Book: “The Notebook” José Saramago – Editor’s Note

Posted on April 22, 2011.

Thought provoking and lyrical, The notebook chronicles the last year in the life of José Saramago. In these pages, beginning on the eve of the 2008 US Presidential Election, he evokes life in his beloved city of Lisbon, rekindles conversations with friends and meditates on his favorite authors. Precise observations and moments of arresting importance are rendered with pointillist detail, together demonstrating a keen understanding of our time. In his typically critical and uncompromising manner, Saramago dissects the financial crisis, bemoans Israel’s punishment of Gaza and reflects on the rise of Barack Obama. The notebook is a unique journey into the personal and political world of one of the greatest writers of our time.

“Intriguing and clever and provocative, and a lot of fun to dive into.”—The New York Times

“In readably provocative style, with unconventional riffs about his life and writing, about ideas and stories… This is a bittersweet treat.”—Boyd Tonkin, The Independent

“Saramago is one of Europe’s most original and remarkable writers… His writing is imbued with a spirit of comic inquiry, meditative pessimism, and a quietly transformative energy that transforms the vague into the unforgettable.”—Richard Edder, Los Angeles Times

“In the art of the sentence, Jose? Saramago is one of the great originals. His prose is a voice that envelops all voices: it is like the immanent murmur of the universe… No one writes like Saramago, so anxious and yet so gloriously free.”—Steven Poole, The guard

“The book presents an intelligent twist on the blog-to-book phenomenon, proving that the two media are compatible beyond social oddities and cultural gimmicks…. The notebook is a unique insight into the righteous thoughts of one of the most talented writers alive.”—taste wire

“It is difficult for me to think of any other writer who, like Saramago, would make me go back and discover the meaning of history or allegory in all its wild novelty.”—Julian Evans, financial times

“Saramago enjoys taking a passing thought or incident and moving on with it, confident in his political outrage, calm in his appreciation of friends, deliberate in his aphoristic cultural criticism.”Ian Finlayson, The times [London]

“Saramago is a writer, like Faulkner, so confident in his resources and ultimate goal that he can bring any improbability to life.”—John Updike, The New Yorker

“Nicely crafted and honest, Saramago’s notebook is elegant in tone and style while clearly conveying a legend’s perspective on our evolving society.”—publishers weekly

“Unrepentantly angry and tender.”—Umberto Eco

“The most gifted writer alive today.”—Harold Bloom

About the author

Jose Saramago, (1922-2010), Portuguese Nobel Prize winner, was a writer, playwright and journalist. His numerous books, including the bestseller All names, blindnessand The cave, has been translated into more than forty languages ​​and has made him one of the most influential writers in the world. He died in June 2010.

About the translators

Umberto Eco is professor of semiotics at the University of Bologna and author of Foucault’s pendulum, The name of the Roseand other international bestsellers.

Daniel Hahn is a writer, editor, researcher and translator. His translations include creole (2002), The Book of Chameleons (2006), My father’s women (2008) and Rainy season (2009) by Angolan writer José Eduardo Agualusa.

book details

Title: The notebook

Author: Jose Saramago

Translator: Umberto Eco & Daniel Hahn

Publisher‏: ‎back

Release date: May 1, 2011

Language‏: ‎English

Paperback: 304 p

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