Pequenas Memórias – Jose Saramago

Let yourself be led by the child you were
– From The Book of Exhortations

I am reading this luminous little book

a gem of a book

"Pequenas Memórias" by Jose Saramago

it is a slight book, taking me forever since I keep on stopping and re-reading, re-re-reading the simple lines. take this fragment (featured on the back cover):

moments when it matters

"The world is so beautiful it makes me sad to think I have to die"

There you were, grandma, sitting on the sill outside your home, open to the vast, starry night, to the sky of which you knew nothing and through which you would never travel, in the silence of the fields and the shadowy trees, and you said, with all the serenity of your ninety years and the fire of an adolescence never lost: “The world is so beautiful it makes me sad to think I have to die.” In those exact words. I was there

mc8B thinks the author looks like a kind old man, who keeps cookies in his pockets

hello?  do you have any cookies

mSB meets the old man

at the end of the book there is a collection of family pictures captioned by Saramago. this one is my favorite:

you can always tell by the face

"By now, I had a girlfriend. You can tell by the look on my face/"


11 thoughts on “Pequenas Memórias – Jose Saramago

  1. My brother is a big fan of Jose Saramago, but I’ve never read anything by him.

    (The real purpose of this comment is to let you know that I realized just this morning that “Jockey Full of Bourbon” is a Tom Waits song. I feel kind of dumb. It’s even from a CD I used to own.)

    • this is the first book of Saramago’s I’ve read – yay for the new books display at the library.
      I just picked up another of his books – Blindness.

      no need to feel any kind of dumb. not everybody is a Tom fan.

  2. Such delicate thoughts would perish in a larger book. They need a small, careful home.

  3. Is this a memoir or a book of poetry? It sounds like the latter, but highly autobiographical.

    It would be interesting to read a book review by Sailor Babo.

    • it is a memoir. not only “small memories” but “memories of when I was small”, as per Saramago in the introduction.

      I suspect a c8B book review would have to be fueled by cookies

      • thanks so much for posting about this, m – now I have to get it into the “top priority” part of my reading list.

        (am running behind on peeps’ posts; had oral surgery last week and was just too tired/spaced to write much… now i’m just tired, but the pain and spaciness is gone.)

        • I hope you like it, e. it’s not a book that demands much of the reader; a small handful of pictures in words.

          I remember reading you had an upcoming date with the dentist. glad that’s over and you are on the mend.
          I’m sure Her N-ness is taking good care of you and providing many many nose bumps and kisses

          • oh, i’m sure i’ll enjoy it!

            not only did I have a date with the oral surgeon last week, I had a date with the dentist today. (broke part of a tooth; needed immediate intervention for it and the tooth next to it – am not feeling so hot right now, but it certainly is better than having one of those teeth go bad – abcess-like – over the long weekend!!!)

            Her N is taking marvelous care of me. Bunnies are good medicine, just like teh catz.

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