Pause for thought: José Saramago

Saramago“The journey is never over. Only travellers come to an end. But even then they can prolong their voyage in their memories, in recollections, in stories. When the traveller sat in the sand and declared: ‘There’s nothing more to see,’ he knew it wasn’t true. The end of one journey is simply the start of another. You have to see what you missed the first time, see again what you already saw, see in springtime what you saw in summer, in daylight what you saw at night, see the sun shining where you saw the rain falling, see the crops growing, the fruit ripen, the stone which has moved, the shadow that was not there before. You have to go back to the footsteps already taken, to go over them again or add fresh ones alongside them. You have to start the journey anew. Always.”

From Journey to Portugal. In Pursuit of Portugal’s History and Culture (1990).

José Saramago (1922-2010) was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1998 for his “parables sustained by imagination, compassion and irony”. In 2003 the literary critic Harold Bloom described him “the most gifted novelist alive in the world today.”


Published by

Philip Lee

Writer and musician who tries to join up the dots.

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