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José Saramago: Blindness

Discussion in 'Fiction Books' started by Jillean, Sep 12, 2003.

  1. Dogmatix

    Dogmatix New Member

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    Doctor's wife has just lied her way onto the ambulance.

    So far I am really enjoying the flow of Saramago's writing. Similar style to the Double. I espescially enjoy when he, the author, pokes through the story with something like, "and we know exactly how he's feeling". Since the writer's conscious self is recognized in the writing it allows the reader's consciousness to be included as well.

    I'm not so sure how I feel about the lack of quotations yet. If I'm immersed in the story I don't seem to notice, but if I become distracted by a stray thought I often have to start a dialouge over again to assigned the words to the correct character.

    Okay back to the book :D
     
  2. lilbiteb

    lilbiteb New Member

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    I'm finding The Double much harder going than Blindness but then again I've hardly had any time to read lately. I think that The Double is probably a book that needs to be focused on over a few days rather than dipped into when I have a moment. I'm persevering though because I want my socks knocked off on the last page!
     
  3. Dogmatix

    Dogmatix New Member

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    Like I said I also had to start it twice but once I got rolling I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    I'm about 1/2 through Blindness right now. While reading the descriptions of the blind trying to get find their way outside to their food I'm reminded of those Dawn of the Dead movies; everyone moving slowly and waving their arms in front of them, while guns are pointed in their direction. Very creepy.

    I'm finding that the dialogue isn't a problem anymore and I also rather appreciate the lack of names. Saramago explains why this is: "We're so remote from the world that any day now we shall no longer know who we are, or even remember our names, and besides, what use would names be to us, no dog recognizes another dog or knows the others by the names they have been given, a dog is identified by its sent and that is how it identifies others, here we are like another breed of dogs we know each others bark or speech......"

    Distanced and isolated as they are from society they are throwing off the associated strappings, names, manners, bathing, civilized sharing and so on and unfortunately becoming a bit more animal in the process.
     
  4. Dogmatix

    Dogmatix New Member

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    THIS POST CONTAINS OPEN SPOILERS SO PROCEED WITH CAUTION

    Finished up this morning and I have to say all in all an enjoyable read. Like others of you have mentioned I was unimpressed with the ending. It wasn't so much that they regained their eyesight but that they did it with several pages remaining in which all the loose ends were tied up and everyone was left smiling. I would have preferred a deterioration to complete desperation and a tragic denoument (perhaps a suicide) then a sudden return to eyesight in the last paragraph or sentence. A bit more of a shocker.

    I loved the image of the dog of tears. Very touching.

    I also found a bit of loss of momentum when they first left the asylum, although the story line recovered soon after.

    I would certainly recommend this book however I will say I enjoyed The Double a bit more, particularly the ending. ;)
     
  5. Prairie_Girl

    Prairie_Girl New Member

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    DR, thanks for the open spoilers thing, I almost read your post. THis is sitting in my TBR pile, but I was wondering, has anyone read Seeing I'd like to read it too and was wondering; should I plan to read them back to back or should I spread it out a bit?
     
  6. Dogmatix

    Dogmatix New Member

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    I have purchased Seeing but haven't read it yet. My impression is they are related but not so intertwined that you'd need to read them back to back. Not sure if this answered your question or not. BTW Blindness was very good. If you like Saramago I recommend The Double. Enjoy!
     
  7. Dogmatix

    Dogmatix New Member

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    BTW Prairie I checked out your livejournal. :)
     
  8. Prairie_Girl

    Prairie_Girl New Member

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    :D thanks! I like it when people read my journal!
     
  9. Bernard

    Bernard New Member

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    I've read both Blindness and Seeing. I wouldn't recommend reading Seeing first. Ir is a totally different story, but it would tell you what happened in Blindness which could kinda ruin it for you.

    I've also read the Double, Great book. I can't seem to get enough of Saramago nowadays!!
     
  10. Dogmatix

    Dogmatix New Member

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    I have a few more on my TBR pile: All the Names, The Stone Raft, The Gospel According to Jesus Christ.
     
  11. Prairie_Girl

    Prairie_Girl New Member

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    Wow! I'm so glad I read this thread and decided to make this my next read. I'm about 1/2 way through it, actually closer to 2/3 and am absoluteyl captivated.
     
  12. Prairie_Girl

    Prairie_Girl New Member

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    Wow..... I was up until 3:30 reading last night, that was simply...amazing and beautiful. I can't wait to read Seeing now!!!!!!
     
  13. -Carlos-

    -Carlos- New Member

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    Didn't All The Names win a Nobel for Literature?
     
  14. Prairie_Girl

    Prairie_Girl New Member

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    The Nobel isn't really awarded for a specific book but for the author's body of work in general. I think. Thats what everything I read has told me, but I might be mistaken.
     
  15. Dogmatix

    Dogmatix New Member

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    I'm actually holding my copy of All the Names and it says "Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature".
     
  16. MonkeyCatcher

    MonkeyCatcher New Member

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    I think that that is referring to Saramago rather than the book - I'm pretty sure that Prairie is right in saying that the Nobel is not awarded for a specific book.
     
  17. Dogmatix

    Dogmatix New Member

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    Hmmm, I really don't know. You're probably right.
     
  18. Sofia

    Sofia New Member

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    I believe it's for his work in general....the several books of his that I read all say it.
     
  19. Maizara

    Maizara New Member

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    Just finished reading this. Disturbing with some explicit scenes.

    One thing that bothered me is that a story needs to have a proper conclusion and this one didn't. The reason we read a book is to know why it happened. But no, Jose Saramago decided to reason it out in Seeing. (which I would borrow because I need to know what happened) After bracing through the disconcerting situations, the inhumanity, the little confusion of lack of punctuation or (to put it in another way) the abundance of commas, we deserve to know the whys, the whats, the hows. We deserve some explanation.
    The 'not blind but not seeing' could be the reason. But to end it with just those few lines is not redeeming.
    Or at least we deserve to know that it is a kind of a 'prequel' to a 'sequel'.

    But still, after all that has been said, an interesting story.
     
  20. Heteronym

    Heteronym New Member

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    Do not read Seeing because you think it has any answers; it doesn't. Read it because it's a really great novel! It's a very loose sequel and the way it picks up Blindness is quite unpredictable.

    I'm a strict adherent to the beginning-middle-end formula since it's worked for longer than the modern alternatives, but I don't complain about loose explanations so long as I feel emotionally satisfied, which is how this novel leaves.
     

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