Baltasar and Blimunda by José Saramago
Baltasar and Blimunda (Portuguese: Memorial do Convento, 1982) is a novel by the Nobel Prize-winning Portuguese author José Saramago. It is an 18th-century love story intertwined with the construction of the Convent of Mafra, now one of Portugal's chief tourist attractions, as a background. Two young lovers interact naturally with historical characters including the composer and harpsichordist Domenico Scarlatti and the priest Bartolomeu de Gusmão, recognized today as an aviation pioneer, all in the shadow of the Inquisition. The lovers are always at center stage wrapped in Saramago's language, which ranges from short simple sentences to surrealistic, unpunctuated paragraphs that help to intensify both the action and the setting. The book served as the basis for the opera Blimunda (1990), composed by Azio Corghi.