Review – The Notebook (O Caderno)

The Portuguese Nobel Prize winning author began blogging late in life at the ripe old age of 86. As you would expect from a blog, the entries are pretty concise, making for an easier read than Saramago’s usually dense prose. The author frequently deals with some of his favourite topics – literature, politics and society. Saramago was a member of the Portuguese Communist Party right to the end and a strong supporter of other political causes, such as a separate state for the Palestinians. Written between September 2008 and March 2009, these blog entries make for an interesting and accessible social document on the (ongoing) financial crisis, among other things. Sarkozy comes under fire for a hypocritical peace mission in the Middle East, while Saramago wonders and despairs at how such a historically civilised country like Italy can have fallen so deeply under the spell of Berlusconi. But this is no rant. A quiet and dignified but sarcastic humour prevails throughout. I definitely plan to read the second book of blog entries which Saramago wrote up until his death in June 2010.


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