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The Lives of Things by José Saramago
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The Lives of Things (edition 2012)

by José Saramago, Giovanni Pontiero (Translator)

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371306,014 (4.2)None
Member:denton
Title:The Lives of Things
Authors:José Saramago
Other authors:Giovanni Pontiero (Translator)
Info:Verso (2012), Hardcover, 160 pages
Collections:Your library
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Tags:Latin/Spanish

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The Lives of Things by José Saramago

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An interesting peek into Saramago's earlier and shorter works. Many of the stories show clear elements that identify his style, but other elements are also included that feel very different from what I expected. For example, Things exposes a loosely sci-fi, heavy Ray Bradbury feeling. The Centaur brings to mind Borges' Asterion. The Chair, while it is a beautifully crafted recounting of a singular, critical historical event, like several of the stories in this collection, has no dialogue.

When I think of Saramago, I think of his humane relating of events. The dialogue is a critical part of this process. I missed it in many of these pieces. Without those dialogues, and given the fantastical/sci-fi elements, while these stories are very clearly his, they show him in development and flexing into what became his style.

I still find his stories to be the most gentle, humane, decent allegories. I can't recommend the story Things highly enough. It moved me as much as The Cave did. If you can stand the thought of reading literature in a digital format, check out Things on Guernica. It's available in two parts:

Part 1
Part 2

Never again will men be treated as things.



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  lrcaborn | May 6, 2013 |
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Collects the author's early short stories, infused with satire and fantastical elements and showcasing his efforts to expose the tyranny of the Salazar regime in his native Portugal.

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