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Tale of the Unknown Island (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 8. November 1999

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Produktinformation

  • Gebundene Ausgabe: 64 Seiten
  • Verlag: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; Auflage: First Edition First Printing (8. November 1999)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0151005958
  • ISBN-13: 978-0151005956
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 17,3 x 13,4 x 1,3 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.1 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (7 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 2.888.809 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

Mehr über den Autor

José Saramago, geboren am 16. November 1922 in Azinhaga in der portugiesischen Provinz Ribatejo, entstammt einer Landarbeiterfamilie. Nach dem Besuch des Gymnasiums arbeitete er als Maschinenschlosser, technischer Zeichner und Angestellter. Später war er Mitarbeiter eines Verlags und Journalist bei verschiedenen Lissabonner Tageszeitungen. Seit 1966 widmete er sich verstärkt der Schriftstellerei. Der Romancier, Erzähler, Lyriker, Dramatiker und Essayist erhielt 1998 den Nobelpreis für Literatur. José Saramgo verstarb am 18. Juni 2010.

Produktbeschreibungen

Amazon.de

"A man went to knock at the king's door and said, Give me a boat."

Even without the "Once upon a time," it's clear from the opening sentence of José Saramago's mischievous and wise The Tale of the Unknown Island that we have entered a somewhat fractured fairy tale. Of course, it could be argued that all of his works are, in some form or another, fairy tales, from the whimsical, revisionist History of the Siege of Lisbon to the darker dystopia of Blindness. Originally published as a short story in Portugal, Unknown Island contains all of the elements Saramago is famous for--dry wit, a seemingly simple plot that works on many levels, and an idiosyncratic use of punctuation, among other things. It begins as a satire concerned with the absurdity of bureaucracy as supplicants arrive at the king's door for petitions while the king himself waits by the door for favors:

Since the king spent all his time sitting at the door for favors (favors being offered to the king, you understand), whenever he heard someone knocking at the door for petitions, he would pretend not to hear, and only when the continuous pounding of the bronze doorknocker became not just deafening, but positively scandalous, disturbing the peace of the neighborhood (people would start muttering, What kind of king is he if he won't even answer the door), only then would he order the first secretary to go and find out what the supplicant wanted, since there seemed no way of silencing him.
On this particular occasion, the man at the door asks for a boat so that he can search for an unknown island. When the king assures him that all the islands have already been discovered, he refuses to believe it, explaining that one must exist "simply because there can't possibly not be an unknown island." A palace cleaning woman overhears the conversation, and when the king finally grants his supplicant a boat, she leaves the royal residence via the door of decisions and follows the would-be explorer. Saramago then moves from satire to allegory as his two dreamers prepare for their voyage of discovery--and nearly miss the forest for the trees. The Tale of the Unknown Island packs more charm and meaning into 50 tiny pages than most novels accomplish at five times the length. Readers already familiar with the Nobel Prize-winning Saramago will find everything they love about his longer works economically sized; for those who have not yet experienced the pleasures of his remarkable imagination, Unknown Island provides a charming introduction. --Alix Wilber

Pressestimmen

"He was the equal of Philip Roth, Günter Grass, Thomas Pynchon and Don DeLillo. His genius was remarkably versatile - he was at once a great comic and a writer of shocking earnestness and grim poignancy." (Harold Bloom)

"Saramago is a writer, like Faulkner, so confident of his resources and ultimate destination that he can bring any improbability to life." (John Updike)

"No candidate for a Nobel Prize has a better claim to lasting recognition than this novelist." (Edmund White)

"Saramago is a writer of formidable talent and extraordinary imagination." (La Repubblica) -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch .

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Einleitungssatz
A MAN WENT TO KNOCK AT THE KING'S DOOR AND said, Give me a boat. Lesen Sie die erste Seite
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen

1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von Ein Kunde am 31. Juli 2000
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Jose Saramago's book, The Tale of the Unknown Island is a little book that presents a little story. Both a love story and a fable, The Tale of the Unknown Island presents an elegant and exquisite premise that is disappointingly flawed in its execution.
The book begins beguilingly enough, when a man with a quest knocks at the door of a king and begs for a boat to make an expedition to an unknown island. The king is not immediately agreeable but our hero finds an unlikely ally in the king's cleaning woman and, after receiving the ship he has asked for, he and the woman join forces.
There is one problem. There are no unknown islands. All that exist have already been mapped and claimed by the king. When the harbormaster attempts to dissuade the man from his dream, and no one signs on board as crew members, the hero of this little tale finds that only the cleaning woman will help him pursue his seemingly impossible dream.
The island is discovered, but unfortunately, the journey taken is literally one of which the stuff of dreams are made. REM sleep and narcoleptic love play a big part in this story. It is here, in the land of dreams, where the story really falls apart and our suspension of disbelief grows harder and harder to suspend.
Nobel Prize winner, Jose Saramago, is the author of breathtakingly beautiful books such as Baltasar and Blimunda and The Gospel According to Jesus Christ, and works of stunning originality like Blindness, so I expected far more from The Tale of the Unknown Island. Perhaps these high expectations were a part of the problem.
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This little book grabbed my attention and then held it throughout, but the ending left me disappointed and deflated. Kind of like listening to the Surprise Symphony, and then instead of hearing the triumphant burst of harmonious instrumentation, a kazoo played off key. The story seemed to be building and building to some profound climax that would certainly change my life, and then when I finally got to the end, it was as though the author had lost interest in the story completely and just plunked down some words to get it over with.
Would someone please tell me the significance of the barnyard animals, the sailors, and the "known island" in the dream? There must be some profound symbolism there, but it's either too brilliant to be understood or just empty, drivellish writing--the stuff fourth-graders stick in the middle of their short story writing assignments in an attempt to make it interesting.
Help me understand. E-mail me at ngj@comnett.net.
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This delightful tale is an excellent example of Saramago's fiction. The plot is deceptively simple (a man about to set for a trip to search for an unknown island), but what the characters say and think give depth to the tale. It is, indeed, a tale of a quest--a deep quest, not any quest--, and it can be summarized by what the man himself says at one point (I translate from the original Portuguese): "Liking something is possibly the best way of having it, having something is possibly the worst way of liking it." As "Todos os nomes", the tale is highly symbolic, particulary towards the end; however, in this case, the meanings of the symbols are more evident. A tale that can be read at many levels, I thoroughly recommend it to those already familiarized with Saramago and to those that are just being introduced to his wonderful world.
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This book was very thought provoking. The dialogue was written in an interesting way, using no quotation marks. The story seems very simplistic, but it is in fact very complex. Honestly I haven't figured it out yet...but I will. I think it's about discovering what is right under your nose. Also it is about the excercise of free will, and assertion. It was very short and easy to read, permitting it to be re-read until one really figures it out. It is also a cute children's story if not read on an intellectual level. It can double as children's story effectively.
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