The Year of the Death of Richard Reis is Saramago’s tribute to the genius of Portuguese literature, Fernando Pessoa. Ricardo Reis, a name borne by the protagonist of the novel, is one of many Pessoa’s heteronyms. Reis is »forty-five years old, born in Porto, single, a physician by profession, his last place of residence: Rio de Janeiro.« He returns by ship to his birthplace of Portugal in 1936, when Spain is on the brink of a civil war, while Portugal is in the grip of dictator Salazar’s tough rule. Reis returns home after sixteen years in Brazil to find a home for himself and break away from his creator Fernand Pessoa. The aging Europe is on the brink of war; there is also the poet Fernando Pessoa, who is almost dead but visits Ricardo Reis to discuss many important current and universal topics. In the meantime, the doctor poet also gets involved with a hotel chambermaid, while being pursued by a young woman with a mysteriously paralyzed left hand … A great masterpiece of Portuguese literature.
Cordially invited to join us on Tuesday 22 October 16.30 at the Drama Café. The book will be discussed by Blažka Müller Pograjc, PhD, Associate Professor and Lecturer in Portuguese at the Faculty of Arts in Ljubljana, Žiga Vertič, M.A. in Philosophy and Comparative Literature and Barbara Juršič, the translator.
Free tickets are available at the Drama box office. Book early to avoid disappointment.