..but neither of them thought of asking, Have you got something in your eye, it never occurred to them nor would he have been able to reply, Yes, a milky sea.
(p. 6, Blindness, Saramago)
What if everyone went blind and you were the only one who could see? Jose Saramago’s engrossing prose uses no quotation marks nor paragraph breaks for the dialogues, and it fits this narrative, where the characters’ thoughts and spoken words are interchangeable with the narrator’s. It makes me think of an observer watching people interact at a distance, a watcher-turned-ventriloquist putting words into their mouths, commenting on their actions. At times the narration becomes too wordy, the humor awkward, but the language is beautiful enough to keep even an exasperated reader reading. The last paragraph is a thing of beauty.
* * *
While browsing through the books in Bibliarch the other day, I saw a book called Seeing, also by Saramago. It involves a bunch of voters’ ballots turning up blank. A novel about disillusionment, I believe. Seems interesting. I might pick it up.
Right now, though, I’m enjoying reading Atwood.
*Sigh* This lady never fades. :)