Hormonal communism

An interview with one of my favourite writers, José Saramago, in today’s Guardian online – presumably the Observer? Well worth reading. Here’s an extract:

Still a Communist party member, Saramago describes himself as a “hormonal communist – just as there’s a hormone that makes my beard grow every day. I don’t make excuses for what communist regimes have done – the church has done a lot of wrong things, burning people at the stake. But I have the right to keep my ideas. I’ve found nothing better.” Yet he did write in 2003 that, after years of personal friendship with Fidel Castro, the Cuban leader “has lost my confidence, damaged my hopes, cheated my dreams”. In Reis’s view, “Saramago lives his communism mostly as a spiritual condition – philosophical and moral. He doesn’t preach communism in his novels.” His fable of consumerism and control in a globalised culture, The Cave (2001), shows the focus of life shifting from cathedral to shopping mall. But for Jull Costa, its strength is in his “writing so humanely about ordinary people and their predicaments”.

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