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Saramago, Jose (Translated by Margaret Jull Costa) : Death With Interruptions
Harcourt, Inc., New York City, NY, 2008
First Edition / First Printing. Fine in Fine Dust Jacket. 238 pages. The author's eleventh novel to be translated into English. One of Jose Saramago's finest achievements. The first appearance of the title in the United States. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only. The First Edition is now scarce. Presents Jose Saramago's "As intermitencias da morte" in a felicitious English translation. A triumphant achievement. "Saramago's philosophical page-turner hinges on death taking a holiday. And, Saramago being Saramago, he turns what could be the stuff of late-night stoner debate into a lucid, playful, and politically edgy novel of ideas. For reasons initially unclear, people stop dying in an unnamed country on New Year's Day. Shortly after death begins her break (death is a woman), there's a catastrophic collapse in the funeral industry, disruption in hospitals of the usual rotational process of patients coming in, getting better or dying, and general havoc. There's much debate and discussion on the link between Death, Resurrection, and the Church, and while the clandestine traffic of the terminally ill into bordering countries leads to government collusion with the self-styled mafia, death falls in love with a terminally ill cellist. Saramago adds two satisfying cliffhangers: How far can he go with the concept, and will death succumb to human love? Profound, resonant, and entertaining" (Publishers Weekly). As in all of his oeuvre, acutely so in his late, post-Nobel Prize work, Saramago re-visits and re-examines "the human condition", that otherwise exhausted inheritance from the idea and the reality called Europe and The Enlightenment, and sees it with fresh eyes through the prism of Apocalypse/"The End". He revitalizes and enlarges the novel through allegory. Often described as a satirist, Saramago's work goes much deeper, and he is perhaps the greatest modern literary ironist since Franz Kafka. An important distinction: A satirist mocks, makes fun of, and laughs at others; an ironist mocks, makes fun of, and laughs at himself, that is, makes us laugh at his pain. "Arguably the greatest writer of our time. He throws a dazzling flash of lightning on his subjects" (The Chicago Tribune). Saramago was an anomaly who came out of nowhere, seemingly born a genius. Every single page of every single book he has ever written makes the reader feel that he or she is in the hands of an unsurpassable Master. An absolute "must-have" title for Jose Saramago collectors. This title is a late-modern classic. This is one of few copies of the First American Edition/First Printing still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. Please note: Almost all copies available online are remainder-marked and have major flaws. A scarce copy thus. Regarded by Harold Bloom as one of the two greatest novelists of our time (the other being Philip Roth), Jose Saramago will be read as probably the greatest European novelist of the last fifty years. Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1998. A flawless copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER JOSE SARAMAGO TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0151012741.
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