Title: THE CAVE - Scarce Fine Copy of The First ...
Publisher: New York City, NY: Harcourt Inc., 2002
Book Condition: Fine
Dust Jacket Condition: Fine
Signed: Signed by Author
Edition: 1st Edition.
1st Printing. Signed. 307 pages. Published in 2002. The author's eighth novel to be translated into English. One of Jose Saramago's greatest achievements. The first appearance of the title in English and 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 Caverna" in a felicitous English translation. One of his most popular and critically acclaimed books ever. "A compassionate study of loyalty, love, and the ways in which people face the forces trying to obliterate their spirit" (Francine Prose). 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 copy is very prominently and beautifully signed and dated in black ink-pen on the title page by the author: "Jose Saramago 1.2006". It is signed directly on the page itself, not on a tipped-in page. This title is a great book. This is one of very few such signed copies of the First American Edition/First Printing still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. Among the Nobel Laureates and other great writers of our time, Saramago's signature was probably the most difficult to get because he rarely left Lanzarote, the island he moved to at the height of his fame. Now that he is dead, he isn't signing any more copies. And yet, signed copies of his books, while not exactly cheap, remain under-priced as compared to those of say, Gabriel Garcia Marquez or Cormac McCarthy. While they are great writers, Saramago will be regarded by posterity as a greater writer than both of them, and there is no British or American novelist of the last fifty years, living or dead, who comes close to Saramago's achievement (except, according to Harold Bloom, for Philip Roth at his best). A rare signed 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 collectible copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER JOSE SARAMAGO TITLES IN OUR CATALOG) ISBN 0151004145. Bookseller Inventory # 19745
Synopsis: Cipriano Algor, an elderly potter, lives with his daughter Marta and her husband Marçal in a small village on the outskirts of The Center, an imposing complex of shops, apartment blocks, offices, and sensation zones. Marçal works there as a security guard, and Cipriano drives him to work each day before delivering his own humble pots and jugs. On one such visit, he is told not to make any more deliveries until further notice. People prefer plastic, he is told; it lasts longer and doesn't break.
Unwilling to give up his craft, Cipriano tries his hand at making ceramic dolls. Astonishingly, The Center places an order for hundreds of figurines, and Cipriano and Marta set to work. In the meantime, Cipriano meets a young widow at the graves of their recently departed spouses, and a hesitant romance begins.
When Marta learns that she is pregnant and Marçal receives a promotion, they all move into an apartment in The Center. Soon they hear a mysterious sound of digging, and one night Marçal and Cipriano investigate. Horrified by the discovery, the family, which now includes the widow and a dog, sets off in a truck, heading for the great unknown.
Suffused with the depth, humor, and above all the extraordinary sense of humanity that marks each of his novels, The Cave is sure to become an essential book of our time.
Review: José Saramago is a master at pacing. Readers unfamiliar with the work of this Portuguese Nobel Prize winner would do well to begin with The Cave, a novel of ideas, shaded with suspense. Spare and pensive, The Cave follows the fortunes of an aging potter, Cipriano Algor, beginning with his weekly delivery of plates to the Center, a high-walled, windowless shopping complex, residential community, and nerve center that dominates the region. What sells at the Center will sell everywhere else, and what the Center rejects can barely be given away in the surrounding towns and villages. The news for Cipriano that morning isn't good. Half of his regular pottery shipment is rejected, and he is told that the consumers now prefer plastic tableware. Over the next week, he and his grown daughter Marta grieve for their lost craft, but they gradually open their eyes to the strange bounty of their new condition: a stray dog adopts them, and a lovely widow enters Cipriano's life. When they are invited to live at the Center, it seems ungracious to refuse, but there are strange developments under the complex and a troubling increase in security, and Cipriano changes all their fates by deciding to investigate. In Saramago's able hands, what might have become a dry social allegory is a delicately elaborated story of individualism and unexpected love. --Regina Marler
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