Portugal: A Tribute in Unison to Nobel Prize Winner Jose Saramago

Fundação Jose Saramago; reprinted from Flickr under a CC license

Today the Portuguese writer and only Portuguese language Nobel Prize Winner in Literature José Saramago died at age 87 in his residence in Lanzarote victim of old age and prolonged illness leaving us with a rich body of fiction filled with philosophic reflection through which he created situations improbable and impossible as they were critical including the bestsellers Blindness that describes a country where everybody loses their sight and Death with Interruptions that explores social conflicts in a country where people stop dying.

Note from the author: The absence of punctuation in this post is intentional. Read on.

@LuisMonteiro José Saramago marcou-me pela integridade, desapego à fama, postura leal perante os seus ideais, por muito q possamos n os partilhar. Homem.

@LuisMonteiro José Saramago struck me with his integrity, non-attachment to fame, loyal posture in relation to his ideals, as much as sometimes we might not share them. Man.

His atheist and militantly communist convictions set apart a revolutionary soul one not always accepted or understood: he moved to Spain in the 1990s after having been barred from participating in literary competitions with the polemic work “The Gospel according to Jesus Christ“.

@tuliovianna Se o inferno cristão existe, neste momento Saramago está sendo recebido com honras de chefe de Estado; Darwin faz um discurso de boas-vindas

@tuliovianna If Christian hell exists, at this moment Saramago is being received with state honors; Darwin is giving a welcome speech

Only a few minutes after the announcement of Saramago's death netcitizens around the world began paying tribute to Saramago who became one of the most commented topics on Twitter even in spite of the irony that this represents as his opposition to this communication tool was quite well known.

@marionel A Saramago no le gustaba Twitter ni creía mucho en Internet, aun así ya es homenajeado al ser TrendTopic [5] http://tweetphoto.com/27811330

@marionel Saramago did not like Twitter nor did he believe very much in the Internet, even so he is receiving a tribute as Trending Topic 5 http://tweetphoto.com/27811330

Saramago on Twitter: "Those 140 characters reflect something that we already know: the tendency towards the monosyllable as a form of communication. Step by step, we are descending to the grunt." Photo by Liquidslave on Flickr, CC Licensed

Saramago's writing style was challenging in translation and particularly in the original Portuguese as some noted

@chonnye My favorite novelist, Jose Saramago passed away. His books had a rhythm that no other writer could come close to duplicating. RIP.

@diegomaia E se todo mundo escrevesse sem pontuação hoje em homenagem a Saramago #saramagoday

@diegomaia How about if everybody wrote without punctuation today in hommage to Saramago #saramagoday

@joaomhenrique Vamos todos deitar fora a tecla da vírgula do teclado em sua homenagem. RIP José Saramago

@joaomhenrique Let's all pull out the comma from our keyboards in hommage. RIP José Saramago

José Saramago 1922 – 2010, Foto de Fundação José Saramago.

@maria_fro Tô muito triste, #Saramago além de um ótimo escritor era admirável em sua coerência e princípios: http://migre.me/Q28O #luto

@maria_fro I'm really sad, #Saramago more than just being an excellent writer was admirable in his coherence and his principles http://migre.me/Q28O #mourning

Maria Frô also gives some reading suggestions on Saramago on her blog particularly the last interviews that he did with El País where the writer said Don't talk to me about death, because I already know it.

The last text published on Saramago's blog called “Think, Think” leaves us to ponder the intellectual and ideological value of a personality that will live on through words.

Acho que na sociedade actual nos falta filosofia. Filosofia como espaço, lugar, método de refexão, que pode não ter um objectivo determinado, como a ciência, que avança para satisfazer objectivos. Falta-nos reflexão, pensar, precisamos do trabalho de pensar, e parece-me que, sem ideias, nao vamos a parte nenhuma.

I think that in today's society we are lacking philosophy. Philosophy as a space, place, a method of reflection, that may not have a specific objective, like science, that advances to satisfy objectives. What we are lacking is reflection, thinking, we need the work that is thinking, and it seems to me that without ideas, we are going nowhere.


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