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Baltasar and Blimunda (1982)

by José Saramago

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,203485,884 (3.91)128
Set in Portugal, 1711, amidst the terrors of the Inquisition and the plague, a seemingly mismatched couple discovers the wonders of love. This rich, irreverent tale, full of magic and adventure and graced with extraordinary historical detail, is a tapestry of human folly and human will.
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    jodocus: Similar theme on constructing a flying object in the 17/18 century
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» See also 128 mentions

English (25)  Portuguese (Portugal) (5)  Italian (5)  Spanish (3)  Dutch (3)  French (2)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  German (1)  Catalan (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (47)
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
Heillandi skáldverk eftir nóbelsverðlaunahafann José Saramago. Sagan er fyrst og fremst ástarsaga Baltasars og Blimundu en Saramago lætur hana tengjast byggingu klaustursins í Mafra og vefur inn í frásögnina sögulegum persónum á borð við konungshjónin, tónskáldið Domenico Scarlatti og prestinn Bartolomeu de Gusmão sem er talinn vera einn af forvígismönnum flugsins. Kommúnistinn og trúleysinginn Saramago fjallar napurlega um áhrif trúar og einvalds á alþýðuna sem þjáðist en elskaði um leið vöndinn. Heillandi lýsingar af samfélaginu og lífi elskendanna eru burðarás sögunnar og láta fáa ósnortna. ( )
  SkuliSael | Apr 28, 2022 |
Another Saramago book from 1001 list completed. This story is a story of love between the soldier who has lost a hand in battle and the girl who has been orphaned by the Inquisition. It is set in 18th century Portugal. It is also known as Memorial of the Convent. Convent of Mafra is a real place. If it is built then the king will have a son. It is a story of how this was built by dragooned peasants. Actual religion is not favored as Saramago is known as not a religious man. Another part of the story is the invention of a flying machine by the heretical priest Bartolomeu Lourenco (also a real person). Baltasar and Blimunda help him with building the machine. Blimunda has special powers to see into people. The relationship of Blimunda and Baltasar is the love story. There is a line in the book that there is no God but only death and life and that we don't have life until we die. There is also a social commentary and political statements. Historical magical realism, romance, social commentary, antireligion. It's all here. ( )
1 vote Kristelh | Feb 8, 2022 |
Good book. I liked the story but because I had to read it for school I didn't like it as much as if I read it for pleasure. ( )
  _Marcia_94_ | Sep 21, 2021 |
last effort from Portugal I endeavoured to read through was the utterly futile Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa. It is with great thankfulness that I can report Saramago is nothing like Pessoa. He is, in fact, very readable.

The novel is set in 18th century Portugal and centres on Baltasar, returning from war with a hook in place of his left hand. He meets Blimunda and they fall in love. They then meet Bartolomeu Lourenco, an actual historical figure, who they end up working for on a project to create a flying machine.

Saramago writes with in a lovely mixture of historical fiction and magic realism. This means that both sides of your brain get involved. He switches back and forth regularly enough so that neither side gets bored and this keeps you moving along nicely.

Story and writing style aside, the absolutely showpiece of this novel is the description of the inception and construction of the immense Convent of Mafra. It’s so easy for us in the 21st century to forget just how much manpower went into these monuments. Saramago makes it a captivating read.

Ultimately though, this is a love story, and that permeates every page. ( )
  arukiyomi | Dec 28, 2020 |
Immaculate story-telling and a beautiful (but sad) analysis of the best and worst of what people are capable of, told in meandering sentences, sometimes pages long, with intense pacing and editing and a terrific thrust from start to finish, Why is there wealth, How can we treat animals better than human beings, And is it really possible to fly? ( )
1 vote ephemeral_future | Aug 20, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
José Saramagoprimary authorall editionscalculated
Desti, RitaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lemmens, HarrieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Losada, BasilioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pontiero, GiovanniTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Radulet, Carmen M.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Een man ging naar de galg en een ander die hem tegenkwam sprak tot hem: Hoe dat nu, waarde heer, dat gij zo gaat? En de veroordeelde antwoordde: Ik ga niet, dezen hier voeren mij.
Pater Manuel Velho
Je sais que je tombe dans l'inexplicable, quand j'affirme que la réalité - cette notion si flottante -, la connaissance la plus exacte possible des êtres est notre point de contact, et notre voie d'accès aux choses qui dépassent la réalité.
MARGUERITE YOURCENAR
Un uomo andava alla forca: e un altro che lo incontrò gli disse: che succede signor tal dei tali, è così che vene andate? E il condannato rispose: non sono io che vado, sono loro che mi portano.

PADRE MANUEL VELHO
Dedication
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
A Isabel, perché nulla perde o ripete,

perché tutto crea e rinnova.
First words
Don João, vijfde van die naam op de koninklijke tabel, zal zich vanavond naar het slaapvertrek van zijn vrouw begeven, Dona Maria Ana Josefa, die ruim twee jaar geleden uit Oostenrijk is gekomen om de Portugese kroon kinderen te schenken, maar die tot op heden nog niet zwang is geworden.
Don Giovanni, quinto del nome nella successione dei re, andrà questa notte in camera di sua moglie, donna Maria Anna Giuseppa, che è giunta da più di due anni dall'Austria per dare infanti alla corona portoghese e fino ad oggi non ce l'ha fatta a ingravidare.
D. João, quinto do nome na tabela real, irá esta noite ao quarto de sua mulher, D. Maria Ana Josefa, que chegou há mais de dois anos da Áustria para dar infantes à coroa portuguesa e até hoje ainda não emprenhou.
Dom Joao, the fifth monarch so named on the royal list, will pay a visit this night to the bedchamber of the Queen, Dona Maria Ana Josefa, who arrived more than two years ago from Austria to provide heirs for the Portuguese crown, and so far has shown no signs of becoming pregnant.
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Disambiguation notice
Era uma vez um rei que fez promessa de levantar um convento em Mafra. Era uma vez a gente que construiu esse convento. Era uma vez um soldado maneta e uma mulher que tinha poderes. Era uma vez um padre que queria voar e morreu doido. Era uma vez.
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Set in Portugal, 1711, amidst the terrors of the Inquisition and the plague, a seemingly mismatched couple discovers the wonders of love. This rich, irreverent tale, full of magic and adventure and graced with extraordinary historical detail, is a tapestry of human folly and human will.

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