Baltasar and Blimunda by Jose Saramago

Baltasar and Blimunda

Jose Saramago

A wow of a book in terms of language and concepts with a poetic sense. Requires commitment over time and it may take awhile to adjust to the long stream of consciousness style paragraphs! There is a narrative flow but it reads more like a gentle whirlpool(?) of loosely connected themes - love, contrasts between wealth and poverty, creative striving, causation and control.

Extract

"It was Blimunda who opened the door. Dusk was already falling, but she recognised the priest the moment he dismounted, after all, four years is not such a long time, she kissed his hand and were it not for the presence of some inquisitive neighbours, the greeting might have been quite different, for these two, or three when Baltasar is present, are governed by their emotions, all three have shared the same dream, all will see the flying machine beat its wings, the sun explode into even greater splendour, the amber attract the ether, the ether attract the magnet, the magnet attract the iron, all things attract each other, the only problem being how to arrange them in the right sequence, Padre Bartolomew, this is my mother-in-law."

Parallels
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Baudolino by Umberto Eco
  • Perfume by Patrick Suskind