To commemorate José
*1922 - 2022
“A single act was enough to define us”, eternalized the only Nobel Prize winner in national literature, in an exchange included in the collection The Possible Poems, , published in 1966. Writing was his one indivisible act and Saramago, a family nickname from the village that became his timbre. Also, a winner in 1995 of the Camões Prize, the most prestigious literary award in the Portuguese language, he was an author who never stopped creating and inspiring generations of dilettantes and 'travellers' until his final days in Lanzarote, in the Canary Islands.
Born in Azinhaga, Ribatejo, José Saramago achieved the highest level of literary expression in Portugal and across borders, with more than 40 published titles. In his lifetime, he assumed the roles of author, short story writer, poet, playwright, and journalist.
Published in the early 1980s, in a style somewhat akin to literary journalism, it is the account of a long Journey to Portugal, from north to south, and east to west - and here the choice of the article for the title (and not a preposition) was deliberate, because Saramago wanted to make it clear that this was also a journey into himself, a discovery of his country as part of his very own culture.
In this journey of almost a year between October 1979 and July 1980, without a strictly defined itinerary, at the invitation of Círculo de Leitores, we experience Portugal through Saramago's eyes and learn how to contemplate the landscape, which ultimately becomes the protagonist of this wandering that was so necessary for the cultural and emotional baggage of the country. In this latest edition published by Porto Editora on the occasion of Saramago's centenary, the photography by Duarte Belo, son of the poet Ruy Belo, is combined with previously unpublished images taken by Saramago himself during the journey.
6 new writers
12 places revisited
a new written view
Embark on a new literary journey through twelve places in Portugal once visited and described by José Saramago in his book Journey to Portugal (Viagem a Portugal, 1981). A project that is described as a contemporary account of the journey and places visited by the 'traveller' in the book of the same name.
In Journey to Portugal, we experience the country through the eyes of José Saramago and learn to contemplate the landscape, itself the protagonist of this introspective but necessary wandering for the (self)discovery of the traveller. More than thirty years after the work, José Luís Peixoto delves into the wealth of natural, architectural and cultural heritage, gastronomy, and the particularities of the people and customs, from the examples explored in the past to the new offerings and suggestions from the regions. This is the time to get to know Portugal as a destination of choice for literary tourism.
It is necessary to see what has not been seen, to see again what has already been seen, to see in spring what was seen in summer, to see by day what was seen at night...
It is necessary to return to the steps that were taken, to repeat them, and to trace new paths.