Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “مسيرة الفيل” as Want to Read:
مسيرة الفيل
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

مسيرة الفيل

3.61  ·  Rating Details ·  8,639 Ratings  ·  780 Reviews
In 1551, King João III of Portugal gave Archduke Maximilian an unusual wedding present: an elephant named Solomon. The elephant's journey from Lisbon to Vienna was witnessed and remarked upon by scholars, historians, and ordinary people. Out of this material, José Saramago has spun a novel already heralded as "a triumph of language, imagination, and humor" (El País).

Paperback, 246 pages
Published 2010 by الهيئه المصرية العامة للكتاب (first published 2008)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Petra Eggs
This is the story of the book. Knowing it will not spoil the enjoyment of it one whit, if you do choose to read it.

The story is based on the Portuguese King Joao III's gift of an elephant to the Archduke Maximillian and the delivery of the gift from Lisbon to Vienna. The major characters are the elephant Solomon and his mahour Subhro. The story is of the King, what happens on the journey to the officers who escort the elephant and at the end of the journey, the Archduke. Maximillian arrogantly r
...a fall from grace can come very swiftly, or, as the Romans used to say, the Tarpeian Rock is close to the Capitol. That idea, though not that exact expression, was in my mind from the beginning of The Elephant's Journey.

A very likeable character called pêro de alcáçova carneiro features impressively in the early pages of this tale. He is secretary of state to the king of Portugal and his thinly veiled ironic responses to the monarch’s rather dim questions cause the reader to worry for his saf
Here is a wonderful story, especially, I think, if you have a deep connection to animals. It is the story of Solomon the Elephant and his keeper, Subhro, and their journey as a gift from King Joao III of Portugal to his cousin Archduke Maximillian (Hapsburgs) in 1540 or so. The voice is third-person historical and wonderfully relaxed and unrushed. It is a novelist's voice embellishing on historical fact:
It's hard to understand just why the archduke Maximilian should have decided to make such a j
Jean-Paul Werner Walshaw-Sauter


« Comme nous devrions déjà le savoir, la représentation la plus exacte, la plus précise de l’âme humaine est le labyrinthe. Avec elle tout est possible. »

In this delightful story fact and fiction go hand in hand as José Saramago takes us on a fabulous journey from Belém to Vienna in the company of the elephant Solomon. This exotic pachyderm from a Portuguese colony on the Indian continent has been living for the last two years in unproductive boredom at the Portuguese Court of Joâo III, until
Sep 18, 2014 Ahmed rated it liked it
Shelves: ساراماجو
إذا فهذا هو ساراماجو , من فاض ذكره وارتفع اسمه ليناطح السحاب , إذا هو ساراماجو . من وضع إسمه فى مصاف العظماء , أعتقد أنه يستحق , ويستحق أكثر .

هذا هو أول لقاء معه والأكيد أنه لن يكون الأخير (شكلها هتكون فاتحة خير ان شاء الله بصوت حزلقوم)

عمل عادى لكنه قوى , أكيد لن يُسجل ضمن أعظم ما كتب ساراماجو فهو من نوعية الأعمال المظلومة , لكن مجرد ما تقرأها ستجد نفسك أمام عمل فريد . عمل يبرهن على إبداع منقطع النظير .

المهم : مسيرة الفيل : فى غابر الأزمان , ملك أراد أن يهادي صهره , فتفتَّقَ ذهنُه على هدية مبتك
Ian "Marvin" Grayejoy
Do You Know the Way to Pan José?

I'm afraid whatever subtlety and charm this novel supposedly has was lost on me.

I normally like to read an author's work chronologically, rather than jump in at the end and work backwards or around. I broke my rule in this case, and now I'm left wondering why Saramago was awarded the Nobel Prize. Is this, his last novel before he died in 2010, another case of the Nobel Curse, where you never write another decent work after you get the big one? Help me decide which
Riku Sayuj

Saramago was having some snacks at a restaurant, when he noticed some engravings of an elephant on the walls. He enquired about it and was informed about an elephant, back in the sixteenth century, who had journeyed across the continent and through the peninsula and then passed on into legend. Saramago felt there was material for a story there and set out to investigate a bit about the historical details of this long journey. The result is this book. It was supposed to be a charming little novel
Mohamed Shady
Oct 27, 2013 Mohamed Shady rated it liked it

أحيانًا بتكون عبقرية الفكرة تكمن فى بساطتها..
ده الحال فى رواية "مسيرة الفيل" للعظيم "ساراماغو"..
معلومة بسيطة مرّت عليه قدر يحولها لرواية إنسانية عبقرية من الدرجة الأولى ..
المعلومة هى إن ملك البرتغال أهدى ولى عهد النمسا فى عام 1561 فيل ضخم اسمه "سالومون".
أنا متخيل ساراماغو بيسمع الفكرة، بيعتدل فى الكرسى بتاعه، عينيه تتسع وعقله تضئ فيه شُعلة تفكير عميق.. يسجّل الفكرة ويبدأ يشتغل عليها.. وبعد فترة تخرج للنور فى أزهى صورها..
الرواية بتصوّر مسيرة الفيل الطويلة من البرتغال لحد النمسا فى أرض لم تطأها
Jun 21, 2010 Chrissie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chrissie by: Lamerestbelle
Yes, this is a book of historical fiction. It is based on a true event in history:

“In 1551, King João III of Portugal gave Archduke Maximilian an unusual wedding present: an elephant named Solomon. The elephant's journey from Lisbon to Vienna was witnessed and remarked upon by scholars, historians, and ordinary people.” , this being a direct quote from the book description.

And yet this book is primarily a book of humor. To be more explicit, it is a book of ironic satire. It is written with moder
Aug 24, 2010 jeremy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: translation, fiction
shortly after he began writing the elephant’s journey in 2007, josé saramago was stricken with pneumonia and would conclude the year hospitalized in lanzarote from complications. a mere day after his discharge the following january, he resumed efforts on the novel, completing it in august 2008. hence the book’s dedication: “for pilar, who wouldn’t let me die,” a tribute to his wife (and translator of his works into spanish). saramago would go on to finish another novel (cain, to be published in ...more
Célia Loureiro
O que esperar de uma obra de um escritor premiado com um Nobel? Já tive algumas experiências com vencedores/indiciados para Pulitzers, Nobels, Booker Prizes, e nem sempre foram agradáveis. Abomino o surrealismo de Murakami. Derrapei no caos de Gabriel García Marquez e ganhei asco à “A Valsa Esquecida” da Anne Enright - uma vez mais, porquê “A Valsa Esquecida” e não, como dizem os franceses do Jeunet, “Yupi-tralala”? Mas o Saramago é diferente, não por ser português, não por ser um velhinho de
Aug 25, 2012 أميــــرة rated it really liked it
Shelves: novels, saramago
كتاب (كوكتيل) لساراماجو.
انتظرت حتى أنتهي من القراءة علّني أحدد الموضوع الأساسي للكتاب، لكن بلا جدوى. قد يظهر أن موضوع الكتاب هو الواقعة الحقيقية تاريخيًا التي أهدى فيها ملك البرتغال فيلًا لأرشيدوق النمسا بمناسبة زواجه، لكن التفاصيل الأخرى من خيال ساراماجو، وتلك الواقعة ما هي إلا خط للحكي، تطل من خلفه نوايا الكاتب الحقيقية.

تناول ساراماجو المعتقدات الدينية للبشر عمومًا، وكيف يمكن أن تتحكم في مصائرهم، وكيف يستغلها الحكّام في تطويع الشعوب، فيتناول واقعة حدثت في القرن السادس عشر بعد وفاة لوثر، مؤسس
Jan 25, 2011 Inês rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Saramago é também isto: pegar numa viagem que se descreveria numa página e transformá-la num livro. Cheio de apontamentos e divagações que inevitavelmente acabam em frases geniais perdidas no meio de um parágrafo.
A forma infantil (mas pertinente) como ele desmonta cada frase feita faz-me sempre sorrir. Mais ninguém chegará a este nível na nobre arte de encher chouriços.

"É a diferença entre um categórico Levanta-te e um dubitativo E se tu te levantasses. Há mesmo quem sustente que esta segunda fr
João Fernandes
May 01, 2015 João Fernandes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nobel

Sim, é um elefante. Aparentemente.

Achei por bem lembrar que, no Século XVI, em pleno curso dos Descobrimentos, a vala entre o Oeste e o Este, que sabiam da existência um do outro mas pouco comunicavam, como tímidos interesses amorosos, era ainda tremenda.

Como tal, não é surpreendente que quando D. João III, rei lusitano, resolve oferecer a Maximiliano II da Áustria, como sinal de amizade e prova da magnanimidade portuguese, o elefante Salomão, que a viagem deste elefante seja inédita para a sua
Oct 01, 2012 Justin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It pains me a bit to give a Saramago book such a low rating, but of the seven of his that I've read, this was clearly the one I liked the least. It's not that I disliked it. In fact, I was going to go for the third star but when I looked at what rating I had given the other six Saramago books I've read, I had to knock it down to two, as I definitely liked The Cave better and that only got three.

Anyways, enough of my personal Saramago rating history. The reason this is getting two stars is that
Others have repeated the story and given the background to Saramago writing this book which is written in long, long sentences with little punctuation and no quotation marks which means you have to really concentrate on conversations to follow who is speaking and when because it might be the elephant or the archduke or the mahout or in fact anybody else, and also because the author just witters on and on, often going completely off piste and crossing centuries in terms of terminology and observa ...more
For all of Saramago's stylistic beauty, this book still has the feel of a too-long anecdote. You start off fascinated, and you remember Saramago's wry humor and wandering sentences. Then you start to get bored and doze off for about 50-100 pages in the middle, and then you 'wake up' again, start paying attention, and read the fantastic ending, and wonder how you got there in the first place. Then, given Saramago's reputation, you feel tempted to start again.

In the hands of a lesser writer, this
Noha Dawoud
Nov 30, 2011 Noha Dawoud rated it really liked it
أول روايه أقرأها لساراماجو عجبنى جدا اسلوبه السردى و إنسانيته اللى كانت واضحة اوى فى الرواية.
بالنسبة للرواية هيا بتحكى مسيرة للفيل "سالمون" من البرتغال للنمسا,
الفيل كان رمز لاوروبا بالصراعات اللى حصلت فيها وسيطرة الكنيسة علي الحكم واستعباد البشر.
استمتعت بالرواية وعشقت سالمون :)
إلهام مزيود
Dec 30, 2016 إلهام مزيود rated it really liked it
Shelves: أمتلكها
الريفيو لاحقا
Jan 22, 2015 André rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
«D. João, quinto do nome na tabela real, irá esta noite ao quarto de sua mulher, D. Maria Ana Josefa ...» Não! Livro errado. Recuemos antes 2 séculos na História e que entre em cena «dom joão, o terceiro, rei de portugal e dos algarves, e dona catarina de áustria, sua esposa e futura avó daquele dom sebastião que irá pelejar a alcácer quibir...». É sempre uma experiência revigorante voltar a ler um Saramago histórico. Não o das cegueiras, não o das intermitências, nem o dos evangelhos. Mas sim, ...more
Rich Stoehr
Aug 06, 2010 Rich Stoehr rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: amazon-vine
I had the strangest feeling while reading The Elephant's Journey - I felt like a child, being told a story by an old and indulgent grandparent. I saw him clearly, sitting in an old comfortable chair in a dimly-lit room, talking in a gravelly voice, telling the story of Solomon the elephant, a wedding gift from a king to an archduke, and the long journey that brought him from Portugal through the Alps and finally to Vienna.

Like any good grandfather, Saramago wanders from point to point while tell
Tudor Vlad
Apr 27, 2017 Tudor Vlad rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is tough to review. I liked it a lot but it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what made it so enjoyable. Compared with Saramago’s other works that I’ve read (Blindness and Death with Interruption), the subject of this novel isn’t as groundbreaking, and reading just the description, one would even call it dull. It’s basically a journey following two characters, the elephant and his keeper going from Lisbon to Vienna. But it’s Saramago’s writing that makes this book stand out for me just as much as ...more
Apr 05, 2017 И~N rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Прозата на Сарамаго повлича като лавина. Затрупва с мекотата на плавното си преливане, обвива с тънкия си хумор, дърпа на дълбоко с идеите си, пръснати като остри камъни тук там в завличащата маса на течащата история. Задушава на моменти.
За това я обичам.
Nuno Miguel
Mar 16, 2017 Nuno Miguel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
O primeiro livro de Saramago que li de livre e espontânea vontade, mas que não desiludiu. Apesar de não ser muito extenso, conseguimos notar o estilo único do autor e das comparações entre a época passada e a atual. Recomendo a 100% e abriu-me o gosto para outras obras do mesmo autor.
Jun 09, 2011 Jeruen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Perhaps it's a known fact here that I am a big fan of Saramago's writing. I have read The Cave, Death with Interruptions, Blindness, Seeing, The Notebook, and All The Names. He is indeed one writer that I really came to like, and so I have this standing goal to read every book that he has written and is available in a language I can understand. He wrote in Portuguese, so all I can do is wait until his works get translated.

Anyway, this is a short novel (just about 205 pages) about the journey of
Al Sirois
Nov 04, 2010 Al Sirois rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't sure I'd be able to read this, since I tend not to be a fan of experimental fiction that lacks quotation marks, it employs run-on paragraphs that go on for pages sometimes and have no breaks for different speakers, it also slams sentences together like this with only a comma to separate them, but don't let that stop you from picking this up, I say give it a chance, if you do it will reward you.

Whew! I find writing like that a real effort, and yeah -- when I paged through it and saw what
Feb 07, 2016 Mustafa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Saramago belli temaları olağanüstü yaratıcı bir biçimde yazabilen bir yazar. Üstelik bu temalar hepimizin sorageldiği ama cevabı üzerine pek düşünmediği konular oluyor. Sözgelimi hepimiz, ölümün olmadığı bir dünyanın Nasıl bir yer olabileceğini düşünürüz ama hepsi o kadar. Saramago bunu öylesine güzel bir kurgu ile anlatır ki hakikaten de böyle olabilirmiş dersiniz Ölüm Bir Varmış Bir Yokmuş romanında. Yada Körlük romanını düşünün. Ancak Filin Yolculuğu belli bir temadan ziyade bir yolculuğun ro ...more
El Cuaderno de Chris
José Saramago es uno de mis autores favoritos, cada historia que leo de él me encanta, en esta obra específicamente, se narra el viaje de Salomón desde Portugal hasta Viena, las vicisitudes del camino, las proezas y errores del conarca Subhro. Cargado de ironía y critica, entre risas y algunas veces entre tristes pasajes.... Basado en una historia real, y que José con su imaginación: llena, diluye y aclara que ha hecho uso de una libertad que en mi caso agradezco, valoro y me hace respetarlo.

May 29, 2017 booksofAhu rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: english
The journey of an elephant from Lisbon to Vienna. The story and characters are interesting however this was a really difficult read for me, which took 15days.. I appreciate the talent, intellectuality and humor in the book but the way it is told is very difficult for me to follow up..
Original Thabit
مستعيناً بحدث تاريخي حقيقي في عام ١٥٥٢ ميلادي ( القرن السادس عشر )
مع بالكثير من المجهود للتخيل و إبتكار الأحداث المصاحبه يأخذنا الروائي البرتغالي الحاصل على جائزة نوبل للآدب #جوزيه_ساراماجو في رحلة صديقنا الفيل سالومون و الذي سيتغير إسمه لاحقاً إلى سليمان ، رحلته العتيدة من البرتغال مروراً بإسبانيا و إيطاليا إلى النمسا .. هذه المسيرة التي تخللتها أحداث مثيره في هذه الرحلة الشاقه .
يقرر الملك دون جوان و زوجته الملكه كاتلينا إهداء إبن عم الملكة الأرشيدوق ماكسيمليانو هدية فريدة و مميزه بمناسبة قر
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Loosed in Transla...: The Elephant's Journey by Jose Saramago 1 24 May 29, 2011 12:04PM  
  • Cemitério de Pianos
  • A God Strolling in the Cool of the Evening
  • O Retorno
  • The Crime of Father Amaro
  • A Máquina de Joseph Walser (O Reino, #2)
  • Sinais de Fogo
  • O Remorso de Baltazar Serapião
  • O Bom Inverno
  • A Morgadinha dos Canaviais
  • A Costa dos Murmúrios
  • Estórias Abensonhadas
  • A Confissão de Lúcio
  • Aventuras de João Sem Medo: Panfleto Mágico em forma de Romance
  • Balada da Praia dos Cães
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
More about José Saramago...

Share This Book

“الكسل من أكثر الأشياء المضرة بالصحة.” 33 likes
“Como já deveríamos saber, a representação mais exacta, mais precisa, da alma humana é o labirinto. Com ela tudo é possível.” 26 likes
More quotes…