The initiative is justified by the promoters with “a strong connection” by José Saramago to the Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro region.
The University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro (UTAD), in Vila Real, will have a José Saramago Chair. It is the first in the country with the writer, the only Nobel Prize in Portuguese Language Literature, as a patron. The areas of activity will be teaching, research and cultural action.
The agreement for the constitution of the Chair will be signed on November 5, at the rectory of UTAD, by the rector, Emídio Gomes, the president of the José Saramago Foundation, Pilar del Río, and the administrator of Livraria Lello, Aurora Pedro Pinto. The initiative is one of the milestones of the writer’s centenary celebrations, which begin in November.
The JN found that the activities of the Chair will take place in various places in the country, namely in the Trás-os-Montes and Douro region, but they are also available after no foreigners.
All this will be possible through partnerships with various entities – municipalities, schools, universities, museums, cultural associations, among others – with the aim of benefiting Portugal, the Portuguese language, citizenship in general, books, authors and culture.
Among the areas of intervention of this Chair, Master’s dissertations and doctoral theses, scripts through the Douro linked to Saramago, cinema, theater, artistic residencies, gatherings, separations, seminars and courses stand out.
There will be colloquiums on the thought, action and work of José Saramago. In this scope, authors related to the writer will be involved, such as those who receive or will receive the Literary Prize to which he gives his name, among others.
The program also includes viewing, followed by conversations, films based on the work of José Saramago, such as “Blindness”, “Enemy”, “The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis”, “The Biggest Flower in the World”.
Certain sets of photographs and works of works from Saramago, as well as dramatizations of works by the Nobel Prize and other authors. One of them is Valter Hugo Mãe, one of those who say the José Saramago Literary Prize.
The new UTAD Chair is justified by the promoters with “a strong connection” by José Saramago to the Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro region. The journey of the “traveler”, as Saramago calls himself in his book Viagem em Portugal (1981), begins in Miranda do Douro, along the entire Northeast of Transmontano and extends to the entire territory of the North.
As an example title, read this part, which is the first in which the toponym Vila Real appears in this work: “Before entering Chaves, the traveler goes to Outeiro Seco, no more than three kilometers to the north. There, right at the entrance to the village, there is the Church of Nossa Senhora da Azinheira, a Romanesque piece from the 13th century, famous for many leagues around, not so much for its architectural merits, or something else, but above all for choosing it to celebrate marriages and baptisms. like the upper classes of the region. They go there from Vila Real, Guimarães, and even Porto. At night, when the stones can speak without witnesses, there must be great conversations between them, who was there, who married or was baptized, how was the bride dressed and if her mother cried with the natural commotion of mothers who see their daughters come out of her lap, today much less protective than in the past”.
There are more excerpts in which José Saramago talks about the territory of Trás-os-Montes and Vila Real in particular: “And there are like forests. The traveler says he is lucky to be traveling in autumn. A forest? When the traveler looks at the slope of the mountain. At the front, what he sees is the tall trunks of the trunks, like round or tucked-up crowns, hiding the humus, the fern, the soft bush of these places. So he learns that he travels, he too, in the invisible, has become a gnome, a goblin, animal that lives under the fallen leaf, and only becomes a man again when, from far and wide, the forest breaks off and the road runs to the open sky. Are there thunderstorms here? Crossing the Marão mountains, from Vila Real to Amarante, should be another civic imposition like paying taxes or registering children. Minho, entering Galicia inside: strengthens n to Falperra, and it opens up, hill upon hill, through Barroso and Larouco, through Cabreira and through Gerês, up to Peneda, on the heights of Lindoso and Castro Laboreiro”.