Guest editor - Anna Klobucka (University of Georgia)
For many decades, José Saramago has been a staunch defender of the role of literature to both serve and be perceived as public discourse. When, in October 1998, he became the first Portuguese-language author to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, his conviction was supported by the assurance that, at any rate, this particular writer’s literary discourse was guaranteed to be widely (and globally) publicized. If, as Wlad Godzich has claimed, the severely limited possibility of public discourse in the contemporary world is compensated by the ever-multiplying variety of ways to publicize discourses (“Workshop”), Saramago has taken full advantage of the opportunities offered in this respect by the Nobel prize as probably the most effective institutionalized instrument of publicity that high literary discourse which is produced worldwide has at its annual disposal. His international visibility greatly amplified, Saramago could be seen in the last two years shuttling the globe and making globally publicized statements on behalf of the many political causes that have attracted his attention and support.