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Giovanni Pontiero Papers

Date range: 1983–1998

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Giovanni Pontiero was a senior lecturer and later reader in Latin American Literature in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies at the University of Manchester, from 1970 until his death in 1996.

In addition to pursuing a distinguished academic career, Pontiero achieved international recognition as a translator of Portuguese, and in particular of the novels of José Saramago (1922-2010).

Born into a peasant family in central Portugal and brought up amid poverty in Lisbon, Saramago was a lifelong atheist and a member of the Communist Party. After publishing several volumes of poetry in the 1960s and early ’70s, in the following decade he turned to novel writing. In the 1980s Saramago published four major novels which brought him international recognition. He was the first Portuguese language writer to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, in 1998. He died on the Spanish island of Lanzarote in 2010.

This collection comprises the research papers of Dr Giovanni Pontiero relating to José Saramago. It contains numerous newspaper and journal articles relating to various book reviews and items about Saramago himself. In addition, there are copies of translation work undertaken by Pontiero, including handwritten notes with annotations as well as typewritten versions and proof copies. Also present are Pontiero’s lecture notes relating to José Saramago and reviews by Pontiero of various books written by Saramago.

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