Starting at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s, in an unidentified country in an undetermined year, in José Saramago’s new novel, “Death. José Saramago prefaces his newly translated novella, Death with Interruptions, with two epigraphs: a prediction and a supposition. “We will know less and less. Ted Gioia reviews Death With Interruptions by Jose Saramago at Great Books Guide.

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Death with Interruptions by José Saramago | Quarterly Conversation

General joy at this dawning realisation soon gives way to trouble, as Saramago gleefully pursues the satirical implications. Views Read Edit View history. Although the musician is clearly a lover of literature in general, a look at an average shelf in his library will show that he has a special liking for books on astronomy, the natural sciences and nature, and today he has brought with him a handbook on entomology. Upon saramagk him, she plans to personally give him the letter; instead, she falls in love with him, and, by doing so, she becomes even more human-like.

Death with Interruptions – Wikipedia

Most readers will find that nothing here takes them by surprise, or makes them look at the book from a new perspective. I want to read everything else Interruprions has ever written, because I suspect that at least a few of his other novels must be as clever as Death with Interruptions. And then, mid novel, there is a turning point, when a powerful man receives a mysterious violet envelope.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. A decentring feature of this long-established style is that when people speak in sentences themselves containing interruuptions, you are not at first quite sure when the speech has ended and the narrator’s inteeruptions has resumed, Is it here, you think, No, it’s later on, it must be here, I reckon, you see how tricky this can be.


At first the apparent death of death seems like a cause for celebration. He will write Death, the name of the folkloric hooded skeleton carrying a scythe, in lower-case: September Summer Summary: Other Colorsp.

Saramago has a knack for confronting the reader with something he is not prepared for, and thereby pulling him into the reality of the text. Edath were odd moments when I found myself thinking that this uninterrupted style might actually mirror more accurately the flow of conversation.

For instance, having related an anecdote concerning intetruptions family that seems rather irrelevant to the overall story, the narrator comments: The interaction between these two translucent characters is never solid enough to afford the reader a grip, a way to enter into it. Why has death ceased to occur? The anonymous, perhaps only hypothetical speaker begins talking in the middle of a narrative sentence, following a comma, with no quotation marks but only a capital letter to mark the beginning of his speech and nothing to mark its end.

Saramago handles the premise ably, picking apart the consequences of this newfound immortality and following each of sarmago threads to its logical conclusion. I also loved how once in a while a first person plural narrator would stick its head their heads? You chuckle at the plight of the professionals who depend on death for their livelihood—at the gravediggers and the hospital directors and joze funeral homes and the insurance companies, at their conferences and their pleading letters to the state.

Thoughts on “Death with Interruptions” by Jose Saramago

July Summer Summary: The Country Road by Regina Ullmann This collection of short stories, her first to appear in English, counters material poverty wit How has he, alone among humans, escaped his destiny? I, too, worried about his style being inaccessible and was pleasantly surprised!


Hmm, maybe I need to check out Intrruptions Duras! Saramago’s conceit here—which you have probably already foreseen—is that immortality proves to be far more troublesome than the previous state of affairs. And so the conversation continues for four more paragraph-and period-less pages. Meanwhile, everyone else can hope to live for ever. This joy is short-lived – it soon becomes intereuptions that the end of death presents unique demographic and financial challenges.

Thanks for the excellent review. My favourite is Blindness whicj I loved for its emotional impact, but it sounds as though this book is just as clever as The Double. I am in love with this book. Then, at the halfway point, something happens, of which we learn after a masterful page sequence of narrative suspense, deliberately withholding a crucial fact of epistolary information that the publisher’s blurb blithely betrays on the back cover. I was initially worried I might find his jkse style a ihterruptions difficult to digest due to its lack of punctuation and the like, so I was really pleased to find it so accessible.

At times, the book almost seems like a Harvard Business School case study penned by Michael Porteraddressing the competitive dynamics of a surprising development in the marketplace.