Thursday, October 4, 2007

Fall Into Reading: The Lusiads

I finished reading the first book from my list for the Fall Into Reading Challenge hosted by Katrina.

The Lusiads by Luis Vaz De Camoes, is considered to be "the national epic of Portugal". It was originally published in 1572, the epic celebrates the achievements of the Portuguese people. It tells the story of their heroic voyage to India, of the explorer Vasco de Gama. Gama is the protagonist of this poem, he's the one that tells the story of the Portuguese people to the the king of native tribe in Africa.

I first read this book in Portuguese for one of my history classes. I enjoyed it then, and I was always curious on how different it would be if I read the English translation of the book. The only difference is that the original is in poem form and the English translation is in prose, which makes perfect sense.

I glad that I read this book. I had the opportunity to revisit old stories that I learned from my grandmother and my father, and later on that I read myself. And someday my children will read these stories and learn about the courage, and the achievements of the Portuguese people. I'm very proud of my Portuguese heritage.

About the author: Luis Vaz De Camoes was born 1524 to a lesser nobility family. His family was related to Vasco de Gama, so he had a interest in the discoveries and the creation of the Portuguese empire. He went to university in Coimbra, where he studied Latin, mythology and history. He went to Ceuta in 1547 as a common soldier, where lost his right eye. He traveled to India, and Macau, where he worked on The Lusiads. He returned to Portugal in 1570, and The Lusiads was published to little acclaim. He died June 10, 1580.

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