The History of the Siege of Lisbon
Raimundo Silva, a proofreader at a Portuguese publishing house, takes it upon himself to alter a key word in a text to make it read that in 1147 the king of Portugal reconquered Lisbon from the Saracens without any assistance from the Crusaders. His revision of a signal episode in Portuguese history unexpectedly and inexplicably wins the heart of his supervisor, Maria Sara, a woman of unwavering conviction. Rather than fire him as she ought to, Maria encourages Raimundo to rewrite the history of the siege of Lisbon in the grand style of a historical romance. Around this seemingly minor episode Jose Saramago constructs a broad, multifaceted tableau involving meditations on historiography and the uses and abuses of language, a parable of life under authoritarian rule, and a bittersweet romance.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - DinadansFriend - LibraryThing
I enjoy this novel, written in a dictatorship, and discussing what effect an attempt to rewrite the past by literally changing just a word in a text, can have. All dictatorships rewrite their pasts ... Read full review
THE HISTORY OF THE SIEGE OF LISBONUser Review - Jane Doe - Kirkus
A brilliantly amusing metafiction about the instability of history and the reality assumed by fiction, from the acclaimed Portuguese author (The Stone Raft, 1995, etc.). This time, Saramago tells the ... Read full review