The invitation of the Book Festival is to travel to Portugal

The Book Festival began this Friday with a program that proposes, for ten days, some 3,000 activities. In its 16th edition, it also returned to the spaces it had already won, such as Carabobo, Parque Explora, Parque de los Deseos, Casa de la Música, Mova and the University of Antioquia. In addition to his theme, time to imaginethe guest country is Portugal, which precisely coincides with an important date for Portuguese literature and which will be celebrated at the Festival: the 100th anniversary of the birth of Nobel Prize winner for Literature José Saramago, which falls on November 16.

The Portugal pavilion will be in North Carabobo, with a commercial exhibition and a retrospective exhibition of Saramago, Back to steps taken. There will even be artistic presentations to learn more about this culture. Better said, a trip to this country, without leaving the northern area of ​​Medellín.

A road to Portugal

Spanish has established a bridge between the countries that share it, so strong that it overcomes even geographical distances: Colombian readers are much closer to Mexican or Argentine letters than to Brazilian ones, despite the fact that the latter is a neighboring country. . Few local publishers have been interested in publishing the translations of Portuguese-speaking authors. Clearly more English translations are sold in the country, again, despite being much further away in idiosyncrasy and geography.

Lusophones are aware of this phenomenon and how much of their literary and academic production remains within the borders established by their common language, which is why they have made efforts to cross them, having in their favor a Nobel Prize for Literature, José Saramago, that he is a constant presence in his country, but that is not why contemporary creators dislike him, but in fact they feel driven by his work and the revision of it. This is how Jerónimo Pizarro feels, a translator and academic who has dedicated himself to this culture and is the manager of several publications and events that are made of Portuguese literature in the country.

Pizarro attributes this close relationship to the management of the José Saramago Foundation, which has initiatives such as the homonymous literary award, one of the most important in Portugal. This year marks the hundredth anniversary of his birth and part of the conversation at the Book Festival will revolve around how contemporary Portuguese writers are influenced. Here are some to discover:

Luis Cardoso, the love of the countryside from Asia to Portugal

He is one of the most important writers in East Timor. He is the son of a male nurse who served in various locations in Timor, which is why he knows and speaks several Timorese languages. He moved to Lisbon, where he graduated in Forestry at the Higher Institute of Agronomy. He has been concerned in his work for his country, the works produced there and the supernatural world. It is just being translated into Spanish.

Mafalda Milhões: writer, illustrator and bookseller
She is no stranger to Colombia, she was already a guest at the Bogotá International Book Fair in 2013 and perhaps this closeness led her to receive the commission for the new title of the collection Palabras Rodantes, which circulates free of charge in the Medellín Metro. . Her work is developed mainly in illustration and children’s literature, exploring everyday issues with candor.

Pilar del Río, the academic guardian of the legacy
She worked as a communicator and journalist before becoming a translator for José Saramago. After the death of the Portuguese Nobel laureate, she assumed the presidency of the José Saramago Foundation, which has been in charge of preserving and disseminating the work of this fundamental writer of Portuguese literature. From the management of it, different publications, meetings and documentaries have been made.

José Luis Peixoto, the renowned contemporary
That of the poet, playwright, columnist, translator and novelist is perhaps the best-known name in current Portuguese literature in the world. He has been awarded several prizes and his narrative has been cataloged as possessing “great expressive force and very lyrical prose.” Among his most recent novels is Autobiografía, a tribute to José Saramago, which generated debates in his country.

Bruno Vieira Amaral, the rising star
His poetic debut in 2002 earned him several literary awards in his country, but this is not the only genre he cultivates. He is also a critic, editor, novelist and translator. Later in his career, when he decided to publish his first novel As Primeiras Coisas (2013), he went through the same thing as with poetry, receiving recognition from the media and institutions, even winning the José Saramago Prize in 2015.

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The invitation of the Book Festival is to travel to Portugal