Baltasar and Blimunda: A Novel
, Oct 16, 1998
- 360 pages
“A romance and an adventure, a rumination on royalty and religion in 18th-century Portugal and a bitterly ironic comment on the uses of power.” —The New York Times
Portugal, 1711. The Portuguese king promises the greedy prelates of the Church an expansive new convent, should they intercede with God to give him an heir. A lonely priest works in maniacal solitude on his Passarola, a heretical flying machine he hopes will allow him to soar far from the madness surrounding him. A young couple, brought together by chance, live out a sweet, if tormented, romance. Meanwhile, amid the fires and horrors of the Inquisition, angry crowds and abused peasants rejoice in spectacles of cruelty, from bullfighting to auto-da-fe; disgraced priests openly flout God’s laws; and chaos reigns over a society on the brink of disaster.
Weaving together multiple storylines to present both breathtaking fiction and incisive commentary, renowned Portuguese writer and winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Literature, Josť Saramago spins an epic and captivating yarn, equal parts historical fiction, political satire, religious criticism, and whimsical romance. Hailed by USA Today as “an unexpected gem,” Baltasar and Blimunda is a captivating literary tour de force, full of magic and adventure, exquisite historical detail, and the power of both human folly and human will.