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Book Title: The Elephant's Journey|
The author of the book: José Saramago
Date of issue: 2010
ISBN 13: 9781846553608
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 718 KB
Edition: Harvill Secker
Read full description of the books The Elephant's Journey:This is the story of the book. Knowing it will not spoil the enjoyment of it one whit, if you do choose to read it.
The story is based on the Portuguese King Joao III's gift of an elephant to the Archduke Maximillian and the delivery of the gift from Lisbon to Vienna. The major characters are the elephant Solomon and his mahour Subhro. The story is of the King, what happens on the journey to the officers who escort the elephant and at the end of the journey, the Archduke. Maximillian arrogantly renames the elephant from Solomon to Suleiman and the mahout to an inappropriate "Fritz".
The end is both picaresque and that of a fairy tale. It is two years after the elephant has arrived in Vienna and he has died. They have cut him up for souvenirs and umbrella stands and the mahout has been apid off, generously, by the Archduke. The last we see of Subhro, he has reclaimed his name, is riding off on a mule, on a journey he never completes trailing a donkey who bears a wooden box containing all the possessions that mahout possesses.
A short while later, the letter announcing the death of Solomon reaches King Joao III and his wife. The king was very sad but the queen refusing to be read the contents of the letter locked herself in her room and spent the rest of the day in tears.
It is a beguiling book, the language is so beautiful, it is witty and humouros but it is not a great book, just a really enjoyable one. A fine one to finish a year of reading on.
Notes on reading the book. (view spoiler)[Saramago's The Elephant's Journey is a lot more readable* than Livius' Hannibal coming over the Alps. A Latin text I never really got to grips with. Not that I've ever got to grips with Saramago's writing style either, it's *audio or forget it for me.
So far, the writing is charmingly amusing, sly and pointed and wonderful in it's own right, never mind the story (which I am also enjoying). (hide spoiler)]
Read information about the authorJosé de Sousa Saramago (pronounced [ʒuˈzɛ sɐɾɐˈmagu]) was a Nobel-laureate Portuguese novelist, playwright and journalist. He was a member of the Portuguese Communist Party.
His works, some of which can be seen as allegories, commonly present subversive perspectives on historic events, emphasizing the human factor rather than the officially sanctioned story. Saramago was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1998. He founded the National Front for the Defense of Culture (Lisbon, 1992) with among others Freitas-Magalhaes. He lived on Lanzarote in the Canary Islands, Spain, where he died in June 2010.
A foundation with his name was established in 2007; its main aims are cultural promotion, particularly of Portuguese literature and authors. The A Viagem do Elefante.
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