The Elephant's Journey

  ë The Elephant's Journey Epub À The Elephant's
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  • The Elephant's Journey
  • José Saramago
  • English
  • 17 January 2019
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About the Author: José Saramago

ë The Elephant's Journey Epub À The Elephant's elephant's book, journey ebok, The Elephant's pdf, The Elephant's JourneyThe Elephant's Journey PDFJos Saramago is one of the most important international writers of the last hundred years Born in Portugal in , he was in his sixties when he came to prominence as a writer with the publication of Baltasar and Blimunda A huge body of work followed, translated intothan forty languages, and in he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature Saramago died in June .


The Elephant's Journey ë The Elephant's Journey Epub À The Elephant's elephant's book, journey ebok, The Elephant's pdf, The Elephant's JourneyThe Elephant's Journey PDFIn , King Jo o III of Portugal gave Archduke Maximilian an unusual wedding present an elephant named Solomon In Jos 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 gift everyone rushes to get them ready Accompanied by the Archduke, his new wife, and the royal guard, these unlikely heroes traverse a continent riven by the Reformation and civil wars, witnessed along the way The Elephant's PDF/EPUB or by scholars, historians, and wide eyed ordinary people as they make their way through the storied cities of northern Italy they brave the Alps and the terrifying Isarco and Brenner Passes across the Mediterranean Sea and up the Inn River and at last, toward their grand entry into the imperial city.

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10 thoughts on “The Elephant's Journey

  1. Petra-X says:

    This is the story of the book Knowing it will not spoil the enjoyment of it one whit, if you do choose to read it.The story is based on the Portuguese King Joao III s gift of an elephant to the Archduke Maximillian and the delivery of the gift from Lisbon to Vienna The major characters are the elephant Solomon and his mahour Subhro The story is of the King, what happens on the journey to the officers who escort the elephant and at the end of the journey, the Archduke Maximillian arrogantly r This is the story of the book Knowing it will not spoil the enjoyment of it one whit, if you do choose to read it.The story is based on the Portuguese King Joao III s gift of an elephant to the Archduke Maximillian and the delivery of the gift from Lisbon to Vienna The major characters are the elephant Solomon and his mahour Subhro The story is of the King, what happens on the journey to the officers who escort the elephant and at the end of the journey, the Archduke Maximillian arrogantly renames the elephant from Solomon to Suleiman and the mahout to an inappropriate Fritz.The end is both picaresque and that of a fairy tale It is two years after the elephant has arrived in Vienna and he has died They have cut him up for souvenirs and umbrella stands and the mahout has been apid off, generously, by the Archduke The last we see of Subhro, he has reclaimed his name, is riding off on a mule, on a journey he never completes trailing a donkey who bears a wooden box containing all the possessions that mahout possesses.A short while later, the letter announcing the death of Solomon reaches King Joao III and his wife The king was very sad but the queen refusing to be read the contents of the letter locked herself in her room and spent the rest of the day in tears.It is a beguiling book, the language is so beautiful, it is witty and humouros but it is not a great book, just a really enjoyable one A fine one to finish a year of reading on.Notes on reading the book view spoiler Saramago s The Elephant s Journey is a lotreadable than Livius Hannibal coming over the Alps A Latin text I never really got to grips with Not that I ve ever got to grips with Saramago s writing style either, it s audio or forget it for me.So far, the writing is charmingly amusing, sly and pointed and wonderful in it s own right, never mind the story which I am also enjoying hide spoiler

  2. Fionnuala says:

    a fall from grace can come very swiftly, or, as the Romans used to say, the Tarpeian Rock is close to the Capitol That idea, though not that exact expression, was in my mind from the beginning of

  3. WILLIAM2 says:

    Here is a wonderful story, especially, I think, if you have a deep connection to animals It is the story of Solomon the Elephant and his keeper, Subhro, and their journey as a gift from King Joao III of Portugal to his cousin Archduke Maximillian Hapsburgs in 1540 or so The voice is third person historical and wonderfully relaxed and unrushed It is a novelist s voice embellishing on historical fact It s hard to understand just why the archduke Maximilian should have decided to make such a j Here is a wonderful story, especially, I think, if you have a deep connection to animals It is the story of Solomon the Elephant and his keeper, Subhro, and their journey as a gift from King Joao III of Portugal to his cousin Archduke Maximillian Hapsburgs in 1540 or so The voice is third person historical and wonderfully relaxed and unrushed It is a novelist s voice embellishing on historical fact It s hard to understand just why the archduke Maximilian should have decided to make such a journey at this time of year winter , but that is how it is set down in history, as an incontrovertible, documented fact, supported by historians and confirmed by the novelist, who must be forgiven for taking certain liberties with names, not only because it is his right to invent, but also because he had to fill in certain gaps so that the sacred coherence of the story was not lost.Omniscience is avoided This is especially evident in the narrator s refusal or inability to enter the thoughts of Solomon The animal is thus shown a certain respect and the limitations of the voice are clearly indicated We do not know what he Solomon is thinking, but, in the midst of these Alps, we can be sure of one thing, he is not a happy elephant.As I read about the passage of the archduke and his cortege in their passage through the snowy Alps I was filled with foreboding That s how affecting the writing is here One is entirely taken up with the plight of this elephant, an animal of the tropics, being forced through a snowy rocky landscape Saramago uses a run on sentence style, stringing long passages together with commas, and disdaining standard capitalization This has the clever effect of slowing the reader down, almost as a caesura in verse, making one concentrateintently on how the language is deployed Saramago was both a Communist and a famous atheist His send up of the Catholic Church, its cynicism and hypocrisy is quite amusing and is by itself worth the price of the book Especially amusing is the miracle cynically wrought in Padua by an ecclesiastic of that city Solomon is coerced to kneel by the doors of the basilica, which puts the fear of God into the populace, which also kneels This story then precedes Solomon along his route The Archduke is not amused by the throngs of the pious One bit of interesting subtext occurs when the Archduke and his cortege make their way through the dangerous Brenner Pass For those familar with W.G Sebald s The Rings of Saturn you know that the Brenner Pass is central to that book and the author offers some of his enigmatic photographs of it When Saramago s narrative reaches the Brenner pass, he begins to discuss the difficulties of descriptive writing, then says It s a shame that photography had not yet been invented in the sixteeth century, because the solution would have been easy as pie, we would simply have included a few photos from the period, especially if taken from a helicopter and readers would then have every reason to consider themselves amply rewarded and to recognize the extraordinary informative nature of our enterprise.Is this a swipe at Sebald, who, according to some Saramago may have been one cheats by using photos It would certainly seem so but this is speculation Unless some lucky scholar hits paydirt, I m afraid we ll never know

  4. Riku Sayuj says:

    Saramago was having some snacks at a restaurant, when he noticed some engravings of an elephant on the walls He enquired about it and was informed about an elephant, back in the sixteenth century, who had journeyed across the continent and through the peninsula and then passed on into legend Saramago felt there was material for a story there and set out to investigate a bit about the historical details of this long journey The result is this book It was supposed to be a charming little novel Saramago was having some snacks at a restaurant, when he noticed some engravings of an elephant on the walls He enquired about it and was informed about an elephant, back in the sixteenth century, who had journeyed across the continent and through the peninsula and then passed on into legend Saramago felt there was material for a story there and set out to investigate a bit about the historical details of this long journey The result is this book It was supposed to be a charming little novel This reviewer is sorry to report that while this is an interesting example of how good authors can pluck good stories out of thin air, there was nothing here that was of real interest to him, in terms of engaging characters, historical significance or even a good yarn

  5. Ian "Marvin" Graye says:

    Do You Know the Way to Pan Jos I m afraid whatever subtlety and charm this novel supposedly has was lost on me.I normally like to read an author s work chronologically, rather than jump in at the end and work backwards or around I broke my rule in this case, and now I m left wondering why Saramago was awarded the Nobel Prize Is this, his last novel before he died in 2010, another case of the Nobel Curse, where you never write another decent work after you get the big one Help me decide which Do You Know the Way to Pan Jos I m afraid whatever subtlety and charm this novel supposedly has was lost on me.I normally like to read an author s work chronologically, rather than jump in at the end and work backwards or around I broke my rule in this case, and now I m left wondering why Saramago was awarded the Nobel Prize Is this, his last novel before he died in 2010, another case of the Nobel Curse, where you never write another decent work after you get the big one Help me decide which of his novels to read next Please This novel was relentlessly linear There was no narrative arc that I could detect, unless you count the climb upwards through the Alps.There were rarely two paragraphs on the same page The longest I recorded before I stopped counting was 12 pages Yet there was no apparent need for this longevity Sentences were just added together with no cumulative effect, dynamism or creative tension.Saramago was perfectly competent at establishing the feel of 1551 era Portugal, but every now and again the third person narrative anachronistically mentionedall s well that ends well50 years before Shakespeare used the term, if you don t attribute it to John Heywood in 1546 , film, cameras andthe third waybetween capitalism and communism, without any apparent purpose or effect, other than to alienate me, the reader There were two or three occasions on which I grinned at some aside, but little of what I had expected from the blurb trumpeting its extremely funny and witty reflections For all my sifting, I ended up with too little gold in my pan.Nor was there any character development that I could tell I loved the elephant, but even for him, it was no hero s journey though thankfully the denouement wasn t like slaughter for elephants He seemed to be as bored as me No wonder, like Jos himself, he died two years after the narrative ended I hope I m spared his fate.SOUNDTRACK A Tribute to Jos Saramagohttps www.youtube.com watch v 6zaHjMiguel Gon alves Mendes Jos e Pilar I have ideas for books, but she has ideas for life I don t know which isimportant Dionne Warwick Do You Know the Way to Pan Jos is a great big freewayPut a hundred down on a pachyderm,Turn your back on your accounting firmAnd you might find yourself on the wayTo Vienna, by barge, from Innsbruck.Hey It s not my trip, it s in the book Do you know the way repeatThanks to Steve for the inspiration This review is dedicated to my school friend, Chrispy Chorizo.

  6. Chrissie says:

    Yes, this is a book of historical fiction It is based on a true event in history In 1551, King Jo o III of Portugal gave Archduke Maximilian an unusual wedding present an elephant named Solomon The elephant s journey from Lisbon to Vienna was witnessed and remarked upon by scholars, historians, and ordinary people , this being a direct quote from the book description And yet this book is primarily a book of humor To beexplicit, it is a book of ironic satire It is written with mod Yes, this is a book of historical fiction It is based on a true event in history In 1551, King Jo o III of Portugal gave Archduke Maximilian an unusual wedding present an elephant named Solomon The elephant s journey from Lisbon to Vienna was witnessed and remarked upon by scholars, historians, and ordinary people , this being a direct quote from the book description And yet this book is primarily a book of humor To beexplicit, it is a book of ironic satire It is written with modern terminology We are not to analyze the appropriateness of the terminology These are NOT the expressions of the 1500s They are not meant to be Instead, we are meant to chuckle at the incongruence of our modern way of thinking and the historical events as they unfolded It is very funny, and I praise Saramago for his ability to make me laugh Read this book to laugh, not to learn of an historical event.I chose to listen to this book because it does not employ the normal rules of punctuation I do not like such writing Paragraphs and rules of punctuation help a reader understand what is being said Soooooo instead, I figured the narrator of this audio book could do the reading for me I can just sit back and enjoy the content If I had had to struggle through the reading myself, I am sure I would have given it less stars The narrator was excellent Her intonations were perfect She has earned her money It is worth paying a bitfor the audio version than struggling through the written, never ending sentences That is what I think Do you want a sophisticated chuckle Listen to this book

  7. jeremy says:

    shortly after he began writing the elephant s journey in 2007, jos saramago was stricken with pneumonia and would conclude the year hospitalized in lanzarote from complications a mere day after his discharge the following january, he resumed efforts on the novel, completing it in august 2008 hence the book s dedication for pilar, who wouldn t let me die, a tribute to his wife and translator of his works into spanish saramago would go on to finish another novel cain, to be published in shortly after he began writing the elephant s journey in 2007, jos saramago was stricken with pneumonia and would conclude the year hospitalized in lanzarote from complications a mere day after his discharge the following january, he resumed efforts on the novel, completing it in august 2008 hence the book s dedication for pilar, who wouldn t let me die, a tribute to his wife and translator of his works into spanish saramago would go on to finish another novel cain, to be published in english in 2011 before he passed away on the cusp of summer earlier this year at the age of 87 the elephant s journey is saramago s fictionalized account relating the true tale of an elephant given to archduke maximilian as a wedding gift from his uncle, king jo o III of portugal, and its triumphant voyage upon foot and ship from lisbon to vienna in 1551 how saramago became inspired to tell this particular story is as serendipitous as any of the fantastic plots he is famous for having created following a guest lecture at the university of salzburg, saramago s inquisitive nature, evident during a chance dinner at an austrian restaurant called the elephant, provided enough fodder for his imagination to begin churning he writes, certain unknown fates came together that night in the city of mozart in order that this writer would ask what are those carvings over there those carvings illustrated the elephant s remarkable sixteenth century journey across europe, and, thus, with the aid of some research, saramago s fifteenth novel was born based in historical fact though it may be, the elephant s journey is quintessential saramago storytelling at its finest the book was aptly rendered from the portuguese by margaret jull costa, the eighth consecutive novel of his she has translated in addition to her award winning english adaptations of fernando pessoa, javier mar as, and e a de queiroz many of the elements that have made his fiction so widely beloved are present, and, as such, both neophyte and devotee will find the book deeply rewarding while the protracted, picturesque sentences and lack of traditional punctuation that mark saramago s singular style are of course present, notable herein is his decision to forego the capitalization of proper nouns unless they occur at the beginning of a sentence perhaps because he chose to recast historical figures and places beyond the realm of recorded fact solomon the elephant later renamed suleiman is richly conceived, as is subhro, the elephant s mahout much of the charm of aaramago s characters rests in the lifelike manner in which he portrays them, often full of wisdom and hospitality, yet just as likely to commit an act of folly or selfishness his narration of their lives often reflects this duality, what a strange creature man is, so prone to terrible insomnias over mere nothings and yet capable of sleeping like a log on the eve of battle as with every novel, saramago often veers briefly from the narrative to muse upon the far reaching ramifications of human nature, history, culture, government, and religion strong in his convictions however often mischaracterized by the international press , he seldom strays into moralizing, but instead offers seemingly simple observations and truisms of everyday life people say a lot of things, and not all of them are true, but that is what human beings are like, they can as easily believe that the hair of an elephant, marinated in a little oil, can cure baldness, as imagine that they carry within them the one solitary light that will lead them along life s paths, even through mountain passes one way or another, as the wise old hermit of the alps once said, we will all have to die the elephant s journey finds saramago at his most playful and lighthearted though self described as a pessimist, little trace of his contrarian tendencies is to be found the overarching sense of adventure is what dominates the story, and however much hardship was endured whether by sailing to italy or crossing the austrian alps , the characters remain mostly good natured, aware as they are of both the import and novelty of their attempted feat even the occasional aside directed at the reader remains upbeat and spirited, it s hard to understand just why the archduke maximilian should have decided to make such a journey at this time of year, but that is how it s set down in history, as an incontrovertible, documented fact, supported by historians and confirmed by the novelist, who must be forgiven for taking certain liberties with names, not only because it is his right to invent, but also because he had to fill in certain gaps so that the sacred coherence of the story was not lost it must be said that history is always selective, and discriminatory too, selecting from life only what society deems to be historical and scorning the rest, which is precisely where we might find the true explanation of facts, of things, of wretched reality itself in truth, i say to you, it is better to be a novelist, a fiction writer, a liar or a mahout, despite the hare brained fantasies to which, either by birth or profession, they seem to be prone after nearly a full calendar year, and some 1,800 or so miles over land and sea, the elephant and his entourage finally arrive in vienna with their destination reached, pachyderm, procession, and reader alike are enjoined in an exultation that from the onset may have seemed somewhat unlikely the elephant s journey is a fantastic story of determination, and, like so many of his novels, succeeds on many a level saramago, of all his many gifts for telling a compelling tale, ought to be remembered for his grace, his inimitable humor, and the resplendent humanity he brought to each of his works the portuguese government declared two days of mourning upon his death in june, and some 20,000 people attended his funeral while a controversial figure to many, he left behind an acclaimed and accomplished body of work including nearly two dozen works of poetry, drama, short stories, essays, journalism, diaries, a libretto, and a children s book all of which have yet to be translated into english jos saramago was long an important and respected figure in international letters, and with his death the world has lost a literary great the epigraph for the elephant s journey could not be anysuccinctly or aptly put in the end, we always arrive at the place where we are expected the sceptics are quite right when they say that the history of humanity is one long succession of missed opportunities fortunately, thanks to the inexhaustible generosity of the imagination, we erase faults, fill in lacunae as best we can, forge passages through blind alleys that will remain stubbornly blind, and invent keys to doors that have never even had locks.

  8. Justin says:

    It pains me a bit to give a Saramago book such a low rating, but of the seven of his that I ve read, this was clearly the one I liked the least It s not that I disliked it In fact, I was going to go for the third star but when I looked at what rating I had given the other six Saramago books I ve read, I had to knock it down to two, as I definitely liked The Cave better and that only got three Anyways, enough of my personal Saramago rating history The reason this is getting two stars is that It pains me a bit to give a Saramago book such a low rating, but of the seven of his that I ve read, this was clearly the one I liked the least It s not that I disliked it In fact, I was going to go for the third star but when I looked at what rating I had given the other six Saramago books I ve read, I had to knock it down to two, as I definitely liked The Cave better and that only got three Anyways, enough of my personal Saramago rating history The reason this is getting two stars is that frankly it was a bit boring Yes, there were still some moments where Saramago wowed in his particular way, but mostly it was 200 pages about an elephant traveling from Portugal to Austria in the 16th century It was about as exciting as it sounds Written shortly before he died, one is left with the feeling that Saramago s amazing writing talents were starting to fade The Elephant s Journey doesn t make me look any less fondly on Jose Saramago, it is simply his book I have liked the least Nothing , nothing less I still look forward to working my way through the rest of his bibliography

  9. Fiona says:

    Others have repeated the story and given the background to Saramago writing this book which is written in long, long sentences with little punctuation and no quotation marks which means you have to really concentrate on conversations to follow who is speaking and when because it might be the elephant or the archduke or the mahout or in fact anybody else, and also because the author just witters on and on, often going completely off piste and crossing centuries in terms of terminology and observa Others have repeated the story and given the background to Saramago writing this book which is written in long, long sentences with little punctuation and no quotation marks which means you have to really concentrate on conversations to follow who is speaking and when because it might be the elephant or the archduke or the mahout or in fact anybody else, and also because the author just witters on and on, often going completely off piste and crossing centuries in terms of terminology and observations in the spirit of Chelmsford 123 if anyone remembers it Phew Quite an exhausting read because of its style but very funny at times, definitely quirky, and heavens am I really using this word, sweet My first Saramago If I thought they were all like this, I wouldn t read anybut they can t possibly be so I ll give him another chance All suggestions, my Goodreads friends, are welcome

  10. Rich Stoehr says:

    I had the strangest feeling while reading The Elephant s Journey I felt like a child, being told a story by an old and indulgent grandparent I saw him clearly, sitting in an old comfortable chair in a dimly lit room, talking in a gravelly voice, telling the story of Solomon the elephant, a wedding gift from a king to an archduke, and the long journey that brought him from Portugal through the Alps and finally to Vienna.Like any good grandfather, Saramago wanders from point to point while tell I had the strangest feeling while reading The Elephant s Journey I felt like a child, being told a story by an old and indulgent grandparent I saw him clearly, sitting in an old comfortable chair in a dimly lit room, talking in a gravelly voice, telling the story of Solomon the elephant, a wedding gift from a king to an archduke, and the long journey that brought him from Portugal through the Alps and finally to Vienna.Like any good grandfather, Saramago wanders from point to point while telling his tale, musing and meandering In the middle of the story he may take a few sentences to ruminate whimsically about the nature of royalty or the use of specific language or even his own role in the narrative itself For this reason, The Elephant s Journey is probably not for everyone Those who like their tales straight and to the point should pass this one by, as it will befrustrating than rewarding Even though I enjoyed it overall, I did find myself occasionally wishing he would get back to the point again, much like a grandson may feel about his overly verbose grandfather.However, Saramago does have a good story to tell here and he tells it well His use of language is as always beautiful, and his sense of observation unique and intricate In the final analysis The Elephant s Journey feels like a fable, a story told and retold so many times that itsfanciful notes fit right in with the elements of realism, and a moral sensibility that holds true from beginning to end.With the release of this book comes the sad news of Saramago s passing Even though he has at least onebook to offer us after this one, there was a passage near the end of The Elephant s Journey that seemed particularly fitting to me we will not see them in this theater again, but such is life, the actors appear, then leave the stage, as is only fitting, it s what usually and always will happen sooner or later, they say their part, then disappear through the door at the back, the one that opens onto the gardenthe curtain has fallen and will not rise again The Elephant s Journey feels like a story heard late at night, as we drift off to sleep, told by someone old enough to be comfortable telling such stories to younger ears, with a few side trips along the way As the story ends and we are drifting off to sleep, grandfather Jose quietly steps out of the room and closes the door behind him