The Portuguese daily DIÁRIO DE NOTÍCIAS, in its edition dated 28 October 2007, carried a lengthy interview with Portugal’s leading cultural figure, the Nobel-winning novelist José Saramago ("Entrevista – José Saramago", with José Marcelino and José Fragoso, pp. 1-5; online – in part only – at: http://www.dn.sapo.pt/2007/10/28/artes/mesmo_me_decepcoes_o_comunismo_e_con.html). The information that follows comes from p. 5 of the interview and is not not in the selection included online.
Saramago referred to his forthcoming novel, "A Viagem do Elefante" ("The Elephant’s Travels"), which he is now writing and which the 84-year-old writer says could prove to be his last book. It will, he explains, be some kind of answer to the question: "O que é que andamos aqui a fazer?" ("What are we doing here?").
He also spoke of the José Saramago Foundation, now in process of creation. Its chair will be his wife, Pilar del Río; its purpose will be to carry on his work, with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as its ruling text, in both literary and other fields. He added that a José Saramago chair has been set up in Spain, at the University of Granada – not a literary chair but one in environmental sciences, which will pay special attention to the global warming issue.
The author further stated that a major exhibition on his life and work will soon be held in Lanzarote (Canary Islands), where he and Pilar live. It will be inaugurated on 23 November 2007.
It is clear that José Saramago’s legacy will indeed live on after he has left us!