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Margaret Jull Costa
Jose Saramago
The Elephant's Journey
 
 
Author
Jose Saramago. Margaret Jull Costa, trans.
Publisher Houghton Mifflin  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 8.5 x 5.75 x 0.75 inches
ISBN 9780547352589
Pages/Publication Date 205/2010
Daedalus Item Code 23434
This item is not available.
Description
In 1551, King João III of Portugal gave Archduke Maximilian an unusual wedding present: an elephant named Solomon, along with his keeper Suhbro. The elephant's overland journey from Lisbon to Vienna was witnessed and remarked upon by scholars, historians, and ordinary people. Out of this material, Nobel Prize winner José Saramago has spun a novel that the Los Angeles Times called "his most optimistic, playful, humorous and magical book, a grace note written near the end of his life. The Elephant's Journey is a tale rich in irony and empathy, regularly interrupted by witty reflections on human nature and arch commentary on the powerful who insult human dignity."

"It would be hard to more highly recommend a novel to be downed in a single draft.... Simply, this book flows, and keeps on flowing."—NYTimes

"A novel with a greatly heroic main character certainly is not uncommon; however, when an elephant is playing that role, the novel can be considered unique, especially because it is based on an actual event. In 1551, King João of Portugal makes a startling diplomatic move by giving Archduke Maximilian of Austria the elephant housed on Portuguese royal grounds. The problem is that the elephant needs to be transported from Lisbon to Vienna. Because the era is pre–jumbo jet and Vienna is not a seaport, Solomon the elephant must walk! Solomon's trek across Europe, across mountains and rivers, accompanied by his Hindu keeper and a host of other retainers and attendants, is followed in this extremely amusing, historically resonant, fablelike, and technically challenging narrative. The astonishment that Solomon arouses en route is summed up in one person's reaction: 'Well, it isn't every day that an elephant appears in our lives.' Solomon shows quiet heroism yet is never anthropomorphized: 'Despite his poor sight, he shot them a stern glance, making it clear that he was not some fairground animal, but an honest worker who had been deprived of his job by unfortunate circumstances too complicated to go into, and had, so to speak, been forced to accept public charity'."—Booklist (starred review)

 
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Small Memories: A Memoir
Jose Saramago. Margaret Jull Costa, trans.
Studio: Vintage.   Format: paperback. ISBN: 9780099520481.  Daedalus Item Code: 23860
List Price: Import Sale Price: $3.98
 
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