Utopianism and the Writing of Lisbon in José Saramago's Historical Fiction

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This chapter discusses José Saramago’s alleged skepticism about and resistance to the idea of utopia. Through the analysis of three of his 1980s novels (Baltasar and Blimunda, The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis, and The History of the Siege of Lisbon), the author claims that Saramago’s utopianism is singular, as it does not lie on the creation of an ideal world as it happens in classical utopias. It is the author’s contention that Saramago’s utopianism lies at the intersection of his faith in the human being’s capabilities to change the world and on the diversity of his writing modes, through which the novelist creates alternative worlds. The chapter will demonstrate how, together with a skillful modelling of characters, the fictional writing of Lisbon contributes to design different types of historical fiction, through which Saramago designs geographies of conviviality and solidarity, thus revealing traces of his utopianism.
Idioma originalEnglish
Título da publicação do anfitriãoUtopia, Equity and Ideology in Urban Texts. Fair and Unfair Cities
EditoraPalgrave Macmillan
Estado da publicaçãoPublicado - 2023

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