The History of the Siege of Lisbon

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1998 - Fiction - 314 pages
3 Reviews
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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User 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

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - lucybrown - LibraryThing

This book took more time than usual for me to read. The problem with Saramago's book, at least for me, is that it requires good stretches of uninterrupted attention, something which has been a sparse ... Read full review

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Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
9
Section 3
22
Section 4
44
Section 5
66
Section 6
86
Section 7
104
Section 8
120
Section 11
173
Section 12
185
Section 13
205
Section 14
220
Section 15
247
Section 16
265
Section 17
287
Section 18
302

Section 9
132
Section 10
154

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About the author (1998)

JOSE SARAMAGO (1922-2010) was the author of many novels, among them Blindness, All the Names, Baltasar and Blimunda, and The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis. In 1998 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.

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