos. Nor could the study. I learned all alone in the local library. Years later, the Swedish Academy made him Nobel Award for Literature, the first Portuguese-language writer to do so.

But even then he could forget those responsible for the misery he suffered in his childhood, or who later wanted to silence them. From this alleged gag writer was born, the voice denouncing the inequalities and injustices of the modern world in novels as read and admired as Blindness or The Gospel According to Jesus Christ.[amazon asin=B00A10B1HK&template=image&chan=mio]

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movimiento indignaos saramagoHe was the last of the writers involved, the lineage that change the world relied on the strength of his writing. Or, if you can not reach that far, stir the conscience of his readers, as others did with them. Those worlds portrayed dystopian nightmare Bradbury and George Orwell or Huxley, eventually became reality.

And Saramago was the need to take the witness, to intensify the lines of this, drawing with them the outline of an allegory of the contemporary world, a world where the strong crush the weak. Because, for Saramago, the sign of contemporaneity is the exploitation of man by man.

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The uprooting as a surname
He knew from very early what it meant. José Saramago was born in Azinhaga, near the Tagus, in 1922. It was the First Republic, a difficult time with a politically unstable and impoverished Portugal by an elite far removed from the real problems of the country, the Church was deeply Saramago atheist and humanist, “God is the silence of the universe, and being man, the cry that gives meaning to the silence “- and then come bourgeois oligarchy and its soldiers Salazar-supporting each other to keep starving the poor and ignorant how well they served, customers and cheap labor, respectively.[amazon asin=8420484431&template=image&chan=mio]

The family had to move to Lisbon, where his father served as police, José de Sousa. “Saramago” but the nickname was not familiar, but a joke or a mistake of the official-the legend is not clear-changed the name of the writer. If the marking is the uprooting of the writer, Saramago was printed from your destination and then. There, on the shores of the Sea of Palha, in the beautiful capital Lusa, knew the literature.

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The short time spent in school, because parents could not keep paying, was sufficient to give it the stamp of letraherido-must calm his libropesía in the local library, again according to legend, was read through and tail-but also the conviction that something was wrong with the world, and the identity of those responsible. Homo homini lupus, but some have more teeth than others.[amazon asin=B006FRRED8&template=image&chan=mio]

These beliefs, held with the persistence of self-taught, he led the second milestone of his life membership in 1969, the Portuguese Communist Party, which remained faithful throughout his life. That year was crucial for him, but he divorced his first wife and she was determined to live off writing.

Moving to Spain
intelectuales siglo xxBut not until 1980 when he published his first major novel, Out of the ground (Alfaguara, 2001), which foreshadows his great themes. Although it is a work of social realism, his use of irony and sarcasm are starting to show a personal direction and a voice, which is consolidated in the following years, until the huge success of The Gospel According to Jesus (Alfaguara, various issues .)

The intense controversy that arose in an officially secular country only, but intimately Catholic, is brought to Spain, Portugal, controversy has revived recently with the publication of Cain, Saramago was beginning to repeat itself. Then come his great trilogy, Blindness (1995), All the Names (1997), perhaps his best novel, and The Cave (2000). In between, in 1998, the Nobel Prize.

The Swedish Academy, as often as unjust, he excelled in imagination, the compassion and irony. To this should be added to pessimism obscuring his work. In its literature, no one is safe: the victims become executioners with astonishing ease, as we read in Blindness. Is there anything more fragile than a blind man, always in darkness, at the mercy of any threat? And do not become tyrants same blind?

To many readers, who also have not read or remotely, their hopelessness has seemed excessive. But Saramago was also a dreamer. Her novels often end up more or less well, without reaching the happy ending, and the best example of utopian desire, although he left dystopian literature, we have it in their Iberian Foundation to promote the integration of Portugal in a new political entity occupying entire geographical area of the Peninsula.

José Saramago made us sharers in his nightmares, terrible dreams that began in a small Portuguese town poor, but that would not dispose awakening. Theirs was a world view that for many became obsolete long ago. He might have more insight to identify problems than solutions, as if that writer’s mission. Perhaps his writing might be too flat, soporific, some say only for those suffering from lethargy.

But the writer, honest and faithful to their convictions, tried to lay bare the evils of modernity, turning them into parables and are immortal.

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