Image: Samuel Zeller
Sunday 8th January, 2017
Emilie Whitaker
Saramago’s Death at Intervals depicts a country without death; over seven months the text explores the consequences of death postponed. He tells us of what happens when immortality becomes a lived experience – of those left suspended between life and death, of the crisis of religion and philosophy and a state on the brink of economic and social collapse. Religious leaders begin a national campaign of prayer asking God to bring about the return of death. Philosophers are reconvened to ask, yet again, whether the glass is half empty or half full. Undertakers bemoan the collapse of the death industry and their slide into ostentatious burials of parakeets to keep bankruptcy at bay. There is a spatial and resource crunch. Freed from biological death, inhabitants are faced with a void …