José Saramago, Nobel Laureate, Has Died

[Photograph of José Saramago. Photocredit: Wikimedia Commons]
José Saramago, Nobel Laureate 1998
November 16, 1922 – June 18, 2010
The world of letters has lost another light.

José Saramago died today according to his publisher. He was 87 years old.

I am mostly ignorant of Mr. Saramago’s work. I began reading The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis and found the story wonderful and strange. It tells the story of Ricardo Reis, a “heteronym” used by Fernando Pessoa, who continues to live on after Fernando Pessoa has died. A heteronym is different from a pseudonym in that each heteronym possesses a separate history, temperament, philosophy, and writing style, whereas as a pseudonym refers to the author.

The writing career of Mr. Saramago flourished later in life. He did not become a full time novelist in his late fifties, “after working variously as a garage mechanic, a Welfare Agency bureaucrat, a printing production manager, a proofreader, a translator and a newspaper columnist” (from the New York Times obituary).

His work serves as a reminder that not all great artists are great while they are young, a foil to our obsession with youth.

Obituaries

Weekly Review: October 2nd to October 8th

Exploring back archives of interesting blogs is a wonderful idea. I came across a number of great essays on The Word Blog on boston.com. Anyone have any suggestions of good blogs about language, literature, or education? I am going to need to setup an RSS Reader…

Otherwise, it seemed like a slow week for news that interested me that had deep coverage. Some of the stories were too short, leaving me wondering for more. As we roll back our print media, we lose the ability to cover depth of different topics. Many things tantalized me. But the stories I found really fulfilling was one about imaginative play and its positive effects on early childhood behavior and education.

These Things Caught My Eye

Read more..