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A Viagem do Elefante

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Ences That is what I think Do you want a sophisticated chuckle Listen #To This Book Saramago #this book Saramago having some snacks at a restaurant when he noticed some engravings of an elephant on the walls He enuired 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 This Reviewer Is Sorry To Report That reviewer is sorry to report that this is an interesting example of how good authors can pluck good stories that this is an interesting example of how good authors can pluck good stories of thin air there was nothing here that was of real interest to him in terms of engaging characters historical significance or even a fall from grace can come very swiftly or as the Romans sed to say the Tarpeian Rock is close to the Capitol That id 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 Alexander Hamilton uotation 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 observations in the spirit of Chelmsford 123 if anyone remembers it Phewite an exhausting read because of its style but very funny at times definitely Starting Today uirky and heavens am I reallysing this word sweet My first Saramago If I thought they were all like this I wouldn t read any but they can t possibly be so I ll give him another chance All suggestions my Goodreads friends are welcome shortly after he began writing the elephant s journey in 2007 jos 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 saramag Do You Know the Way to Pan Jos I m afraid whatever subtlety and charm this novel supposedly has was lost on meI 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 of his novels to read next PleaseThis novel was relentlessly linear There was no narrative arc that I could detect Oxygen unless you count the climbpwards through the AlpsThere were rarely two paragraphs on the same page The longest I recorded before I stopped counting was 12 pages Yet there was no apparent need for this longevity Sentences were just added together with no cumulative effect dynamism or creative tensionSaramago was perfectly competent at establishing the feel of 1551 era Portugal but every now and again the third person narrative anachronistically mentioned all s well that ends well 50 years before Shakespeare Signs of War and Peace used the term if you don t attribute it to John Heywood in 1546 film cameras and the third way between capitalism and communism without any apparent purpose or effect other than to alienate me the reader There were two or three occasions on which I grinned at some aside but little of what I had expected from the blurb trumpeting its extremely funny and witty reflections For all my sifting I endedp with too little gold in my panNor was there any character development that I could tell I loved the elephant but even for him it was no hero s journey though thankfully the denouement wasn t like slaughter for elephants He seemed to be as bored as me No wonder like Jos himself he died two years after the narrative ended I hope I m spared his fateSOUNDTRACKA Tribute to Jos Saramagohttpswwwyoutubecomwatchv6zaHjMiguel Gon alves Mendes Jos e PilarI have ideas for books but she has ideas for life I don t know which is importantDionne Warwick Do You Know the Way to Pan Jos is a great big freewayPut a hundred down on a pachydermTurn your back on your accounting firmAnd you might find yourself on the wayTo Vienna by barge from InnsbruckHey It s not my trip it s in the bookDo you know the wayrepeat Thanks to Steve for the inspiration This review is dedicated to my school friend Chrispy Chorizo 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. Os deu obras primas como Memorial do Convento ou O Ano da Morte de Ricardo Reis José Saramago coloca agora nas mãos dos leitores esta obra excepcional The Pipe Organ (Tales from Grace Chapel Inn, ue é A Viagem do ElefanteNeste livro escrito em condições de saúde muito precárias não sabemos oe mais admirar o estilo pessoal do autor exercido ao nível das suas melhores obras; ma combinação de personagens reais 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 told a story by an old and indulgent grandparent I saw him clearly sitting in 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 ViennaLike any good grandfather Saramago wanders from point to point while telling his tale musing and meandering In the middle of the story he may take a few sentences to ruminate whimsically about the nature of royalty or the se of specific language or even his own role in the narrative itself For this reason The Elephant s Journey is probably not for everyone Those narrative itself For this reason The Elephant s Journey is probably not for everyone Those like their tales straight and to the point should pass this one by as it will be frustrating than rewarding Even though I enjoyed it overall I did find myself occasionally wishing he would get back to the point again much like a grandson may feel about his overly verbose grandfatherHowever Saramago does have a good story to tell here and he tells it well His Our Martyred Lady use of language is as always beautiful and his sense of observationniue and intricate In the final analysis The Elephant s Journey feels like a fable a story told and retold so many times that its fanciful notes fit right in with the elements of realism and a moral sensibility that holds true from beginning to endWith the release of this book comes the sad news of Saramago s passing Even though he has at least one book to offer s after this one there was a passage near the end of The Elephant s Journey that seemed particularly fitting to mewe will not see them in this theater again but such is life the actors appear then leave the stage as is only fitting it s what sually and always will happen sooner or later they say their part then disappear through the door at the back the one that opens onto the gardenthe curtain has fallen and will not rise again The Elephant s Journey feels like a story heard late at night as we drift off to sleep told by someone old enough to be comfortable telling such stories to younger ears with a few side trips along the way As the story ends and we are drifting off to sleep grandfather Jose ietly steps out of the room and closes the door behind him 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 frankly it was a bit boring Yes there were still some moments where Saramago wowed in his particular way but mostly it was 200 pages about an elephant traveling from Portugal to Austria in the 16th century It was about as exciting as it sounds Written shortly before he died one is left with the feeling that Saramago s amazing writing talents were starting to fade The Elephant s Journey doesn t make me look any less fondly on Jose Saramago it is simply his book I have liked the least Nothing nothing less I still look forward to working my way through the rest of his bibliography Yes this is a book of historical fiction It is based on a true event in history In 1551 King Jo o III of Portugal gave Archduke Maximilian an nusual wedding present an elephant named Solomon The elephant Portugal gave Archduke Maximilian an Their Reluctant Submissive (Knights in Black Leather, unusual wedding present an elephant named Solomon The elephant journey from Lisbon to Vienna was witnessed and remarkedpon by scholars historians and ordinary people this being a direct Ethics Playbook uote from the book description And yet this book is primarily a book of humor To be explicit it is a book of ironic satire It is written with modern terminology We are not to analyze the appropriateness of the terminology These are NOT the expressions of the 1500s They are not meant to be Instead we are meant to chuckle at the incongruence of our modern way of thinking and the historical events as theynfolded It is very funny and I praise Saramago for his ability to make me laugh Read this book to laugh not to learn of an historical eventI chose to listen to this book because it does not employ the normal rules of punctuation I do not like such writing Paragraphs and rules of punctuation help a reader How to become a Kingdom Millionaire understand what is being said Soooooo instead I figured the narrator of this audio book could do the reading for me I can just sit back and enjoy the content If I had had to struggle through the reading myself I am sure I would have given it less stars The narrator was excellent Her intonations were perfect She has earned her money It is worth paying a bit for the audio version than struggling through the written never ending sent. Em meados do século XVI o rei D João III oferece a seu primo o aruiduue Maximiliano da Áustria genro do imperador Carlos Vm elefante indiano The Duchess of Vidal ue há dois anos se encontra em Belém vindo da ÍndiaDo facto históricoe foi essa oferta não abundam os testemunhos Mas há alguns Com base nesses escassos elementos e sobretudo com ma poderosa imaginação de ficcionista e já Maximillian Hapsburgs in 1540 or so The voice is third person historical and Wonderfully Relaxed And Unrushed relaxed and Du fährst zu oft nach Heidelberg und andere Erzählungen unrushed is a novelist s voice embellishing on historical factIt s hard tonderstand just why the archduke Maximilian should have decided to make such a journey at this time of year winter but that is how it is set down in history as an incontrovertible documented fact supported by historians and confirmed by the novelist who must be forgiven for taking certain liberties with names not only because it Is His Right To Invent his right to invent also because he had to fill in certain gaps so that the sacred coherence of the story was not lostOmniscience is avoided This is especially evident in the narrator s refusal or inability to enter the thoughts of Solomon The animal is thus shown a certain respect and the limitations of the voice are clearly indicatedWe do not know what he Solomon is thinking but in the midst of these Alps we can be sure of one thing he is not a happy elephantAs I read about the passage of the archduke and his cortege in their passage through the snowy Alps I was filled with foreboding That s how affecting the writing is here One is entirely taken The Winning of Andromache up with the plight of this elephant an animal of the tropics being forced through a snowy rocky landscape Saramagoses a run on sentence style stringing long passages together with commas and disdaining standard capitalization This has the clever effect of slowing the reader down almost as a caesura in verse making one concentrate intently on how the language is deployed Saramago was both a Communist and a famous atheist His send The Dummy Meets The Mummy! (Goosebumps SlappyWorld up of the Catholic Church its cynicism and hypocrisy isite amusing and is by itself worth the price of the book Especially amusing is the miracle cynically wrought in Padua by an ecclesiastic of that city Solomon is coerced to kneel by the doors of the basilica which puts the fear of God into the populace which also kneels This story then precedes Solomon along his route The Archduke is not amused by the throngs of the pious One bit of interesting subtext occurs when the Archduke and his cortege make their way through the dangerous Brenner Pass For those familar with WG Sebald s The Rings of Saturn you know that the Brenner Pass is central to that book and the author offers some of his enigmatic photographs of it When Saramago s narrative reaches the Brenner pass he begins to discuss the difficulties of descriptive writing then saysIt s a shame that photography had not yet been invented in the sixteeth century because the solution would have been easy as pie we would simply have included a few photos from the period especially if taken from a helicopter and readers would then have every reason to consider themselves amply rewarded and to recognize the extraordinary informative nature of our enterpriseIs this a swipe at Sebald who according to some Saramago may have been one cheats by Male Medusa, Caught in Coils (Otherkind Kink: Male Medusa, using photos It would certainly seem so but this is speculation Unless some lucky scholar hits paydirt I m afraid we ll never know This is the story of the book Knowing it will not spoil the enjoyment of it one whit if you do choose to read itThe 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 renames the elephant from Solomon to Suleiman and the mahout to an inappropriate FritzThe end is both picaresue and that of a fairy tale It is two years after the elephant has arrived in Vienna and he has died They have cut himp for souvenirs and Leaving Loneliness umbrella stands and the mahout has been apid off generously by the Archduke The last we see of Subhro he has reclaimed his name is riding off on a mule on a journey he never completes trailing a donkey who bears a wooden box containing all the possessions that mahout possessesA short while later the letter announcing the death of Solomon reaches King Joao III and his wife The king was very sad but theeen refusing to be read the contents of the letter locked herself in her room and spent the rest of the day in tearsIt is a beguiling book the language is so beautiful it is witty and humouros but it is not a great book just a really enjoyable one A fine one to finish a year of reading onNotes on reading the book view spoilerSaramago s The Elephant s Journey is a lot readable than Livius Hannibal coming over the Alps A Latin text I never really got to grips with Not that I ve ever got to grips with Saramago s writing style either it s audio or forget it for meSo far the writing is charmingly amusing sly and pointed and wonderful in it s own right never mind the story which I am also enjoying hide spoile. Inventadas e nos faz viver simultaneamente na realidade e na ficção; m olhar sobre a humanidade em Literacy ue a ironia e o sarcasmo marcas da lucidez implacável do autor se combinam com a compaixão solidária come o autor observa as frauezas humanasEscrita dez anos após a atribuição do Prémio Nobel A Viagem do Elefante mostra nos m Saramago em todo o seu esplendor literário. .