Baltasar and Blimunda
|Original title||Memorial do Convento|
Published in English
|Followed by||The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis|
It is a love story set in the 18th century 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 de Gusmão, recognized today as an aviation pioneer, all in the shadow of the Inquisition. The lovers are always at center stage wrapped in Saramago's language, which ranges from short simple sentences to surrealistic, unpunctuated paragraphs that help to intensify both the action and the setting.
The book served as the basis for the opera Blimunda (1990), composed by Azio Corghi.
- New York Times review of Baltasar and Blimunda, by Irving Howe
- Los Angeles Times review of Baltasar and Blimunda, by Richard Eder
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