When I met up with Sandy and Heather last week, we did a bit of book-swapping. Funny, I ended up with more books than I brought (not by much, but still, more!), so I snuck my exchanges back into the hotel past J, hoping he wouldn’t see.
I ignored the stack of books on the armoire (I had brought six books on vacation. Six books, six days … big plans that didn’t factor in the four kids and four Disney theme parks … but I digress …) in favor of one of the books from my Floridian friends.
Here’s an excerpt, the first paragraph of the novel describes cars coming to a stop at a traffic light; this is the second paragraph:
The green light came on at last, the cars moved briskly, but then it became clear that not all of them were equally quick off the mark. The car at the head of the middle lane has stopped, there must be some mechanical fault, a loose accelerator pedal, a gear lever that has stuck, problem with the suspension, jammed brakes, breakdown in the electrical circuit, unless he has simply run out of gas, it would not be the first time such a thing has happened. The next group of pedestrians to gather at the crossing see the driver of the stationary car wave his arms behind the windshield, while the cars behind him frantically sound their horns. 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, first to one side the the other, 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.
Do you recognize the book? It’s José Saramago’s Blindness, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1998. In the novel, a “white blindness” strikes a city; apparently the book is “a magnificent parable of loss and disorientation and a vivid evocation of the horrors of the twentieth century … a powerful portrayal of man’s worst appetites and weaknesses — and man’s ultimately exhilarating spirit.”
I haven’t gotten far enough to hone in on the parable, but I’m reading it every minute I can spare. No, I haven’t seen the movie, either! Blindness was originally published in Saramago’s native Portuguese, thus an added interest as a a work in translation.
What are you reading this week? Did you have to sneak it into the house?