By John Ross. Two writers of conviction and commitment — who shared an enthusiasm for popular struggle and a mutual disaffection with the Catholic Church — were buried recently amid tumultuous public acclaim. But Jose Saramago and Carlos Monsivais were hardly peas in a pod. Saramago, the first writer in the Portuguese language to win the Nobel prize, was tall, gaunt and always immaculately dressed. Mexico’s Monsivais was short and bumptious and rumpled, a Quixote-like man of the people.

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