Quotes José de Sousa Saramago, (16 November 1922 – 18 June 2010) was a Portuguese novelist,poet, playwright and journalist
. In 1995, he won the Camões Prize, and in 1998 he was awarded theNobel Prize in Literature.
All the Names (1997)
Todos os Nomes (1997); tr. Margaret Jull Costa, London: The Harvill Press, 1999, ISBN 0151004218
You know the name you were given, You do not know the name you have
"The book of certainties"
No life is without its lies.
when you are old and realize that time is running out, you start imagining that you have the cure for all the ills of the world in your hand, and get frustrated because no one pays you any attention,
In order to protect the physical hygiene and mental health of the living, we usually bury the dead.
What the eye doesn’t see the heart doesn’t grieve over.
That it’s possible not to see a lie even when it’s in front of us.
The distribution of tasks among the various employees follows a simple rule, which is that the duty of the members of each category is to do as much work as they possibly can, so that only a small part of that work need be passed to the category above. This means that the clerks are obliged to work without cease from morning to night, whereas the senior clerks do so only now and then, the deputies very rarely, and the Registrar almost never.
The caressing, melodious tones of humility and flattery never sang in the ears of the clerk Senhor José, these have never had a place in the chromatic scale of feelings normally shown to him.
and there's what I call the third person. Harvest. he got up from his pallet and left for the fields.]
[. he or she would not recognise him or herself in us.]. that's why laws were created. there's the woman. apart from rare exceptions which have no place in this story.
p. there's the man. None of his colleagues noticed who had arrived. but lack the ability. by answering questions. 4 (Vintage 2003)
He got out of the van to see how many other suppliers were ahead of him and thus calculate. Senhor José. but lack the wisdom. At four o'clock in the morning. underneath it not even we know who we are. Although he was not a suspirations person.. but with an abstraction. will never be more than a poor devil.. Who's that looking at me so sadly.
The bread was dry and hard.
How Characters Became the Masters and the Author Their Apprentice (1998)
Nobel Lecture (December 7. how long he would have to wait. only a scraping of butter was left. taking to pasture the half-dozen pigs whose fertility nourished him and his wife. it's odd that we always say poor devil and never poor god. he was out of milk.]. 2002.. the most important. no.. all he had was some rather mediocre coffee. [. old photographs are very deceiving.. Margaret Jull Costa. the person we are looking at no longer exists. 1998)
The wisest man I ever knew in my whole life could not read or write..
[. and it's not true.
The woman in the ground floor flat
Consciences keep silence more often than they should.. there was no doubt about it.. more or less accurately. indeed nothing so tires a person as having to struggle. they responded to his greetings as they always did.. he or she would say. he counted again.
[. they said and they did not know to whom they were speaking.. the person who is composed of the man and woman together.. He was number thirteen. perhaps that's how you learn..]. as we know.] the skin is only what we want others to see of us. when the promise of a new day still lingered over French lands. he knew about that number’s bad
. there are three people in a marriage. and the old have the wisdom. they give us the illusion that we are alive in them. a man who had never found a woman who would love him enough to agree to join him in this hovel.
Saramago was referring to his grandfather. and if that person could see us.. Jerónimo Meirinho..
The Cave (2001)
A Caverna (2001).]
Senhor José's ceiling
[. 2003. tr. Good morning. such a man. not with himself. [. ISBN 0151004145
The young have the ability. Vintage. No.
Oh well. might as well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb. and. be self-explanatory. but the long and the short of it was that either it had never happened or else he had simply forgotten. its all the same to them if we say they’re number thirteen or number forty-four. we can conclude. he had never thought of that before. 15 (Vintage 2003)
We would know far more about life’s complexities if we applied ourselves to the close study of its contradictions instead of wasting so much time on similarities and connections. in any conversation about chance. someone always chips in with some real-life experience of the negative.
p. it was nonsense. things couldn’t care less what number we give them. 15 (Vintage 2003)
There is relationship between sight and touch. it needs to be well treated. which should anyway. 12 (Vintage 2003)
There comes a point when the confused or abused person hears a voice saying in his head. 20 (Vintage 2003)
Earthenware is like people. 14 (Vintage 2003)
Even the strongest spirits have the moments of irresistible weakness. people aren’t things. numbers don’t really exist. 9 (Vintage 2003)
Destiny isn’t taken in by people trying to make what came first come afterwards.
p. fate or destiny.
p. or bets everything he has on red even though he knows that red has come up five times in a row. about fingers being able to feel what the eyes are seeing without the fingers actually touching it. even fatal influence of the number thirteen.
p. 21 (Vintage 2003)
The only time we can talk about death is while we’re alive. yes. depending on the particular situation in which he finds him he either spends his last bit of money on a lottery ticket.reputation. 22 (Vintage 2003)
. not afterwards. that they do not even notice the position they happen to end up in. he got annoyed with himself. people always want to be in first place. utterly absurd to worry about something that has no real existence. at the very least.
p. He tried to remember if he had ever been in this place in the queue before. that was right. or places on the gaming table the watch he inherited from his father and silver cigarette case that was a gift from his mother. something about eyes being able to see through the fingers touching the clay.
we say to the apathetic. Where you always have to begin. the only saving grace is that sometimes things improve. as if the brute realities of the world did not amuse themselves each day by turning that phrase on its head. paralyzing. a landscape which .
p. Begin at the beginning. 43 (Vintage 2003)
Where do begin. with a kind of maniacal fixity. prodigious projectors whose reels have got stuck and which show. stock phrases.
p. que o seria não tanto por si mesma. as if knowing yourself was not the fifth and most difficult of human arithmetical operations. 29 (Vintage 2003)
He spent the whole time sitting on a log in the woodshed. We say to the confused. 28 (Vintage 2003)
I don’t doubt that a man can live perfectly well on his own. sometimes starting straight ahead with the fixity of a blind man who knows that even if he turns his head in the other direction he will still not see anything. what came before is night on worthless. will at the same time grow older more decrepit and more
. there’s a way . precise end of a thread. painfully slow process that requires time and patience in order to find out in which direction it is heading. 53 (Vintage 2003)
p. circular. are malignant plague. but because of the possible consequences of saying it.
p. he asked. one of the very worst ever to ravage the earth. está cheia de palavras que não valem a pena. each word that we utter will take up the space of another more deserving word not deserving in its own right. 30 (Vintage 2003)
At this time of life even a day makes a difference. a process that feels its way along the path ahead like a blind man the beginning is just the beginning. cada uma que ainda formos dizendo tirará o lugar a outra mais merecedora. we say to the indecisive. occasionally elliptical.
p. 54 (Vintage 2003)
Encyclopedias are like immutable cycloramas . Know thyself.
p. also jocularly referred to as nuggets of wisdom. the beginning is a long. mas pelas consequências de tê-la dito. as if that beginning were the clearly visible point of a loosely wound thread and that all we had to do was to keep pulling until we reached the other end
p. full of words that are not worth saying or that were worth saying once but not any more. ou que valeram e já não valem. because it is condemned to be only and for all eternity what it was. but I’m convinced that he begins to die as soon as he closes the door of his house behind him.
A vida é assim. 54 (Vintage 2003)
The beginning is never the clear . at the beginning. Where there’s a will .
Life is like that.
p. Unless. and when we can no longer cope with the load. two weaknesses don't make for a still greater weakness. each person has to invent his or her own. How. because contrary to what people say. are sitting down. 57 (Vintage 2003)
(a picture of)a naked woman. 60 (Vintage 2003)
p. and sitting down. some people spend their entire lives reading but never get beyond reading the words on the page. these develop gradually with the passage of time and with the help of what the eyes see…. a fakir is just like an other man.
Very few people are aware that in each of our fingers. 68 (Vintage 2003)
Age carries with it a double load of guilt. 60 (Vintage 2003)
The day before is what we bring to the day we're actually living through.. Unless those river don’t just have two shores but many. Unless what. That is why the fingers have always excelled at uncovering what is concealed. and that shore is the only shore worth reaching. The same method doesn’t work for everyone.] It should be noted that fingers are without brains.
p. and the reason they’re there is so that we can reach the farther shore.
p..The encyclopedia purchased by Cipriano Algor's father is magnificent and as useless as a line of poetry we cannot quite remember. So you must know something. life is a matter of carrying along all those days-before just as someone might carry stones. although she was covering her pubis with her right hand and her breasts with her left. 69 (Vintage 2003)
. 64 (Vintage 2003)
Each part in itself constitutes the whole to which it belongs. You’ll have to read differently then.
p. 58–59 (Vintage 2003)
You can learn almost everything from reading... [.._ _ _ _ covering yourself up like that is worse than showing everything. there is a tiny brain. when he’s standing up. they don’t understand that the words are merely stepping stones placed across a fast-flowing river. the mesophalange and the metaphalange. like scribes and potters. it’s the other side that matters.. but for renewed strength . whichever suits them best. Now I’m not so sure. unless each reader is his or own shore. 2002 (Harvest Hardcover edition)
. located somewhere between the firs phalange.
Page 61. the work is done.unnecessary. he’ll be smaller than the others. But I read too. fakirs.
indiscreet. 107 (Vintage 2003)
Lord knows why they depict death with wings when death is everywhere.
p. but because he had suddenly seen what the world was like.
. our mistake lies in imagination that we can catch him out. imprudent. so as not to lose everything. 73 (Vintage 2003)
Don’t quibble with the king over pears. by definition. stop and retreat according to his orders.
p. gossipy. behind time. 69 (Vintage 2003)
He felt very tired. but never out of time.
p. a talkative one. how there are many lies and truths.
p. in time.
p. 73 (Vintage 2003)
After all. 92 (Vintage 2003)
Creating is always so much more stimulating than destroying. no matter how often we are told that we are.
The emptiness of old age had caused him to forget that. let him eat the ripe ones and give you the green ones. 78 (Vintage 2003)
It’s is the old who age a day every hour. 112 (Vintage 2003)
Time is a master of ceremonies who always ends up putting us in our rightful place.
p. 115 (Vintage 2003)
Human nature is. 85 (Vintage 2003)
The best way to killing a rose is to force it open when it is still only the promise of a bud. 89 (Vintage 2003)
Every thing in life is a uniform. incapable of closing its mouth and keeping it closed. we are always on time.
p. in matters of feeling and of the heart. we advance.117(vintage 2003)
The Double (2002)
[T]here are times when it is best to be content with what one has. not from the mental effort. too much is always better than too little. the only time our bodies are truly in civilian dress is when we’re naked.