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We say to the apathetic, Where there's a will, there's a way, as if the brute realities of the world did not amuse themselves each day by turning that phrase on its head.

José Saramago


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Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

Supper

Last week, Saramago posted a Christmas Message:

Several years ago, no less than in 1993, I wrote in the Lanzarote Notebooks several words which were the delight of some theologians from this part of the Peninsula, especially Juan José Tamayo, who since then has generously given me his friendship. They were these: "God is the silence of the universe, and man is the scream which imparts sentience to this silence." I recognized that this idea was not poorly stated, with its "quantum satis" of poetry, its gently provocative intention and its subtext that atheists risk much in venturing onto the rough paths of theology, even those that are elemental. In these days when one celebrates the birth of Christ, another idea has occurred to me, perhaps even more provocative, it could even be called revolutionary, which can be enunciated in just a few words. Here. If it is true that Jesus, at the last supper, said to the disciples, showing them the bread and the wine which they found on the table: "This is my body, this is my blood," then it would not be illegitimate to conclude that the innumerable suppers, the Pantagrueline gluttonies, the Homeric bellyfuls with which millions and millions of stomachs have risked the dangers of a fatal bout of indigestion, would be nothing more than multitudinous copies, at the same time actual and symbolic, of the last supper: believers nourish themselves with god, devour him, digest him, eliminate him, until the next nativity, until the next supper, with the ritual of a material and mystical hunger forever unsatisfied. Let's see now what the theologians say.

I didn't know about the Cuadernos de Lanzarote before, this looks like just my cup of tea.

posted afternoon of December 30th, 2008: Respond
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Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

Notebooks

On my birthday last month, the Saramago Foundation started updating the man's blog a few times a week with quotations from his work, from his books and his articles and his speeches. I'm not sure how I feel about this -- the entries are worth reading and it's nice to be introduced to some of his work that I didn't know about (and it did seem like a nice birthday present), while OTOH I had been identifying the blog (naturally) closely with him, and it's unsettling for him to be in the ground and the blog to continue. They have retitled it Saramago's Other Notebooks, which could help in identifying it as a new blog.

Today's entry comes from The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis:

Palabra

La palabra es lo mejor que se puede encontrar, la tentativa siempre frustrada para expresar eso a lo que, por medio de palabra, llamamos pensamiento.

The Word

The word is the greatest thing you will ever meet, the always frustrated effort to express that which, by means of the word, we call thought. [Vastly improved translation contributed by Rick in comments]

(Speaking of notebooks, I have ordered a copy of the Lanzarote Notebooks and am looking forward to reading it! though it will be my first posthumous Saramago...)

posted evening of June 22nd, 2010: 2 responses
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