Blindness PDF ✓ Paperback


10 thoughts on “Blindness

  1. William William says:

    When you sit in a coffee shop at the corner of two busy streets and read a book about blindness, you find yourself thinking unfamiliar thoughts, and you believe, when you raise your head to watch the people passing, that you see things differently You notice the soft yellow light of the shop reflecting off the bronze of the hardwood floors You notice among the people coming from the train two girls who intersect that line, spilt, call back, and go their ways, dividing into the two directions o When you sit in a coffee shop at the corner of two busy streets and read a book about blindness, you find yourself thinking unfamiliar thoughts, and you believe, when you raise your head to watch the people passing, that you see things differently You notice the soft yellow light of the shop reflecting off the bronze of the hardwood floors You notice among the people coming from the train two girls who intersect that line, spilt, call back, and go their ways, dividing into the two directions of larger traffic When the girl working the shop goes out and leans against the brick entrance to clear her head of coffee smells or just to seeof the sky you feel the breeze blow in, and you smell it, and you feel that all these things the sights and smells of a place you already know are now something different The place you know, you don t know It becomes mysterious, romantic a newness you don t have to search for, or travel toward, because you are already among it You only want to feelof it sweep over you, and as a result feel new yourself If only for a few minutes longer.You walk home and notice a discarded knit hat at the foot of a tree you see the street cleaners orange signs tied to tree trunks, lampposts, telephone poles You see a train run alongside you the color of the silver clouds, of the reflected golden light You see people, in all their shapes, walk past you, each individual and anonymous You feel anonymous yourself, and thereforeforgiving,patient You think everything is possible You think everything possible must already exist You think again of something you already believe that people read the books that find them That stories arrive to tell themselves, as relevant as news.A little King, a little Camus, a little Gabriel Garcia which is to say Blindness is a lot of everything


  2. Nataliya Nataliya says:

    This book left me speechless which is a rare occurrence Please enjoy the pictures to illustrate the plot while I recover my gift of rambling An unexplained plague of white blindness sweeps the unnamed country Initial attempts to hastily quarantine the blind in an abandoned mental hospital fail to contain the spread What they succeed at is immediately creating the easy us versus them divide between the helpless newly blind and the terrified seeing Before we know, we are immersed in th This book left me speechless which is a rare occurrence Please enjoy the pictures to illustrate the plot while I recover my gift of rambling An unexplained plague of white blindness sweeps the unnamed country Initial attempts to hastily quarantine the blind in an abandoned mental hospital fail to contain the spread What they succeed at is immediately creating the easy us versus them divide between the helpless newly blind and the terrified seeing Before we know, we are immersed in the horrifying surreal world of hopelessness, filth, violence, and hate, where the true enemy is not their affliction but people themselves, which we can see through the eyes of the only person who appears immune to blindnessPerhaps only in a world of the blind will things be what they truly areAs the blindness epidemic spreads, we see the disintegration of society just like we witnessed the destruction of humanity in the quarantine area Excrement covers sidewalks, dogs munch on human corpses, the blind rot in the stores after futile attempts to find food Even the saints in the churches are blinded The world is a bleak picture of desolation and destruction We don t know why it happened whether it s a test, a warning, or a punishment Instead, we get a nagging haunting feeling that the real blindness was there all along the blindness towards the others, the blindness towards our real selves, and the physical blindness served as a way to unveil it What was always there but went unseen before because it used to be easy to shrug off Fear Us against them attitude Greed Contempt Hatred Selfishness Love of power Cowardice Apathy Isolation Filth Rape Murder Theft Ignorance Indifference Blaming the victim It was all already there, and blindness amplified it And, as society decays and falls apart, the question of what is means to be human comes upI don t think we did go blind, I think we are blind, Blind but seeing, Blind people who can see, but do not seeThings that made us human are gone Faces don t matter Names don t matter Homes don t matter Possessions don t matter Shame and modesty are gone Medicine is useless Government is useless Morals seem obsolete Empathy is gone Is anything left Anything inside usThe difficult thing isn t living with other people, it s understanding themThe vestiges of humanity are the only rays of hope in this bleak world The girl with the dark glasses taking care of the boy with the squint The man with the eye patch and his love And the doctor s wife, the only one who retained her sight Why Was it because she was the most human Or maybe she remained human because she retained her sight Who knows She is quiet and caring, leading the blind, washing the raped women, weeping over the dead but killing if she must She sticks by her morals even if she is forced to violate them She is the guiding light and the quiet hero in this world of darkness whiteness, keeping her charges from degradation without expecting anything in returnIf we cannot live entirely like human beings, at least let us do everything in our power not to live entirely like animalsThe style of this book may not be for everyone disclaimer I loved it The pages are filled margin to margin with solid wall of text There are no dialogue marks, and the seemingly mundane bits of everyday speech are separated only by capital letters Sometimes you need to almost read the sentences out loud to get a feel for who is speaking it s very fitting that the book about the blind is better perceived in a non visual medium The sentences are long in a European fashion , run on, and beautifully punctuated It is not a book to skim, it requires concentration, and definitely is not a light read If all of the above does not scare you, you should give this one a try.I will finish this review with the plea in the epigraph for this thought provoking eye opening no pun intended bookIf you can see, look If you can look, observePlease, do Let s try to look past our own blindness and actually SEE


  3. Jeffrey Keeten Jeffrey Keeten says:

    The advantage enjoyed by these blind men was what might be called the illusion of light In fact, it made no difference to them whether it was day or night, the first light of dawn or the evening twilight, the silent hours of early morning or the bustling din of noon, these blind people were for ever surrounded by a resplendent whiteness, like the sun shining through mist For the latter, blindness did not mean being plunged into banal darkness, but living inside a luminous halo We have al The advantage enjoyed by these blind men was what might be called the illusion of light In fact, it made no difference to them whether it was day or night, the first light of dawn or the evening twilight, the silent hours of early morning or the bustling din of noon, these blind people were for ever surrounded by a resplendent whiteness, like the sun shining through mist For the latter, blindness did not mean being plunged into banal darkness, but living inside a luminous halo We have all experienced blindness Not that long ago I woke up in the middle of the night There was no reassuring red glow of the digital clock by my bed nor the diffused yellow light from the streetlight making slat patterns across my floor The dark was ink vat black, not gray or any other color on the spectrum, dark soul black My eyes ached from holding them open so wide trying to capture any stray light that could reassure me that the wonderful array of cones and rods in my eyes were still functioning Any creak or thump took on so muchsignificance giving my active imagination ample incentive to flash an array of possible horrible scenarios My heart rate climbs I wondered if I ve went blind I think about the room full of books that will have nosignificance to me than a pile of bricks or cement blocks, something I held reverence for that is now less than useless I lay there in various stages of disbelief and reassurances until a sliver of light announced the dawn and my eyes, my beautiful eyes, luxuriated in those first rays of a new day I could see The influenza epidemic of 1918 was one of the most terrifying events to happen to humanity in the 20th century even eclipsing two horrific world wars 50 million people worldwide died suffocating from fluid filled lungs Doctors were baffled, unable to find a cure or slow down the symptoms to allow the human immune system to have a chance The disease had no compassion or any sense of a person s economic situation, rich, poor, young and old all died The average life expectancy in the United States dropped by twelve years And then it just disappeared As if a magic number of dead had been reached Can you imagine the fear that any flu symptoms must have inspired in people for years after the event The Blind Eyes Looked Fine.This book is about such an epidemic An epidemic that spares no one It begins with a man going blind while sitting in his car at a traffic light He is brought to an opthamologist and his trip to see the doctor spreads this contagion at the speed of a prairie fire The opthamologist is in the midst of researching this baffling disease when he goes blind as well The government on the verge of panic rounds up all those infected in an attempt to contain the spread of the disease The wife of the eye doctor packs his suitcase and even though she can still see packs her own clothes as well When the government people come to get him she goes with him They are taken to a vacant mental hospital At first there are only a handful of people and then there are hundreds of people crammed into this facility Soldiers are left to guard them and feed them Assoldiers go blind fears become reality and in one such moment of desperation the soldiers fire into the crowd of blind people The soldiers retreat and the blind are left with dead bodies to bury and spilled food to collectTheir hunger, however, had the strength only to take them three steps forward, reason intervened and warned them that for anybody imprudent enough to advance there was danger lurking in those lifeless bodies, above all, in that blood, who could tell what vapors, what emanations, what poisonous miasmas might not already be oozing forth from the open wounds of the corpses They re dead, they can t do any harm, someone remarked, the intention was to reassure himself and others, but his words made matters worse, it was true that these blind internees were dead, that they could not move, see, could neither stir nor breath, but who can say that this white blindness is not some spiritual malaise, and if we assume this to be the case then the spirits of those blind casualties have never been as free as they are now, released from their bodies, and therefore free to do whatever they like, above all, to do evil, which as everyone knows, has always been the easiest thing to do Any supernatural element, spirits or otherwise take a backseat to living breathing humans when it comes to perpetrating evil A gang of men, empowered by a gun wielding leader, take control of the food All of the internees are asked to bring all their valuables to be assessed and traded for food and water I had to almost laugh at this point because these thugs are trapped in pre blindness thinking What value will jewelry or paper money have with people that can t see A good belt or a pair of shoes or a glass of water or a sandwich are the only things of any real value any Well there is one other thing that will continue to have value Women.The inmates have been split into groups by rooms After the valuables have been exhausted as a bartering tool for food and water the thugs tell the groups that if they want to eat they need to send their women to them Hunger is all consuming When you are hungry you can not think about anything else other than finding food Your body, as part of our survival instinct, makes you very uncomfortable We can all say what we would be capable of doing and not capable of doing when we are sitting in a bar casually munching on free peanuts and pretzels between pints of beer The fact of the matter is most of us have never felt real hunger We have had moments where our stomachs rumble or experienced a headache due to a missed meal, but true hunger, not eating for days hunger we can only speculate about what that is like One man in the group sounding like some of the Republican candidates in this last election saidWhat did it matter if the women had to go there twice a month to give theses men what nature gave them to give I think even the women had no idea what it really would mean to be raped They have all had sex, no blushing virgins among them They were hungry too and after some speculation decide that they need to do this not only to feed themselves, but also their men It is way beyond anything they could even imagine It was horrible and Jose Saramago pulls no punches Being raped by one man is bad enough, but when being raped by several men a woman has become an object, not even an object of desire, but merely a receptacle for lust Being attractive, or smart or any of the things that made men desire her, in the world before blindness, are suddenly immaterial She is faceless, a base unit to be used and abused devoid of the uniqueness that identify all of us beyond being just a male or a female As the world goes blind the wife of the doctor is left unaffected She continues to help where she can, but is reluctant to let everyone know she can see She would be a slave to the group if they ever found out she could still see She breaks out with a group of people all identified by their past professions or by some other identifying marker We never do learn any of their names as if their identities have escaped them with their loss of vision There is a sweet scene when the doctor and his wife first arrive back at their homeThe doctor put his hand into the inside pocket of his new jacket and brought out the keys He held them in mid air, waiting, his wife gently guided his hand towards the keyhole The world is in chaos as blind people stumble everywhere looking for food and shelter It is truly a horrific vision of a world disintegrating and brings home to me just how vulnerable we all are to a pandemic event or the loss of the electrical grid or for those withfanciful terrors a zombie apocalypse Will you kill someone to live Jose SaramagoJose Saramago by keeping the wife of the doctor immune to the disease gives himself a conduit to describe events Without her the novel would have been difficult to write and would have beendifficult for us to read We need vision and if we don t have it ourselves we certainly need someone to provide it for us There are lots of great themes in the novel, exploring the human condition and how we fail ourselves and yet, eventually overcome the most severe circumstances The text is a block of words with few paragraph breaks or markers to help us keep track of who is talking This certainly adds to the difficulty of reading the novel, but I must counsel you to persevere You will come away from the novel knowing you have experienced something, a grand vision of the disintegration of civilization and certainly you will reevaluate what is most important in your life This is a novel that does what a great novel is supposed to do it reveals what we keep hidden from ourselves To see all my latest book and movie reviews visit my blog at You can also like my Facebook page at


  4. Emily May Emily May says:

    Just imagine that you are going about your daily life as you always do It s a normal day nothing out of the ordinary But then, suddenly, without any forewarning, you go completely blind One second seeing the world as you know it, the next experiencing a complete and unending whiteness Then imagine you go to the trusty health professionals so they can get to the bottom of it the doctor doesn t know what s wrong with you, but you re confident he she will figure it out and prescribe accordi Just imagine that you are going about your daily life as you always do It s a normal day nothing out of the ordinary But then, suddenly, without any forewarning, you go completely blind One second seeing the world as you know it, the next experiencing a complete and unending whiteness Then imagine you go to the trusty health professionals so they can get to the bottom of it the doctor doesn t know what s wrong with you, but you re confident he she will figure it out and prescribe accordingly And then the doctor goes blind But not just him everyone you have come into contact with is experiencing the same sudden white blindness The condition spreads and takes hold within a few hours soon this contagious blindness is spreading like wildfire and no one knows how to cure it.This book is so frightening and so realistic Blindness is not an alien concept like monsters and ghosts, neither are contagious diseases So imagine a disease that prompted sudden blindness that spread from one person to another quicker than the common cold This book feels like a story that could happen.One of the main issues readers have with this if they have any is the writing style It s written in huge blocks of text with little punctuation, no quotation marks, and many run on sentences It can get a little disorientating, but I guess that s the end of the world for you I actually found it incredibly effective in creating the air of blind panic that Saramago clearly wanted to impart People fumbling around in the whiteness, hoping no one around means them harm and being powerless to do anything about it if they did.Someone once said You are who you are when no one is watching And in this world, no one is watching Fear reigns and some will choose to exploit the fear or succumb to it I thought it was a frightening and believable portrait of the disintegration of society.Very highly recommended.Blog Facebook Twitter Instagram Youtube


  5. Adina Adina says:

    I finished this masterpiece last week and I let it to sink in a little bit before reviewing it The power of this book was quite overwhelming at times and I had to stop reading for a few days at a time I do not think there are many books that disturbed me like this one Maybe Never Let Me Go but there the message was muchsubtle Some say that the structure of the book makes it very hard to read I suppose the voice in my head did quite a good job in reading it as I did not encounter any d I finished this masterpiece last week and I let it to sink in a little bit before reviewing it The power of this book was quite overwhelming at times and I had to stop reading for a few days at a time I do not think there are many books that disturbed me like this one Maybe Never Let Me Go but there the message was muchsubtle Some say that the structure of the book makes it very hard to read I suppose the voice in my head did quite a good job in reading it as I did not encounter any difficulty to follow the narration What made it difficult to read at times were the images and smells that were projected into my brain At some point It seemed that excrement odor was rising from the pages in front of me Short version of the plot One day people start to go blind without any prior symptom Frightened, the Government tries to restrain the blindness epidemic by isolating the blind people The quarantine is not successful andandpeople go blind The book focuses on the life of a few patients locked and guarded into a mental institution, among who lives the only person immune to blindness The loss of sight reduces people to their primal instincts good or bad and soon we are witnesses of some unimaginable horrors in the fight for food supremacy life and to the demise of all social and moral institutions However, there are people that still try to help and to keep a bit of humanity and decencyIf we cannot live entirely like human beings, at least let us do everything in our power not to live entirely like animals I thought that the book is a metaphor of the people that are walking through life without thinking about the violence and cruelty that is in front of them, their ignorance of anything that could menace their civilized life I believe the book brings forward our fear avoidance to see our mortality and the insignificance of our livesI don t think we did go blind, I think we are blind, Blind but seeing, Blind people who can see, but do not see Perhaps only in a world of the blind will things be what they truly are This is the stuff we re made of, half indifference and half malice


  6. Brad Brad says:

    Not at all disturbing, not at all compelling and not at all interesting, Jose Saramago s Blindness only succeeds in frustrating readers who take a moment to let their imagination beyond the page Yes, Saramago s story is a clever idea, and, yes, he creates an intentional allegory to force us to think about the nature of humanity, but his ideas are clearly those of a privileged white male in a privileged European nation Not only do his portrayals of women and their men fall short of the mark, bu Not at all disturbing, not at all compelling and not at all interesting, Jose Saramago s Blindness only succeeds in frustrating readers who take a moment to let their imagination beyond the page Yes, Saramago s story is a clever idea, and, yes, he creates an intentional allegory to force us to think about the nature of humanity, but his ideas are clearly those of a privileged white male in a privileged European nation Not only do his portrayals of women and their men fall short of the mark, but Saramago has clearly never had to fend for himself in the world If he did, he d realize that there were a thousand easy answers to the dilemmas he created for his characters, and he could have then focusedon the internal filth of their souls than the external excrement of their bodies Blindness is not worthy of a Nobel Winner


  7. Petra-X Petra-X says:

    Update I said I would never read another Saramago because of his writing style I did though All the Names and Death with Interruptions Both brilliant But I listened to them I wouldn t have appreciated them as much if I d had to struggle through Saramago s idiosyncratic writing style _________________In H.G Wells In the Country of the Blind the only person who can see suffers great discrimination and has to agree to have his eyes removed and become as blind as the rest of the people who Update I said I would never read another Saramago because of his writing style I did though All the Names and Death with Interruptions Both brilliant But I listened to them I wouldn t have appreciated them as much if I d had to struggle through Saramago s idiosyncratic writing style _________________In H.G Wells In the Country of the Blind the only person who can see suffers great discrimination and has to agree to have his eyes removed and become as blind as the rest of the people who over the generations have adapted to life without vision In Saramago s book, the only person who can see is the heroine of the book This is a device for telling the story which is the collapse of the social order as with just about all dystopian stories One wonders if, given time, those blinded by the disease wouldn t adapt as in Country of the Blind And if they did so, then resent those who could see and instead of relying on the few sighted people for help despise them for the obvious power they have Perhaps even suspect them of exploiting that power for their gain and the blinds detriment.I read the book and watched the film I didn t find Saramago s style easy to read Extremely long sentences, endless paragraphs and an idiosyncratic grammar made me have to concentrate on the readingthan the subject matter It was worth it, but written in standard English I think I would have enjoyed itThe film was a good, standard, Hollywood film meaning it appeals to the masses, has pretty people and no depth and has been designed to make money I quite enjoyed it, but am glad I read the book first.Although I found this book interesting, I didn t find it the cutting edge work of genius that I had read about I don t think I would ever read another Saramago because life is too short to struggle through such a difficult writing style The book took me about three times as long as if it had been written in ausual manner It seems to me to be an ego thing to write in a way that is completely different to everyone else The reason there is a standard way of writing is that it is easy for us all to understand rather than having to adapt to anyone s idiosyncratic idea of spelling and grammar Writing is communication and understanding is key This applies just as much to the reviewers on GR who don t ever use paragraphs and or capital letters, but it s one thing reading a review and another a whole book I m prepared to go along with someone s style if they write good reviews view spoiler reasonably short ones Write an unparagraphed essay length review and you ve lost me hide spoiler , but a whole book no, not again


  8. Lisa Lisa says:

    Imagine the most ordinary situation in the world People waiting at a traffic light All of us can see that before our inner eyes, relive thousands of similar situations we have experienced ourselves, without ever giving them a moment of consideration Thus starts Saramago s Blindness But there is a disruption One car is not following the rules all take for granted The car doesn t move when the light switches to green People are annoyed, frustrated, disturbed in their routines, but not worr Imagine the most ordinary situation in the world People waiting at a traffic light All of us can see that before our inner eyes, relive thousands of similar situations we have experienced ourselves, without ever giving them a moment of consideration Thus starts Saramago s Blindness But there is a disruption One car is not following the rules all take for granted The car doesn t move when the light switches to green People are annoyed, frustrated, disturbed in their routines, but not worried Some drivers have already got out of their cars, prepared to push the stranded vehicle to a spot where it will not hold up the traffic, they beat furiously on the closed windows, the man inside turns his head in their direction, he is clearly shouting something, to judge by the movements of his mouth he appears to be repeating some words, not one word but three, as turns out to be the case when someone finally manages to open the door, I am blind I AM BLIND This is the beginning of what my son labelled the scariest book he ever read, and yet such a perfectly brilliant masterpiece Similar to Camus La peste and Ionesco s Rhinoc ros inthan one respect, it takes the reader to the darkest abyss of despair and filth and pain Deprived of the sense of seeing, the characters have to cope with brutal bestiality and suffering to survive in a world limited by the loss of vision an accurate symbol for overview, control, and objective judgement of reality If Camus characters are invaded by plague stricken rats and dying of the disease, Saramago s society breaks down evencompletely when the epidemic blindness strikes Humans turn into beasts, comparable to the rhinofication in Ionesco s allegory on community collapse.One character, a Cassandra of sorts, is excluded from the plague, and she guides the plot with her seeing eyes What she sees is unbearable, even to the reader Rarely have I feltshaken than while reading the scene with the blind thugs raping hungry women The seeing woman steps in and uses her power to break off the horror show, but it will leave a scar on my reading inner eye forever Bizarrely, that means a scene I never actually saw is engraved on my visual memory.When reflecting on why the women didn t fight back from the beginning when the opportunist gangsters started to take control of the blind community, they give the same reasons as so many women facing sexual abuse We failed to put up resistance as we should have done when they first came making demands, Of course, we were afraid and fear isn t always a wise counsellor Desperate needs, inequality of power, shameless gang mentality, helplessness in an exposed situation, loss of control, all these things play a role And the humiliation of being exploited as an object without individual value is not diminished in blindness Inside, we remain seeing.An allegory of the breakdown of civilisation, Blindness is also the story of those who finally start resisting raw violence and brutal force, and of those who see through the darkness However, even as the blind spell breaks, and people are regaining their vision, the world is changed forever Blindness has become a real threat, a terrifying possibility lurking underneath everyday worries If it can happen once, it can happen again And who knows when You may be waiting at a traffic light, and all of a sudden, life goes whiteThe one person who remains seeing through the whole catastrophe realises in the end that people might not actually have been literally blind at all Blind people who can see, but do not see That is a tragic reflection on humankind We turn to mass blindness in periods, not because we are physically unable to see, but because we DO not see We can see, we have the tools for seeing, but we do not use them not as long as the cars keep moving when the traffic lights turn green We only start to see that we do not see when we turn blind and there is a disruption in our unseeing complacency We sometimes need an epidemic blindness to wake up and see what happens underneath the polished surface of our civilisation.Let s use our eyes, literally and figuratively, to see what we need to see Let s not turn a blind eye to the world s troubles We know we can easily fall into the barbaric state of blindness It has happened before Let s not forget blindness in order to keep our vision clear


  9. Renato Magalhães Rocha Renato Magalhães Rocha says:

    Blindness is a great novel by Portuguese writer Jos Saramago that deals with human s individual and collective reactions when in the face of adversarial forces With gorgeous prose, this thought provoking book shows us how our world, ever so concerned and consumed by appearances, would deal with the loss of our most relied upon sense vision When it s every man by himself, when every man is free to do whatever he wants without the impending fear of recognition and judgement, we start to feel Blindness is a great novel by Portuguese writer Jos Saramago that deals with human s individual and collective reactions when in the face of adversarial forces With gorgeous prose, this thought provoking book shows us how our world, ever so concerned and consumed by appearances, would deal with the loss of our most relied upon sense vision When it s every man by himself, when every man is free to do whatever he wants without the impending fear of recognition and judgement, we start to feel I was going to say see what the man s true nature is and the crumbling down of a civilization diseased with selfishness, intolerance and ambition, to name just few symptoms.Saramago tells us the story of a mysterious mass plague of blindness that affects nearly everyone living in an unnamed place in a never specified time and the implications this epidemic has on people s lives It all starts inexplicably when a man in his car suddenly starts seeing or rather stops seeing anything but a clear white brightness He s blind Depending upon a stranger s kindness to be able to go home in safety, we witness what appears to be the first sign of corruption and the first crack in society s impending breakdown when the infamous volunteer steals the blind man s car Unfortunately for him, the white pest follows him and turns him into one of its victims as well.Spreading fast, this collective blindness is now frightening the authorities and must be dealt with a large group of blind people and possibly infected ones those who had any contact with the first group have now been put in quarantine until second order Living conditions start to degrade as the isolated population grows bigger, there is no organization, basic medicine is a luxury not allowed in and hygiene is nowhere to be found To complicate things further, an armed clique acquires control and power, forcing the subjugated to pay for food in any way they can The scenes that follow are extremely unpleasant to read, but at the same time they re so realistic that you can t be mad at Saramago for writing such severe events packed with violence that include rapes and murders.Contrasting with this dystopian desolation, there is some solidarity and compassion in the form of one character the doctor s wife The only one in the asylum who miraculously is still able to see, she takes care of her husband and of those who became her new family the girl with the dark glasses, the boy with the squint, the old man with the black eye patch, the first blind man and the first blind man s wife the characters names are never mentioned, which is an interesting choice the author made When we think of someone, when we hear their name, we always conjure an image in our head a picture is formed before our eyes Here we are with a bunch of people who no longer can rely on their sight so, in not giving them names, Saramago also puts us in the dark, forcing us to rely instead on personal characteristics and descriptions given to conjure these characters ourselves.After an uprising, folks find out the asylum has been abandoned by the army who was until then responsible for it and they re able to leave Realizing that what they went through in quarantine was only a detail in the huge landscape, now we follow our protagonists as they wander through the city in search of better conditions water, food, clothes, a way to find their homes and their relatives.Talking about Saramago s writing style, I should say that it may be a bit confusing at first due to the lack of punctuation there are many long sentences and no quotation marks around dialogues But in no time you ll get used to his simplistic style not in any way devoid of meaning or deepness , and you ll realize that it actually adds to this reading experience as you ll be going faster through the words with fewer pauses and breaks, you ll find yourself feeling suffocated and almost breathless, which will only add to the book s atmosphere of urgency, anxiety and despair.Film adaptation there is a good film by Fernando Meirelles also called Blindness starring Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo and Gael Garc a Bernal, released in 2008 While this adaptation isn t as graphic and visceral as Saramago s novel, it s still worth seeing It is said that Saramago was in tears when the movie ended and said to director Meirelles Fernando, I am so happy to have seen this movie I am as happy as I was the day I finished the book Rating unfortunately, it seems the late Jos Saramago the only Portuguese language novelist to win the Nobel Prize in Literature has yet to gain the world recognition he deserves For his torturing novel, for his fearlessness in going deep and telling a brutal and violent story that makes us wonder, as Virginia Woolf greatly put it, Why, one asked oneself, does one take all these pains for the human race to go on Is it so very desirable Are we attractive as a species 5 stars


  10. Gaurav Gaurav says:

    edited on 27.05.2020The word Attention was uttered three times, then the voice began, the Government regrets having been forced to exercise with all urgency what it considers to be its rightful duty, to protect the population by all possible means in this present crisis, when something with all the appearance of an epidemic of blindness has broken out, provisionally known as the white sickness, and we are relying on the public spirit and cooperation of all citizens to stem any further contagio edited on 27.05.2020The word Attention was uttered three times, then the voice began, the Government regrets having been forced to exercise with all urgency what it considers to be its rightful duty, to protect the population by all possible means in this present crisis, when something with all the appearance of an epidemic of blindness has broken out, provisionally known as the white sickness, and we are relying on the public spirit and cooperation of all citizens to stem any further contagion, assuming that we are dealing with a contagious disease and that we are not simply witnessing a series of as yet inexplicable coincidences. The unanticipated and unforeseen events often strike us when we least expect them to, so much so that those could afflict you in the middle of a ride, which is still explicable It could be one of those serendipitous and arbitrary events which happen in life but to find that you are not alone to be blessed with such a travesty could numb your senses and send our entire existence for a toss, all your morals and ethics, essentially everything what life comprises of, may be gaping at you with an unfathomable existential horror While the world is still grappling with dread of the CoVID 19, struggling hard with its all might to come to terms with the pandemic which is however yet in its embryonic phase, I noticed that quite a few people found somewhat declining fascination for dystopian, post apocalyptic books coming to life with up surging beguile, I too found myself caught entwined with allure of the same Though I have a bit of luxury in options The Plague by Albert Camus and 1984 by George Orwell, to name a few but Blindness made itself popped up out of sea of indecisiveness with eruption of glamour, the fact that Jose Saramagos world have been still elusive to me, must have played a part in it The flipping through the very first pages sends an eerie glimpse of what the book might hold in wholeness There is an inexplicable utter chaos which announces itself through horrific disorder of humanity, the existence of human beings is reduced to just numbers quite similar to what we are witnessing in CoVID 19 the consciousness of individual dies out in the wake of retaining the society , but those who are renouncing their beings, ostensibly not by choice, do not have their desire in it, which is otherwise not required as it is for amelioration of humanity, some of them could be burned in the fire of hell of nothingness to save all, the unrealized beings of them gaze with delusive hope, only to become one with hell Ah what could it be Blindness, it is, or is it really We have been brought up with the notion of blindness in which a person loses its ability to see things as they are,often than not it reveals out empathy and compassion from us But could Blindness draw out baffling horror out of humanity, perhaps if it succeeds in showing the ignominy of humanity to itself probably that s what Jose Saramago has been able to achieve with this masterpiece It just holds an inhuman mirror which shows humiliation of entire humanity, the farcicality of civilization to reveal our savage and primitive nature hidden under its inauthentic sheath of comfort, which is stripped down to rags of acrid and stifling truth, however appalling it may be We invariably boast about feathers we have been able to add in the crown of humanity, over the years of civilization, but have we really moved a bit, transformed a bit from what we were, Jose Saramago shattered such notions, if any, with disdain but perhaps that is how we really are, the ghastly image he shows us is probably we are essentially Saramago invites us to his fantastical world, which has only one order that there are no orders social or natural, with a shattering shriek as drivers of one of the vehicles in a seemingly ordered assortment of automobiles watches in horror as his eyes go white, everything they could perceive to send visual signals to the brain is white as if he has been thrown in a sea of white, quite unusual, earthly improbable, the mayhem follows, welcome to the world of Saramago The omnipotent blindness, as contagious as any influenzas on the planet could be, engulfs the entire world of the author, but is it just the influenza or it hides something else,profound,concrete underneath it, doesn t it talk about shallowness of our orderly society, the feebleness of our standards ..Anyone who is going to die is already dead and does not know it, That we re going to die is something we know from the moment we are born, That s why, in some ways, it s as if we were born dead, .The author handpicks around half a dozen characters and they have been quarantined in an abandoned military establishment, wherein they are left to themselves, their lives have been totally cut off from the outer world Their existence has been suspended between being and nothingness, as if it doesn t matter to those who are still considered civilized, but yet to be thrown in the hell of nothingness The life of the quarantine camp briskly degenerates into an existential hell where the blind are victimized first by the way they have been rounded up and shoved into what was a mental hospital, after that they are not given proper food either, and most appallingly by how they are reduced in their attempt to stay alive We see new sort of barter system in the camp, which eventually takes inhumane form as human beings are demanded in return of food The dangled and unfulfilled existence of these characters takes us through the manifold possibilities of human wickedness wherein they have been reduced to just vermin who do not have say in the social order of humanity as if their existence is just an apparition, so much so that they have not been even given names, just referred by their professions or relations However, they are still alive and as human as anyone could be but the society becomes oblivious to their existence Could they spring their unfulfilled existences back from the hell of nothingness or they would be crushed down under the humongous pressure of disarray, indifference, contempt and atrocities committed by the orderly world Life as we know it, could be changed with the rules of nature, our society, our morals, ethics may not stand the savage duress of existence It is not just the world out there which the inhabitants of the quarantine center have to take care of, we have witnessed on numerous occasions in the history of human civilization that whenever humanity is stretched to its inhumane limit, horrendous activities take birth, the social orders go for a toss, the primitive, archaic human instincts come to play and the world of Saramago is no exception either We witness perhaps all possible horrendous and grisly acts of humanity, unfortunately as we are not blind, our eyeballs move as swiftly they could to watch murder, thefts and rapes tears may flow down as a stream of water from those but perhaps our own shame keeps them withhold The characters of Saramago struggle with their need to connect with one another, form relations and bond as a community, and also with their need for individuality, there is a ever going tussle between individuality and communitywe went down all the steps of indignity, all of them, until we reached total degradation, the same might happen here albeit in a different way, there we still had the excuse that the degradation belonged to someone else, not now, now we are all equal regarding good and evil, please, don t ask me what good and what evil are, we knew what it was each time we had to act when blindness was an exception, what is right and what is wrong are simply different ways of understanding our relationships with the others, not that which we have with ourselves, one should not trust the latter, forgive this moralising speech, you do not know, you cannot know, what it means to have eyes in a world in which everyone else is blind, I am not a queen, no, I am simply the one who was born to see this horror, you can feel it, I both feel and see it, .The author has been able to create here an alternate reality without touching the easily sought after characteristics of science fiction, he doesn t dive into any parallel universes, instead he just shows a world which is so strange by the word go, yet so much our own world it takes us to the uncomfortable and unwanted recess of our memory and imagination however it is always there, which shows the ability of the author The book islike a philosophical treatise, without being pedantic, on human existence which shows us our own fragility and fallibility through dismantling our society, crumbling our civilization to nothing The things which we have amassed and hard earned over the years as a reward to swank our so called hard work to categorized those as luxuries, which only distinctive could afford, are reduced to just basic things of necessity, even some of those glorified and proudly gloated things become useless as life come back to basic needs of survivalWe are so afraid of the idea of having to die, said the doctor s wife, that we always try to find excuses for the dead, as if we were asking beforehand to be excused when it is our turn,..Do we have any hope then Perhaps we do, otherwise we may not be reading this great piece of literature after progressing through so many hideous acts genocides, wars, rapes, murders etc in our own history of civilization Hope is a necessary evil, which instills confidence in you to move forward, though it may be shallow and baseless at times and that is all sometimes we need to put forth through madness of humanity Saramago doesn t disappoint you here either The major characters of Saramago braved themselves to last extend of their perseverance, which comes out to be most essential of human qualities needed for survival, to remain afloat in this sea of white nothingness The prose of Saramago is peculiar and inimitable with unique innovations one might come across He takes movement of post modernism to a different level altogether thereby constructing many long, breathless sentences, some of those may even go forthan a page, in which commas take place of periods, quotation marks, semicolons and colons I have found something which one of its kind as far as narrative style of the book is concerned wherein narrative shift in the voices of characters may be identified with fist capital letter of the phrase, which may not be discernible immediately The characters are referred to by descriptive appellations such as the doctor s wife , the car thief , or the first blind man Given the characters blindness, some of these names seem ironic the boy with the squint or the girl with the dark glasses , his style reflecting the recurring themes of identity and meaning, showing the imbecility and impotence of the existence of the characters There is omniscient third person narrator amidst the changing but reliable narrative voices who, at times, tries to pull the reader into narrative showing glimpses of metafiction Saramago has used quite intelligently one of the characters to infuse intrusive narration through the doctor s wife whose eye balls remain utilitarian throughout the madness of Blind people She is an intelligent woman who full of survival instinct which is quintessential to exist in such mayhem Gradually, she becomes eye to the main characters of the story as their existence become solely dependent on her will and act What may appear a position of fortune is essentially an unfortunate gift to her in the city of Blind people as she has to witness all the horrors, horrific acts through her experienced but numb eyes The doctor s wife may also imply a type of internal narrator infused masterfully by the author to show the human virtues such as empathy, sympathy, co ordination, assistance and perseverance amidst the madness of inhumanity One could not miss the ostensible impact of Franz Kafka on the prose of Jose Saramago, as his characters take the strange and outlandishly unusual events to be perfectly normal In the start of the story itself, the sudden blindness of the first blind man reminds me of The Metamorphosis in which Gregor Samsa wakes up one day to find himself transformed in to vermin, and which he accepts as an ordinary situation Like Kafka used to throw his characters into absurd and outlandish circumstances, Saramago uses the settings of the novel to bring out the most extreme reactions from the characters Likewise, we see that Saramago, similar to Albert Camus , uses the social disintegration of people to the extreme to study the fragility of our vices and virtues And since disasters never come singly, at that same moment the electricians went blind who were responsible for maintaining the internal power supply and consequently that also of the generator, an old model, not automatic, that had long been awaiting replacement, this resulted, as we said before, in the elevator coming to a halt between the ninth and tenth floors It is like a social commentary using highly allegorical streamlined unique prose, as James Wood praises the distinctive tone to his fiction because he narrates his novels as if he were someone both wise and ignorant , which may get sometimes a bit challenging to read due to its text having no quotation marks, no indentations when a speaker changes however, if one could brave through initial pages then the book could not be put down The book is highly enjoyable with traits of acerbic, ironical and wry humor through the existential horrors of life, dense but comprehensible, its impact is immediate and a reflection of the sensibility of Saramago, which is at once alive and significant, You mentioned that there are organised groups of blind people, observed the doctor, this means that new ways of living are being invented and there is no reason why we should finish up by being destroyed, as you predict, I don t know to what extent they are really organised, I only see them going around in search of food and somewhere to sleep, nothing , We re going back to being primitive hordes, said the old man with the black eyepatch, with the difference that we are not a few thousand men and women in an immense, unspoiled nature, but thousands of millions in an uprooted, exhausted world, And blind, added the doctor s wife, . 4.75 5


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Blindness From Nobel Prize winning author Jos Saramago, a magnificent, mesmerizing parable of lossA city is hit by an epidemic of white blindness that spares no one Authorities confine the blind to an empty mental hospital, but there the criminal element holds everyone captive, stealing food rations and assaulting women There is one eyewitness to this nightmare who guides her charges among them a boy with no mother, a girl with dark glasses, a dog of tears through the barren streets, and their procession becomes as uncanny as the surroundings are harrowing As Blindness reclaims the age old story of a plague, it evokes the vivid and trembling horrors of the twentieth century, leaving readers with a powerful vision of the human spirit that s bound both by weakness and exhilarating strength ❮Reading❯ ➸ Gender in Psychoanalytic Space Author Muriel Dimen – Kleankitchen.co.uk a magnificent [Download] ➽ Insight and Interpretation ➺ Roy Schafer – Kleankitchen.co.uk mesmerizing parable of lossA city is hit by an epidemic of white blindness that spares no one Authorities confine the blind to an empty mental hospital [EPUB] ✵ Good People in an Evil Time Author Svetlana Broz – Kleankitchen.co.uk but there the criminal element holds everyone captive [Read] ➵ On a Day Like This ➼ Peter Stamm – Kleankitchen.co.uk stealing food rations and assaulting women There is one eyewitness to this nightmare who guides her charges among them a boy with no mother ⚦ [PDF] ✎ Heart to Start By Derek Handley ✶ – Kleankitchen.co.uk a girl with dark glasses [PDF / Epub] ☉ Light without Fire By Scott Korb – Kleankitchen.co.uk a dog of tears through the barren streets [Epub] ❧ Secrecy ➛ Rupert Thomson – Kleankitchen.co.uk and their procession becomes as uncanny as the surroundings are harrowing As Blindness reclaims the age old story of a plague [BOOKS] ✸ The Silence and the Roar ⚦ Nihad Sirees – Kleankitchen.co.uk it evokes the vivid and trembling horrors of the twentieth century ❃ Hard Country kindle Epub ❧ Author Robin Robilliard – Kleankitchen.co.uk leaving readers with a powerful vision of the human spirit that s bound both by weakness and exhilarating strength


About the Author: José Saramago

Jos Saramago is one of the most important international writers of the last hundred years Born in Portugal in 1922, he was in his sixties when he came to prominence as a writer with the publication of Baltasar and Blimunda A huge body of work followed, translated intothan forty languages, and in 1998 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature Saramago died in June 2010.