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Baltasar and Blimunda

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  13,779 ratings  ·  682 reviews
From the recipient of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Literature, a “brilliant...enchanting novel” (New York Times Book Review) of romance, deceit, religion, and magic set in eighteenth-century Portugal at the height of the Inquisition. National bestseller. Translated by Giovanni Pontiero.

When King and Church exercise absolute power what happens to the dreams of ordinary people? I
Paperback, 346 pages
Published October 16th 1998 by Mariner Books (first published October 1982)
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3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  13,779 ratings  ·  682 reviews

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Henry Avila
Nov 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
King John V ( the Magnanimous ) of Portugal is a frustrated man, to continue the royal dynasty children are obviously needed, ( set back in the year of our Lord, 1711) married two years to the devout Austrian Princess Maria Ana, and yet no babies. At twenty -one, the good-looking monarch feels a little insulted, because of his failures, but the House of Braganza will eventually rule for almost 300 years, this small still wealthy land then, and besides other women have proven it's not his fault. ...more
Manuel Antão
Jun 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018, favorites
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

Et ego in illo: “Baltasar and Blimunda” by José Saramago, Giovanni Pontiero (Translator)

“If Adam was punished for wishing to resemble God, how do men come to have God inside them without being punished, and even when they do not wish to receive Him they go unpunished, for to have and not to wish to have God inside oneself amounts to the same absurdity, and the same impossible situation, yet the words Et ego in illo imply that God is in
Ahmad Sharabiani
Memorial do Convento = Baltasar and Blimunda, José Saramago
Baltasar and Blimunda (Portuguese: Memorial do Convento, 1982) is a novel by the Nobel Prize-winning Portuguese author José Saramago. It is an 18th-century love story intertwined with the construction of the Convent of Mafra, now one of Portugal's chief tourist attractions, as a background. Two young lovers interact naturally with historical characters including the composer and harpsichordist Domenico Scarlatti and the priest Bartolomeu
Jul 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Baltasar and Blimunda revolves around the construction of the monumental monastery in Mafra, an effect of slyness of the Franciscans and vanity of the king of Portugal, Joao V. Thousands labouring workers to satisfy the morbid ambitions of monks and pamper bloated ego of the king remind us of builders pyramids in antiquity. Is it the ancient Egypt or the Catholic Portugal pride of kings and hypocrisy of clergy seems to be unchanged for centuries. Marriage of the altar and the throne always loo
Jun 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015, high-five
(5.0+) Before I explain my feelings about Saramago's Baltasar and Blimunda, let me share a couple visuals from the late 17th & 18th Century that are highlighted within the text:

The passarola of Father Bartholomeu de Gusmao

An auto de fe of the Portugeuse Inquisition

Saramago's masterpiece.
343 pages.

Perhaps, the longest 343 pages I've ever tried to read, but very fulfilling in the end; a 5 star like no other that I've rated, 'Baltasar and Blimunda' is historical fiction at its base, but a sati
Aug 06, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
شاید خداوند یکی باشد، شاید سه تا، شاید هم چهارتا، کسی چه میداند؟ تفاوت بین این اعتقادات مشخص نیست. شاید خداوند تنها سرباز زنده از یک ارتش صدهزار نفری باشد. بنابراین بطور همزمان میتواند سرباز، افسر و هم فرمانده باشد

بالتازار و بلیموندا در نگاه نخست شاید رمانی قصهگونه و عاشقانه بنظر برسد، اما این اثر، یکی از انتقادیترین و روشنگرانه ترین آثار ساراماگوست که در این امر حتی از اثر معروفش، کوری هم پیشی میگیرد. داستان با روایتی فرعی، صحنهای در قصر پادشاه پرتغال آغاز میشود: دون خوان پنجم پس از سالها هنوز
Luís C.
In these times of intolerance and superstition, King John V 'the Magnanimous' reign on Portugal and its subjects. the sovereign is a gentleman, he honors the convents of Lisbon and its surroundings very gracious presence and his good offices, so much so that a string of bastards born of his royal misdemeanors. Nevertheless João fulfilled his conjugal duties very scrupulously and periodically by honoring twice a week his wife, Queen Marie-Anne of Austria; Nothing does, the monarchical matrix refu ...more
Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have always thought that one must be full of a creative madness to write the way it is composed this novel. It is a sheer original, brilliant and spellbound novel.
I was tightly and irrevocably encapsulated by the read from page one. And for sure it didn’t have anything to do with the full moon phenomenon which was happening just this very last weekend…by the time I actually finished it.

What a better start of the novel than by writing of this early 18th century Lisbon royal atmosphere:
≪ Dom Jo
Bem, cá vamos nós.
Este foi o primeiro livro de Saramago que li e não será, certamente, o último. Apaixonei-me pela escrita deste tão conceituado autor, verdade seja dita. Como se costuma dizer: "primeiro estranha-se, depois entranha-se" e eu tive de adotar os meus métodos para que isso acontecesse. A minha própria mãe presenciou alguns momentos embaraçosos de leituras e releituras em voz alta de diálogos confusos... Mas sobrevivi e adorei a experiência.

Começamos pelo Baltasar e pela Blimunda? A
Vladislav Radak
Oct 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Za svoj prvi prikaz knjige na ovom sajtu sam izabrao, po mom mišljenju, najznačajnije literarno delo dvadesetog veka, u neku ruku skrajnuto, iako ovenčano nagradama, stilski i strukturalno za koplje prevazilazi maestralni „Sto godina samoće“ Saramagove velike zvezde vodilje Markesa (iako to nikada nije javno priznao).

Takođe treba napomenuti da sam ovaj prevod čitao u izdanju sada već nepostojeće kuće „Lingua Franca“ u prevodu detaljnog i posvećenog Dejana Tijaga Stankovića koji je svoj život pos
Nikos Tsentemeidis
Παραδόξως για τον αγαπημένο Σαραμάγκου, κάτι δεν πήγε καλά από την αρχή.
Evripidis Gousiaris
Γοητευτικός με τον δικό του ξεχωριστό τρόπο! Εξαιρετικό.

Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Memorial del convento

I often thought that books can inspire you to travel. But these last two books by Saramago, "El año de la muerte de Ricardo Reis" and "Memorial del convento" have given me a different feeling. After traveling to Portugal last year, both books have become even more real after seeing many of the places visited. Both books have painted different periods of history in Portugal, the early twentieth century in Ricardo Reis; the early eighteenth century in Memorial. Both are amazin
Oct 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: yes
I picked up this book while traveling through Portugal this fall. Last summer, I read my first Saramango book, Blindness, and loved it. Walking along the riverfront in Lisbon, I ran into the José Saramango Foundation where there was an exhibit on his work and that of the famous Brazilian author Jorge Amado. It was as though I were a kid in a candy store! There were thousands of Saramango books in the library, and the bookshop carried many of his major works; unfortunately, it only had one in en ...more
Jul 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tentei ler isto com 16 anos e achei que era perfeitamente ilegível, um assassinato completo da língua portuguesa. Li-o aos 30, numas férias nos Biscoitos, ilha Terceira. Como foi possível passar mais de uma década sem que eu tivesse tentado de novo ler este livro? Blimunda é a personagem favorita de qualquer leitor, de todas as personagens de todos os escritores que o leitor tenha conhecido. A prosa de Saramago chega a ser poética: 'Dormiram nessa noite os sois e as luas abraçados, enquanto as e ...more
Jan 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: portugal, nobel, my-bib
"Deve-se a construção do convento de Mafra ao rei D. João V, por um voto que fez se lhe nascesse um filho, vão aqui seiscentos homens que não fizeram filho nenhum à rainha e eles é que pagam o voto, que se lixam..."

E foi assim: sob o pretexto de contar como surgiu o convento de Mafra, Saramago escreveu um livro que tem o sabor inigualável das histórias contadas pelos antigos, com muita astucia e imaginação. História com provérbios e lições de moral à mistura, trocadilhos e metáforas usados de f
Miriam Cihodariu
Jun 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: portugal
I love almost everything related to the European Middle Ages and this novel was one of the best I've ever encountered on the topic. It helped me explore more about Portuguese culture, as well, and intrigued to go even deeper into it.

I loved the story of Father Lourenço Bartolomeu, the real historical figure who invented a flying machine in the early 1700s, and the way it blends into the lives of the other main characters. I loved the mysticism blended with the vulgar and the realism of Portugue
Oct 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing
HEADLINE: Being John Malkovich . . . . Excuse me. . . .I mean, Being José Saramago.

As I mentioned once before, I have given up that tedious worry as to whether the book in translation that I am reading is a faithful translation of the original or not. The book in front of me in English is either a dandy or it is not. I no longer care whether it bears any resemblance to the original. I will let others tease that out.

Baltasar and Blimunda in English is one of those dandies. It is perfectly consist
K.D. Absolutely
Mar 05, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2008-2012)
My 5th Saramago book and I have always been bewildered as ever. Every book by him seems to be a totally different idea. He seems to have never rewritten himself. I first started with his Blindness (3 stars) about people going blind and the world turning post-apocalyptic and this was followed by his 1001 book, The Double (4 stars) that reminded me of an instance when I myself saw a man one morning who looked like exactly like me. Then the following year, 2011, I read his The Gospel According to J ...more
Beatrice Santos
Saramago é amado por uns e odiado por outros (Leia-se: pessoas que provavelmente nunca pegaram num livro na vida sem ser para a escola, e mesmo assim foi com muita força de vontade, baba e ranho, e que no caso deste, não devem ter passado da 10º página. Ou isso ou não sabem reconhecer um livro bom nem que um lhes mordesse o rabo.)

É tudo.
Jun 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
La scrittura di Saramago è una delle più belle, coinvolgenti e complesse che io abbia mai incontrato. Non è semplice. Cominciare a leggere Memoriale del convento è un po' come entrare in un paesaggio ricco, ricchissimo, denso, a cui il nostro occhio deve fare l'abitudine per poter cogliere tutti gli elementi, perché non può bastare un colpo d'occhio con Saramago, assolutamente no. Ogni frase, a volte ogni termine utilizzato, ha un valore non da poco, e cela uno stile affascinante, un uso disinvo ...more
Leonardo Aboim Pires
Um dos melhores exemplos do realismo mágico na literatura portuguesa.

Sob o olhar acutilante de José Saramago, o leitor é transportado para o reinado de D. João V, mais precisamente para o período da construção do Convento de Mafra. Narrando a bela história de amor entre Baltasar e Blimunda, o autor mostra também a sua compaixão para com os sacrificados em nome do capricho do rei. Aliado a um profundo conhecimento da alma humana e a uma atmosfera onírica, este é um dos melhores romances históric
Paulo Hora
Aug 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Memorial do Convento é mais uma das obras-de-arte de Saramago.

A relação entre Baltasar e Blimunda traz-nos uma quietude interior inversamente proporcional ao assombro que nos causa a narração da edificação das Grandes Obras, reais e divinas.

Acho que a maioria das pessoas começa a ler o Nobel por este livro, pois está no Programa do Ensino Secundário, mas acho que não é o ideal para iniciar a conhecer o autor, pois tem linguagem antiga, relativa à época que retrata, e é bastante extenso.

Aug 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cheguei ao fim, mas a vontade é de regressar à primeira página e voltar a ler tudo ainda com mais tempo, sorvendo cada detalhe desta obra maravilhosamente bem escrita.
O Memorial é de uma oralidade incrível e por isso a velocidade de leitura (para quem não tem problemas com a falta de pontuação dita "normal") pode ser alucinante. Isso pode, no entanto, levar o leitor a perder detalhes da narrativa que eu não quis de todo perder.
A beleza da narração é brutal, mesmo as cenas que podem ser consider
Sonia Gomes
Dec 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Saramago afficionados!
Recommended to Sonia by: Central Library at Trivandrum, Kerala
King João V desperate to beget a child, a prince, makes a vow to the Capuchin friars at Mafra that should his wife Queen Mariana get a child he would built a Convent for the Friars. He does get a Child and the Convent of Mafra was his way of repaying the vow.
If ever I visit Mafra in Portugal, I will know and see the hardship that went into building the Convent. Transporting huge blocks of marble from the quarry to the site of the convent is for want of a better word, back breaking.
Whenever I lo
Mar 25, 2007 rated it liked it
An 'intellectual hodgepodge' is the best term I could come across to describe the book. However, as I put this, I should also abnegate further connotations, which could be possibly evoked by the suggested tag, no matter what that supposed connotations would be: positive or negative.

This is a book embracing magical realism and socialist realism at once, even though there is a romantic thread running all across the text and one might even say that this is a simple love story. Anyway, I certainly r
Feb 13, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: readathon-17
3.5 αστέρια
Aug 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
داستان در ارتباط با عشق بالتازار هفت خورشید و بلیموندا هفت مهتاب است عشقی که تا سال های پیری هم چنان عمیق و ماندگار است. این زوج توانایی های خاص و ویژه ای دارند بالتازار با اینکه یکی از دستانش را در جنگ از دست داده مردی قوی و با اراده است و از پس هر نوع کار سنگینی بر می اید و بلمیوندا زنی است با چشم های متفاوت او می تواند درون انسان ها را و ماهیت هر چیزی را ببیند.
مفاهیم فلسفی به زیبایی در لابلای داستان مطرح شده است طوری که خسته کننده نیست و به زیبایی آن افزوده است.
نویسنده به وضوخ از تفاوت بین ثر
Mar 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lisabon zaudara, zaudara na trulež, a miris tamjana daje nekakav smisao ovome smradu kvarnosti ljudskih tijela, jer duša je miomirisna.

Saramagov stil pisanja miluje oči i dušu poput kakvog delfina koji miluje more. Poslije ove knjige osjećam sve veću potrebu da ga čitam. U početku je bilo teško čitati ga i mislio sam da zadugo neću završiti knjigu, a onda malo po malo počeo je da otvara vrata u neka prostranstva, koja su surova, ali istovremeno i lijepa, a koja takođe daju neke poglede na određe
Mar 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sinceramente? Não estava à espera de gostar tanto.
Demorou mas já está! Li o Memorial do convento todo!

Quanto à leitura: Altos e baixos, partes secantes, as primeiras 200 páginas foram canja, depois ali para o fim começou a ser uma seca total, só queria passar à frente.
Gostei muito da Belimunda e do Baltasar! Agora estou super feliz porque vou fazer uma visita de estudo a Mafra, quero descobrir mais sobre esta obra!
Raios, porque é que todos diziam que os Maias e wtv eram uma seca? :o kkkk

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  • Os Maias
  • Mensagem - Poemas Esotéricos
  • A Queda dum Anjo
  • The Lusiads
  • Livro
  • Sonetos
  • A Menina do Mar
  • O Gato Malhado e a Andorinha Sinhá: Uma História de Amor
  • A Sibila
  • A Confissão de Lúcio
  • Bichos
  • Sinais de Fogo
  • Uma Família Inglesa
  • Equador
  • Eurico, O Presbítero
José de Sousa Saramago (pronounced [ʒuˈzɛ sɐɾɐˈmagu]) was a Nobel-laureate Portuguese novelist, playwright, and journalist. He was a member of the Portuguese Communist Party.

His works, some of which can be seen as allegories, commonly present subversive perspectives on historic events, emphasizing the human factor rather than the officially sanctioned story. Saramago was awarded the Nobel Prize fo
“O homem primeiro tropeça, depois anda, depois corre, um dia voará.” 67 likes
“(...) que seria de nós se não sonhássemos.” 64 likes
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