Whenever I am planning a new trip, I always look for literature from the area I’m visiting. Authors that came from the regions or books that are set within certain cities. This way, I get to know a little of the (literary) history of the city. I have found some great books and new favourite authors this way, and I like to share them with you, so you can also emerge yourself into the literary world of… Lisbon!
- My absolute favourite Portugese author is José Saramago. I actually discovered him while I was in Lisbon, buying my first Saramago novel in his museum. So far I have read Blindness, Seeing, The Double and Cain and I got a fifth book on its way to me. I don’t really love his writing style but I do love how his mind works. His books give an insight to the human psyche, as raw, ugly and perverse as it might be. They offer a what if. For example, in Blindness, which is my favourite Saramago novel so far, he answers the question what if suddenly people go blind. In The Double, he writes about what if you watch a movie and suddenly see your doppelganger on tv? In the book I just ordered, Death at intervals, the main question is what if people suddenly stop dying?
- Another author I definitely should mention here, is Fernando Pessoa. I bought The book of the disquiet in Lisbon and though it’s definitely a good book, it’s not an easy read. I’m actually still reading this book, reading only small passages at a time. Because these passages are briljant and insightful, they also tend to be really depressing and melancholy and I simply can’t read too much of it at the same time.
- Lastly I want to mention the most famous poet from Portugal: Luís de Camões. His famous work The Lusiads tells the story of Vasco da Gama. It is considered to be the national epic poem from Portugal. It looks a bit like Homer’s Odyssee and Virgil’s Aeneis and tells about an important part of Portugese history.