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Saramago, Jose (Translated by Margaret Jull Costa) . THE ELEPHANT'S JOURNEY. New York City, NY: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing, 2010. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 210 pages. Fine/Fine.

The author's twelfth novel to be translated into English, published posthumously. One of the greatest novels of the 20th century. The first appearance of the title in the United States. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only. The First Edition is now scarce. Presents Jose Saramago's "A Viagem do Elefante" in a felicitous English translation. "In 1551, King Joao III of Portugal gave Archduke Maximilian an unusual wedding present: An elephant named Solomon. In Saramago's remarkable and imaginative retelling, Solomon and his keeper, Subhro, begin in dismal conditions, forgotten in a corner of the palace grounds. When it occurs to the King and Queen that an elephant would be an appropriate wedding present, everyone rushes to get them ready: Subhro is given two new suits of clothes and Solomon a long overdue scrub" (Publisher's blurb). "A novel with a heroic main character 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" (Brad Hooper). As in all of his oeuvre, acutely so in his late, post-Nobel Prize work, Saramago re-visits and re-examines "the human condition", that otherwise exhausted inheritance from the idea and the reality called Europe and The Enlightenment, and sees it with fresh eyes through the prism of Apocalypse/"The End". He revitalizes and enlarges the novel through allegory. Often described as a satirist, Saramago's work goes much deeper, and he is perhaps the greatest modern literary ironist since Franz Kafka. An important distinction: A satirist mocks, makes fun of, and laughs at others; an ironist mocks, makes fun of, and laughs at himself, that is, makes us laugh at his pain. "Arguably the greatest writer of our time. He throws a dazzling flash of lightning on his subjects" (The Chicago Tribune). Saramago was an anomaly who came out of nowhere, seemingly born a genius. Every single page of every single book he has ever written makes the reader feel that he or she is in the hands of an unsurpassable Master. An absolute "must-have" title for Jose Saramago collectors. This title is now collectible. This is one of very few copies of the First American Edition/First Printing still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. Beware: Almost all copies available online are remainder-marked or have serious flaws. A very scarce copy thus. Regarded by Harold Bloom as one of the two greatest novelists of our time (the other being Philip Roth), Jose Saramago will be read as probably the greatest European novelist of the last fifty years. Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1998. A fine copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER JOSE SARAMAGO TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0547352581. $50.00

This item is available for purchase. This web page was most recently updated on February 19, 2017.