An Analysis under Special Consideration of the Publishing Market
CHAPTER 7 José Saramago and José Luís Peixoto: Two Case Studies of Literary Legitimacy and Consecration 169
169 CHAPTER 7 José Saramago and José Luís Peixoto: Two Case Studies of Literary Legitimacy and Consecration. I will examine José Saramago’s social trajectory between the 1960s and 1998, during which he reached an undisputed position in the Portuguese literary field, culminating with the 1998 Nobel Prize of Literature. I will endeavour to establish that there were four major decisive factors which influenced Saramago’s canonicity: the Por- tuguese political, social and cultural environment; Saramago’s social trajectory, that is, the making of his public persona; the tim- ing of the publication of his novels; and the fact that he was pub- lished by Editorial Caminho. Furthermore, I examine the public recognition of José Luís Peixoto, who was first published in 2000 and benefited from the fact that José Saramago was a consecrated writer, when he was awarded the José Saramago Literary Prize in 2001. Saramago’s authority became decisive in Peixoto’s symbolic capital whereas Peixoto’s position in the literary field also strengthened Saramago’s authority and prestige. 7.1 JOSÉ SARAMAGO 7.1.1 Social Trajectory In 1947, Saramago published his first novel, Terra do Pecado. Origi- nally named A Viúva, he sent the manuscript to the publishing house Parceria António Maria Pereira but he did not receive any feedback from them. Later, unexpectedly, he received a phone call from the editor Manuel Rodrigues, of Minerva, asking to see him on account of the manuscript. Rodrigues agreed to publish it but suggested a change in the title to the more appealing Terra...
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