martes, 4 de marzo de 2014

O Ano da Morte de Ricardo Reis [The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis] Group Read

Having been persuaded in large part to add this 1984 novel to the 2014 Caravana de recuerdos Readalong list by other things that Miguel of St. Orberose has written about it in the past, I must admit I had a good, good laugh about an hour or two ago when I reread trickster Miguel's most recent comments on the work and saw that he'd called it not only Saramago's longest title "but also one that, uncharacteristically, has almost no plot."*  Man, does Miguel know how to help me pimp a group read title or what?  That being said, the novel's actually not all that long at all at somewhere around 300 pages and its fictional biography dedicated to a 1936 Portuguese "poet, doctor and monarchist" who "existed only as a figment of Fernando Pessoa's fanciful imagination" until Saramago came along sounds like a more than promising enough premise in exchange for a measly lack of plot.  In any event, if you care to join us for either the group read or just the discussion, please come back here and to the other participating blogs somewhere around March 29th through March 31st to follow the no-plot, run-on sentence hijinks (*note: Miguel, whose wide-ranging The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis post can be found here, also claims that the book puts us "in the company of a master storyteller," but I'm pretty sure that was just a concession to entertainment-minded readers that needn't trouble a no-plot purist such as yourself).

Probable Other Readers

14 comentarios:

  1. A supplement I found quite helpful with this novel was Google Maps, including the street view. You can follow the route of Reis's walks.

    The book will make likely make a person want to go to Lisbon. Of course we already want to go to Lisbon - even more, I mean.

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    1. That "supplement" is quite the interesting tip in that I doubt I would have ever thought about that. Thanks! I suspect that you're also right about the effect of the novel on the already magnetically strong pull of Lisbon as well. One day, one day...

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  2. At the risk of never getting around to writing about the books I've been wanting to write about (heck, I haven't even finished writing about the last such group read), I intend to join up. Reading more Saramago was one of my goals this year, and I don't want to pass up the opportunity to do so in such good company.

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    1. What a wonderful surprise--glad to count you in! If it makes you feel any better, I'm not done with either of my last two group reads and I'm falling behind on the Books on France challenge thing as well. However, plenty of time for us to both catch up later in the year!

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  3. Mmm, if I see a copy I'll be sorely tempted to join in although I already have a few unread Saramago's on my shelves. As for keeping up with my own writing about the books I read I seem to be only able to write when I stop reading for a few days.

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    1. It'd be great if you could join us if you're able to find a copy Séamus. Finding time to read and then post about a book between life and work obligations can be a drag sometimes, so I'm trying to be more flexible with myself about my own posting schedule these days. Of course, I have no idea if that will work!

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  4. When you read the novel, you'll understand why Saramago can be a master storyteller without the novel having any plot. Few novels defend so strongly the argument that what matters is how it's being told, not what's being told.

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    1. Miguel, that doesn't surprise me at all. I was just joking about the lack of a plot because plot and, OK, characters seem to be about the only things that matter to a certain type of reader. Speaking of which, I started reading the novel last night and enjoyed running into the character named Herbert Quain right off the bat. What a nice surprise!

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    2. Yes, very unexpected, but it was my first Saramago novel too, later I learned to expect anything from him.

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    3. It's an amazing novel early on, that's for sure. Lots of choice bits!

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  5. I didn't expect to be this busy at work this time. Bowrring. I hate not to be able to join the reading of a favorite writer. Will try to see if I can pace myself and get some (speed) reading done.

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    1. Rise, no worries either way--however, we'll definitely miss your Guimarães Rosa-like presence if work gets in the way. :(

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  6. Very enticing. I was amazed by The History of the Siege of Lisbon so am looking forward to all your thoughts. I hope I can find a copy of Reis before then but if not, I might read All the Names instead, as I have one.

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    1. Claire, I haven't read much of Ricardo Reis yet b/c I have too many other books on the go right now. What I have read has been an absolute delight so far--fairly amazing stuff. Now looking forward to getting back to The History of the Siege of Lisbon at some point. Happy reading to you, my friend!

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