Challenging authors to rewrite José Saramago’s journeys in “Viagem a Portugal” and everyone to follow the writer’s paths are bets by Turismo de Portugal in “Viagem a Portugal Revisited”. The initiative will also have an electronic platform, with georeferencing of the places where Saramago has been.
Released this Tuesday, in a partnership with the José Saramago Foundation, coinciding with the beginning of thehe commemorations of the centenary of José Saramago’s birth, which last for a year, an initiative is part of the strategic commitment of literary tourism, which Turismo de Portugal has been doing for some time, the president of this organization, Luís Araújo, told the Lusa agency .
“We thought it was a good opportunity to get a book that Saramago wrote in the 1980s, which is the “Viagem a Portugal”, and, in a way, with the paths that are there, challenge other authors to write the same ones again. courses that Saramago took on that occasion”, stressed Luís Araújo.
The official recalls that Turismo de Portugal has bet on differentiated products, which show the country, “but, above all, a country that can be visited all year round and throughout the entire territory”, he referred.
Last year, when you couldn’t visit Portugal due to covid-9, Turismo de Portugal argued that “it was necessary to read Portugal”, he noted.
Therefore, an initiative “Viagem a Portugal Revisited”, with the José Saramago Foundation, “aims to promote Portugal through books, our writers, the paths they put in books, authors’ houses, libraries, traditional bookstores and by out there”, added the person in charge.
“” Portugal revisited ”is precisely that, it is a revisiting of Saramago’s book”, stressed Luís Araújo, contributing that it is also an invitation to tourists to take the routes that José Saramago took in that work.
“It’s a beautiful book and the paths are identified in the book itself, so it’s possible to follow them”, he defended, causing the initiative to also have an electronic platform, with georeferencing of the places where Saramago has been.
The first guest writer is José Luís Peixoto, said Luís Araújo, providing that Turismo de Portugal will then publicize what will be carried out throughout 2022. José Luís Peixoto was the second winner of the José Saramago Award, in 2001.
The presentation of the project took place at Casa dos Bicos, in Lisbon, headquarters of the José Saramago Foundation, and was attended by representatives of Camões – Instituto de Cooperación e da Língua, from Turismo de Portugal. The president of the Foundation, Pilar del Rio, and the commissioner for the centenary of José Saramago, Carlos Reis, also participated in the session.
Between October 1979 and July 1980, José Saramago toured the country from one end to the other, an invitation from the Círculo de Leitores, which commemorated the tenth anniversary of its presence in Portugal.
After this wandering, which gave rise to a mixture of chronicle, narrative and memories, José Saramago wrote that “the end of a journey is just the beginning of another”.
“It is necessary to see what has not been seen, to see again what has already been seen, to see in spring what was seen in summer, to see by day what was seen at night… It is necessary to return to the steps that were taken, to repeat them, and to trace new paths ”, stated at the end of the work.
For the writer, “Viagem a Portugal” “is not a tourist guide; I mean, it’s not a practical book”, clarifies immediately a quote by the author, on the José Saramago Foundation page, dedicated to the work.
“I contribute my sensibility as a writer. There is talk of Portugal but, naturally, behind that gaze, there is a person who narrates”.
A new edition of the work was published earlier this month by Porto Editora, in hardcover, including “the photographs that Saramago took along his journey — almost all unpublished -, as well as photographs by Duarte Belo, whose photographic work it has intensely focused on the country’s cultural, natural and architectural landscape”.
“This was a decisive book for José Saramago”, at the turn of the 1970s to the 1980s, “insofar as it constituted a milestone that offered material conditions to dedicate himself to writing full time”, recalls Porto Publisher, at the presentation of the work.
José Saramago was born on November 16, 1922 in the Ribatejo village of Azinhaga. The commemorations of the centenary of the birth of the Nobel Prize for Literature 1998 present and integrate various initiatives. The planting of the 99th olive tree that the Foundation has decided to plant in Azinhaga, in the last two years, and the placing of a wreath next to an olive tree in front of Casa dos Bicos are among the first initiatives of the centenary.