Hania A.M. Nashef deposited ‘To have been and no longer be’: The angst towards death in Darwish’s Mural and Saramago’s Death at Intervals in the group CLCS 20th- and 21st-Century on MLA Commons 3 months, 3 weeks ago
In Portuguese Nobel Laureate José Saramago’s As Intermitências da Morte (2005) and in Mahmoud Darwish’s epic poem Mural (2000), the authors contemplate the nothingness that accompanies death, a concern that increasingly permeates their later writings. Although ‘death’ is depicted differently, the authors fear that with death “the universe wouldn’t even know that [they] had ever existed,” (Saramago and Río, José e Pilar). The ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus argues, “death … is nothing to us, since so long as we exist, death is not with us; but when death comes, then we do not exist.” For Darwish and Saramago, what is evident in death is the possibility of the absolute impossibility of Da-sein. Martin Heidegger argues when Da-sein reaches its full potential, it loses its being. Darwish and Saramago not only strip death to its bare essence but also attempt at comprehending what humanity has pondered from times immemorial: is that it?