Today’s New York Times contains a report about an anti-war demonstration in Spain. One of the speakers was Jose Saramago, described by the Times as “the Portuguese writer and Nobel laureate”. That’s a true enough description so far as it goes. However, there’s more to Saramago than his Nobel Prize, as, needless to say, the Times fails to point out.
A hard-line Communist, Saramago played a major role in purging ideologically “unsound” elements from their positions in the Portuguese media at the time that that country seemed set to succumb to a Communist coup.
In his invaluable Intellectuals and Assassins, Stephen Schwartz records the fact that, only hours before he received his Nobel, Saramago spoke at a seminar during the Frankfurt Book Fair. His topic? “Being a Communist Author Today.”
Yet again: two death cults, two standards.