All Names - José Saramago

Miscellaneous DenNorske August 7, 2016 0 2
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The book ?? All Names ?? the Portuguese writer José Saramago is one of his many works with again a criticism of society, like all his books. This writer who in 1998 received the Nobel Prize for Literature, is known for its particular style of writing and also used in his novels a criticism of the present society. José Saramago is known for its particular way of writing, he makes for example, hardly any use of punctuation in his stories - something you really have to get used if you read a book from him - only uppercase letters indicate that a character alternates running speaking and phrases endlessly without using points, fortunately commas. The idea behind this way, is that Saramago wants to make his stories so lifelike. In that sense, in everyday life when you're with people in conversation you can hear the points and no talks are intermingled.
The other is something remarkable, not only in this particular book, but in all his books, is that he does not use character names - the main character in this book is an exception. The characters are appointed by function or location of residence. Also here is a simple reasoning behind, that they also rarely used names in the daily lives of people, when you talk about someone. You talk about soon, the neighbor across the street / man, the old man with the stick, / the bus driver, police officer, teacher, etc. then you really use their names.

Brief summary of the book

Striking in this story is that the protagonist has the same name as the author himself, namely José.
Mr. José is an official ?? writer - of the General Archive of the Civil Registry in an unknown small country where people live according to old rules and a strongly hierarchical social classes. A good example is the hierarchical relationship within the archive, in which the writers all day at work on the first row of desks, the clerks occasionally work on the second row, behind the clerks are the sous chefs who only very occasionally and to be at work and the archivist is at the back apart and alone and almost never does anything.
Outside office hours, Mr. José collected newspaper clippings of famous compatriots and one day he decides to extend this newspaper cuttings with official information from the register of the Civil Registry, as these are in fact 100% reliable. When he one day this person cards and files ?? night will borrow temporarily from the archive, through its connecting door to the archive, to copy them at home is his attention to a birth certificate of a 36-year-old unknown woman who was accidentally come with the deeds of famous people. He is so fascinated by this act, he decides to make a complete reconstruction of the life of this strange woman. The previously so fine gentleman José overlaps now all the rules to get to achieve his goal ?? the end justifies any means -, it is even a real obsession for him, which he taketh not stop. So he uses lies, he abused his position, he breaks in, he falsified official documents and he stays on point even away from work. His quest leads him through the address where the unknown woman is born, her high school, her godmother, and even the graveyard, her parents and the house where the unknown woman lived. After a long search discovered Mr. José something shocking about this unknown woman. However, his curiosity leads him on a new quest of what he has discovered about her.

Features and style in the story;

  • Little use of punctuation;
Example: ?? .. not to mention the inconvenience, What discomfort, Vertigo, dizziness, deep sigh, whatever you want to call it, you have never complained, I do not complain much, that's nice of you, go, I wanted go to bed, yes, I had my shoes even taken off, ????
  • Brief view of history;
Example: ?? In the past, an ancient past, the officials attended the General Archives. Not in the building itself, as guild members among themselves, but in simple houses that are on the outside thereof, ????
  • No use of names in the story ?? only the main character -:
Example: Chef, Archivist of the unknown woman, the woman from the ground floor to the right, the director, the parents of the unknown woman.
  • Many inner / fantasy dialogues:
Example: ?? if another dialogue, again less hypothetical in which the pharmacist to the woman of the sous chef says Laats someone came here from a school ???? ;
- ?? At that point, the ceiling sail his indifferent attitude and said something like, directly or indirectly be related to what it had just heard, there are certainly three people you have not spoken ????

Saramago ?? s criticism of the society

Saramago ?? s criticism in this book on the society is very difficult to remove.
But the enormous size of the archives in which the names of all citizens are included and the strong hierarchical relations within the archive, I suspect it is a criticism of the increased bureaucracy and that there really is no escape. But that quickly abnormal behavior of an individual, Mr. José, is rejected by the community, in this case ?? s colleague of Mr. José.
I also think that there also is a certain philosophical story / message in hiding because, in giving names to people, and perhaps that is why Saramago used no names in this story. Because in the long run has seen human existence really has no meaning. We are namely born, get a name and then we live in a period in which we are known by friends, family, etc. But after the death dilapidated our names into oblivion and anonymity especially when the people who knew us have also not been .
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