By Jose Saramago
From the recipient of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Literature, a “brilliant...enchanting novel” (New York instances ebook assessment) of romance, deceit, faith, and magic set in eighteenth-century Portugal on the top of the Inquisition. nationwide bestseller. Translated by means of Giovanni Pontiero.
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Additional resources for Baltasar and Blimunda
It is Dona Maria Ana who tugs the bell-pull, whereupon the King's footmen enter from one side and the Queen's ladies-in-waiting from the other. Various odours hover in the air and one of them is unmistakable for without its presence the long-awaited miracle could not possibly take place, and besides, the much-quoted immaculate conception of the Virgin Mary occurred but once so that the world might know that Almighty God, when He so chooses, has no need of men, though He cannot dispense with women.
He will see the Tree of Jesse sprout from his penis, covered with leaves and populated by the ancestors of Christ, and even by Christ Himself, the Heir of All Kingdoms, then the tree will vanish and in its place will appear the tall columns, bell towers, domes, and belfries of a Franciscan convent, which is unmistakable because of the habit worn by Friar Antony of St Joseph, whom the King can see throwing open the church doors. Such dreams are not common amongst kings, but Portugal has been well served by imaginative monarchs.
Before ascending the steps, each kneels on his or her respective side of the bed and says the prescribed prayers, for fear of dying unconfessed during sexual intercourse, Dom João V determined that his efforts should bear fruit on this occasion, his hopes redoubled as he trusts in God's assistance and in his own virile strength, and protesting his faith, he begs the Almighty to give him an heir. As for Dona Maria Ana, one may assume that she is imploring the same divine favour, unless for some reason she enjoys special dispensations under the seal of the confessional.
Baltasar and Blimunda by Jose Saramago