Friday, June 18, 2010

José Saramago, RIP

I am devastated to learn of Saramago's passing. The world's greatest living writer, Saramago's books explored the relationship between earth and heaven, between the tremendous evil in the world and the good inside individuals, and between the past and present. I prefer his earlier works like Baltisar and Blimunda, The Gospel According to Jesus Christ, and The Stone Raft. These I thought were some of the greatest books of the 20th century. I still liked later works like Blindness a good bit, but I thought the overt political works could be a bit heavy handed.

Perhaps Phillip Roth is now the greatest living writer, perhaps Gao Xingjian, perhaps Toni Morrison. One might make cases for Haruki Murakami or Cormac McCarthy as well. Certainly that's an American-dominated list, but what can I say.