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Today I finished reading Ensayo sobre la ceguera (Blindness) by José Saramago. It was excellent. An metaphor about the world we live in, and "the responsibility to have eyes when others have lost them." The white blindness ins the book is, in my opinion, the overload of information that blinds us today, something that brings out the worst, and sometimes (although not often enough) the best in us.

The prose is close to perfection, often weaving images, feelings and meaning with the context and composition of the text itself. For example, When the only woman that is not blind is told that she is beautiful by three of her friends, women who have never seen her, she is "reduced to tears because of a personal pronoun, an adverb, a verb, an adjective, mere grammatical categories, mere labels, just like the two women, the others, indefinite pronouns, they too are crying, they embrace the woman of the whole sentence, three graces beneath the falling rain."

I think the closest thing to it that I can remember is Camp Concentration by Thomas M. Disch, which I read about a year and a half ago. Similar both in its intensity and its insights into the human condition.

A paragraph stays with me:

"I think we didn't become blind, I think we are blind. Blind people who see. Blind people who, seeing, don't see."

What Ursula K. Le Guin said of Camp Concentration applies just as well to Saramago's book: "It is a work of art, and if you read it, you will be changed."

Categories: personal
Posted by diego on July 23 2002 at 11:13 PM

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