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Descripción de editorial
A delightful insight into the formation of an artist who would become one of the world's most respected writers.
Born in 1922 in the tiny Portuguese village of Azinhaga, José Saramago was only a baby when his family moved to a series of cramped lodgings in a working-class neighbourhood of Lisbon. Nevertheless, he would return to the village throughout his early life, its river and olive groves seeping deep into his memory.
Shifting between Azinhaga and Lisbon, this touching book is a mosaic of memories. Written with characteristic wit and honesty, Small Memories traces the formation of an artist always fascinated by language and who emerged, against all odds, as one of the world's most respected writers.
Weaving together memories of his Portuguese childhood, Nobel Prize winner Saramago (1922 2010) presents a lyrical portrait of the artist as a young man. Born in the small village of Azinhaga and raised in Lisbon, Saramago recounts his early days not in the traditional linear fashion but as snippets of reminiscences that flow from one topic and time period to another. The days spent in Azinhaga, exploring the countryside with a child's keen eye for adventure and spending time in his maternal grandparents' cottage, are beautifully depicted and resonate even more deeply when Saramago describes the modernization that has made his boyhood home unrecognizable. Readers will also recognize the trademark undercurrent of wit in Saramago's stories, such as how a village joke resulted in his surname being recorded incorrectly on his birth certificate ("Saramago" means wild radish) and how an early attempt to master French was actually a childhood introduction to Moli re. Yet all is not merry as Saramago recalls the tragic death of his older brother, Francisco, at age four, which causes him to explore the concept of so-called "false memories," as well as his family's poverty. With its poetic style, this posthumous memoir is the perfect coda to Saramago's distinguished career.