Nos quoque iberi sumus

Stone RaftYou throw a large stone into the ocean and the ground under your feet begins to tremble … and the Iberian peninsula snaps off and begins to move away from the rest of Europe: a stone raft. Or you are a woman who picks up a branch and scratches a line in the dirt and immediately the earth trembles … and the Iberian peninsula snaps off and begins to move away from the rest of Europe: a stone raft.

Five strangers, each feeling guilty for possibly having caused Spain and Portugal to float away, abandoning Gibraltar in the Mediterranean, and causing the increased tides that almost destroy Venice, meet up to explore the new island while the island itself floats across the ocean.  And to punctuate the absurdity, a large dog is their guide.

Meanwhile the rest of the world is embroiled in diplomatic and political issues of its own. Much as we see now with Twitter, a new meme is posted around many countries in many languages declaring solidarity with the people of the peninsula: “We are all Iberians!” But not everyone agrees.

SaramagoThe novel is a good one by José Saramago, Portuguese author and Nobel Prize Laureate, titled The Stone Raft (A Jangada de Pedra).

Saramago is a favorite author and if you haven’t read him, do so without further delay. I have posted several times about this author: Cain, Death With Interruptions, and a general overview of the author. The Stone Raft might even be a good novel to begin to explore Saramago.

 

 

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