Sunday, February 20, 2011

Baltasar and Blimunda

I'm noticing a common theme here. I can only say in my defense that I'm still reading literature as opposed to trashy romance novels.

Baltasar and Blimunda tells the story of two lovers in 18th century Portugal, when the auto-da-fe was held every year and the people were were still subjects of a king.

For all its commentary on power and religion, Baltasar and Blimunda lacks the devastation of Blindness. There were times when I was horrified by that book, but I still had to go on reading it.

Baltasar and Blimunda is a gentler tale, where the travails of the title characters are set against a painstakingly-researched background. There is a stronger element of magical realism here, and Saramago often inserts self-conscious commentary that the thoughts that his peasant characters are thinking were simply conjured up by an educated narrator.

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