After reading Blindness by José Saramago

Don't read my blog. Read José Saramago's Blindness.

I've been thinking that descriptive narrations never manage to function as I wish when it comes to introducing a piece of artwork to others.

Thanks to Laura Veirs' recommendation - what she does surpasses my effort here: composing a song with the inspiration by the book. Without her I might have never come across this novel (written in Portuguese with the title Ensaio sobre a Cegueira in 1995). Now, the book, the song, the gig, and the reading experience on top of all my recent retrospection stress tears smiles sleep nights doubts hopes: they have all been interwoven together. Like the pouring rain in the book purifying physical bodies, reading clears my thoughts.

Later when I think of this time again, I'll happily recall that, in leisure, I read an outstanding novel on humanity and frailty; its heroine's grace, generosity her incredible strength, and the scenes of dismay that made me indignant will all be saved in my memory box. I went on a quest to see how a story inspires an artist, but ended up undergoing an invaluable experience of self-growth.

PS. The structure of the story is remarkable too. Through this I received a writing lesson, too.

Link to read a good book review. [click me]
中文版 [click me]

An excerpt: [...] She began with the boxes of matches, and almost filled a bag. No need to take all of them, the voice of commonsense told her, then the flickering flames of the matches lit up the shelves, over here, then over there, soon the bags were full, the first had to be emptied because it contained nothing useful, the others already held enough riches to buy the city, nor need we be surprised at this difference of values, we need only recall that there was once a king who wanted to exchange his kingdom for a horse, what he woud he not give were he dying of hunger and he was tempted by these plastic bags full of food. [...] (p.219)


sunny said...

oh my dear
I read Blindness at least 3 years ago, on my long flight back to TW. Though it was a remarkable story, it was not a good choice to kill boring flying time. I got so depressed reading it, I couldn't finish it or sleep on the airplane.

Hope you are doing well. Miss you lots. I have to give an exam this week, which will make my teaching load a bit lighter this week. And best of all, i am going to Coachella, the rock concert in the desert!


impermissiblewanyü said...

Harrowing, indeed... Glad I did not read it on a plane... But it does leave you some space and light up hopes here and there.

I felt it demanded a lot of patience, especially when the time was hard, I wanted it to pass faster but in fact impatience only made things much worse and later I realise the pace of time always remains the same. (Learned this...)

Coachella! You'll see Bjork? Envy...