The next novel by Portugal’s Nobel-winning novelist José Saramago (still not finished) will be called ‘As intermitências da Morte’ (approximately, ‘Intermittent death’ or ‘Death’s Intervals’). The author unveiled the title on 13 October 2005 in Cáceres (Extremadura, Spain) at the award ceremony for the Premio Carlos V (to the Portuguese President, Jorge Sampaio, for his dedication to the European cause). See: http://tsf.sapo.pt/online/portugal/interior.asp?id_artigo=TSF154993** In the same week, in an event (reported by the Correio da Manhã newspaper on 16 October 2005), linked to the 15th Iberoamerican Summit in Salamanca (Spain) – at which summit Mr Sampaio was also present – Saramago was one of six Iberoamerican writers to address a group of students of the University of Salamanca in a debate on literary issues. He said that he writes in order to understand the world and as a first step to changing it. See: http://www.correiomanha.pt/noticia.asp?id=177898&idselect=90&idCanal=90&p=94** In illustration of this text, I have added three photographs of the Convent of Mafra, near Lisbon, which features prominently in Saramago’s novel ‘Memorial do Convento’ (in English, ‘Baltasar & Blimunda’). Two of the photos (taken by Hélder Pereira) feature myself and Agostinho Pereira, my friend and former editor of FAROL (Viana do Castelo).
NOTE ADDED 28 January 2008: The English translation (by Margaret Jull Costa; London: Harvill Secker, 2008) proves in fact to be entitled ‘Death at Intervals’.