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First released in in its original Portuguese, the novel was translated into English by Margaret Jull Costa in The novel centers around death as both a phenomenon, and as an anthropomorphized character.
The book, based in an unnamed, landlocked country at a point in the unspecified past, opens with the end of death. Mysteriously, at the stroke of midnight of January 1, no one in the country can die any more.
Initially, the people of this country celebrate their apparent victory over mankind’s longtime foe. Though the traditional sources for guidance on things like life and death endeavor to discover why people have stopped dying, religious authorities, philosophers and scholars alike can find no answers.
Intermitencias DA Morte, as : Jose Saramago :
The Intermitencis Church feels threatened by this new turn of events, as the end of death would call into question one of the fundamental foundations of their dogma: The common citizens, however, generally enjoy their newfound immortality.
This joy is short-lived – it soon becomes apparent that the end of death presents unique demographic and financial challenges. The complete cessation of dying leads to a growing fear among healthcare workers that the system will collapse under its own weight: Funeral workers, on the other hand, fear the opposite problem: A means of finally killing people, and relieving families of the burden of their catatonic kin, is devised and implemented by an underground group known only as the maphia the ‘ph’ is chosen to avoid any confusion with the more sinister Mafia.
The incapacitated are brought over the borders of the country, where they instantly die, as death has not ceased working intsrmitencias.
The industry develops so quickly that the government itself becomes beholden to the maphioso, even bringing it to intermutencias brink of war with its neighbors. Death reemerges not long thereafter, this time as a woman named death the lowercase name is used to signify the difference between the death who ends the life of people, and the Death who will end all of the Universe. She announces, through a missive sent to the media, that her experiment has ended, and people will begin dying again.
However, in an effort to kill more kindly, death will now send a letter to those about to perish, giving them a week to prepare for their end. The violet-envelope-encased letters create a frenzy in the country, as people are not just ijtermitencias to dying, but also must face the specter of receiving one of these letters and having their fate sealed with it.
Intermitencias DA Morte, as
From morye, the story largely moves on to focus on death’s relationship with an otherwise unremarkable cellist who, amazingly, will not die. Every time death sends him his letter, it returns.
Death discovers that, without reason, this man has mistakenly not been killed. Although originally intending merely to analyze this man and discover why he is unique, death eventually becomes infatuated with him, enough so that she takes on human form to meet him.
Upon visiting inetrmitencias, 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.
The book ends, as it began, by stating that no one died the next day. As in many of his other works, Saramago largely eschews traditional forms of grammar and punctuation.
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Many of his sentences are written in a style almost akin to stream of consciousness. Saramago avoids using quotations to signify speech, iintermitencias relying on inline text, and the usage of capitalization to signify the start of a new speaker’s words.
He avoids dz capitalization of proper names of people or places, and especially of his protagonist “death” who emphatically insists that her name be written lowercase. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The New York Times.