Friday, 27 July 2018

Bookish Déjà-Vu: Grape Harvest by Miguel Torga

It’s true that all year round the plants cultivated in fields, gardens and vineyards need a lot of attention and work, but when it’s time to yield the fruits of the earth many more helping hands may be needed unless there are machines that can do the work of men just as well or even better. In the famous wine region of the Douro valley in Portugal of the 1940s picking grapes and pressing them was still very hard, even dangerous manual work as shows the classical novel Grape Harvest by Miguel Torga that I chose for a bookish déjà vu. Every autumn men, women and even children from remote mountain villages move to the valley for two weeks to do a literally backbreaking job for wine producers who don’t care about them. Board and lodge are a shame, wages are scandalously low, and yet, it’s a change of scene… 
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