It is with utmost sorrow that I return home from my holidays today to learn that my favorite living author is… no longer living.
Portuguese author Jose Saramago has passed away today.
For me there is no greater loss that might have been sustained by the literary world than this one, the loss of this dear man. This icon of our time, a writer whose words and style I have revered since discovering his novel Blindness, and then The Cave.
My very blog-alias [Cipriano] -- my persona, if you will, was borrowed from that of the main character in this latter novel.
I have read all of Saramago's novels. None of them are less than genius.
I have had the honor of being in the man's presence, and hearing him speak.
I have watched him fold his arms across his chest and bow to his audience.
He is one of the most innovative and significant writers of our time, and I shall say no more, for I am grieving.
To say more would be as inappropriate as publicly eulogizing one's own parent, mere hours after they have gone. As though one were anticipating the task.
No. Sorrow must have its way.
There will come a time when I may be able to speak of Jose Saramago in the past tense.
But for me, that time is not yet.
-- Jose Saramago (1922 - 2010) --
In one sense, it could even be said that letter by letter, word by word, page by page, book after book, I have been successively implanting in the man I was the characters I created... I believe that without them... maybe my life wouldn't have succeeded in becoming more than an inexact sketch, a promise that like so many others remained only a promise, the existence of someone who maybe might have been, but in the end could not manage to be.
-- Nobel Prize Speech, 1998 --