The Gospel According to Jesus Christby José Saramago
Original title: O Evangelho Segundo Jesus Cristo. Translated in English in 1993.
For Jose Saramago, the life of Jesus Christ and the story of His Passion are things of this earth. A child crying, a gust of wind, the caress of a woman half-asleep, the bleat of a goat or the bark of a dog, a prayer uttered in the grayish morning light. The adolescent Jesus is very much an adolescent: questioning, uncompromising, troubled by the world and by his body. His mother, like any mother, is devoted, fearful, resentful. The Holy Family has the complex frictions of any family. Yet this is not simple, debunking realism, for Saramago also fills his pages with vision, dream, and omen. And the defiance of the authority of God the Father, the righteous indignation on behalf of man, the anger – is still not denial of Him.
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José Saramago (1922–2010) was a Nobel-laureate Portuguese novelist, playwright and journalist. 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 for literature in 1998. He founded the National Front for the Defense of Culture (Lisbon, 1992) with among others Freitas-Magalhaes.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons.