1984, and now Blindness – two books that are menacingly disturbing, yet hard to deny for they speak of a reality which is not far from being plausible.
Blindness by Jose Saramago is one of the most powerful books I have read, and yes,it changes you. The fragility associated with the human bonds, the relationship of demand and supply in a society and simply the deep abysses of the human mentality are all unthreaded into thin layers of realities, so scary that I runs shivers down your spine.
In a unique narrative, where sentences go on for two pages, and paragraphs go on for multiple pages Saramago is unforgiving in his details of the incidents which even to read might cause one to shrug, but at the same time delicately balancing the fact that it could very well be true!
A city that turns blind, with blindness spreading as an epidemic and the whole social structure collapsing, with people heading towards animal-like behaviour is chronicled brilliantly in this book. While I write it, I also realise that the derogatory ‘animal behavior’ we tend to think of, is not all that bad when one can see what we as people are capable of. In Blindness, these contradictions are brought out lucidly.
I will not delve into reviewing the book – he’s simply brilliant. And it is worth reading simply to allow our imagination take a ride and realise the fragile framework we all end up forming.
The last lines of an essay or an article or even a book are the most important aspects of leaving an impact. In this book, he leaves a thought that lingers long after you’ve dropped the book, done reading.
I think we are blind, blind but seeing, blind people who can see, but do not see.