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Despite the heavy rain the presiding officer at Polling Station 14 finds it odd that by midday on National Election day only a handful of voters have turned outPuzzlement swiftly escalates to shock when eventually after an extension the final count reveals seventy per cent of the votes are blank not spo. Powerful Sinister Cynical Idiosyncratic Sagacious Fun Modern imaginative well written This guy s got game

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Ensaio Sobre a Lucidez

Iled simply blank National law decrees the election should be repeated eight days later The result is worse; eighty three per cent of the votes are blank The incumbent government receives eight per cent and the opposition even less The authorities seized with panic decamp from the capital and place it u. Seeing is a seuel to Blindness and it is essential to read Blindness first Blindness introduces the character the doctor s wife who is one of the great characters in literature You have to read about her in Blindness before you read about her in Seeing where she remains a wonderful character but less fully drawnI think Blindness is a great book a classic and it has stayed with me since I put it down So I resisted reading Seeing That s just me And through 70 pages of Seeing I was unimpressed Sometimes Saramago can be difficult and I don t just mean his funky punctuation It starts out as a Kafka esue satire of government and politics and that can be pretentious But slowly certain characters started to develop an interior minister as the epitome of evil and a police superintendent torn between his job responsibilities and what he knows to be right The pawn in this inevitable conflict is of course the doctor s wife There are many other characters all nuanced all symbolic all important and memorable Beware the man with the blue tie with white dots Run from him And I do not have a dog But if I did have one I would name him Constant and he would take away my tears

José Saramago » 2 Characters

Nder a state of emergencyIn his new novel José Saramago has deftly created the politician's ultimate nightmare disillusionment not with one party but with all thereby rendering the entire democratic system useless Seeing explores how simply this could be achieved and how devastating the results might b. This novel takes place four years after Blindness in same capital city On a rainy day of nationwide local elections there is almost no turn out in the Capital until 4 when en masse there is 100% turnout Having initially panicked the authorities congratulate themselves on this unprecedented display of civil duty only to find that 75% of the ballots are blank Confused and angry the government orders a re ballot a week later this time there seems no order to the voting but 83% of the ballots are blankDespite no crime having being committed the government of the party on the right regards this exercise of their rights by the capitals citizens as a direct assault on democracy Despite rejecting the ideas of a foreign or anarchist plot they are convinced there must be some form of conspiracy and the refusal of the capital s citizens to explain themselves only increases their belief that something must be done The government and the compliant media attempt to provoke some form of violent protest nothing seems to happen The first part of the book concentrates on the attempts of the authorities particularly the resentful for being figurehead President the Prime Minister and the conspiratorial Minister of the Interior They place the capital under a state of siege interrogate 500 suspects identified from comments made in the ballot ueues place spies in the capital who also attempt to act as agent provocateurs and eventually withdraw from the Capital with all army and police and place a ring around the city believing anarchy will result and the people will ask to reembrace the paternalism of the state The Interior Minister also plants a bomb which was designed to be blamed on the subversives but only provokes protests in the capital and causes the Head of the City Council to resign The 17% of voters particularly those of the Party on the Right try and evacuate but this fails when it becomes clear there is no way of identifying that none of them are Blankers Expecting trouble when they return back to the Capital the Cabinet is shocked when the Blankers uietly come out and help them put all their things back in their housesThe second part of the book is very different The Prime Minister decides to reinvoke the taboo memories of the Blindness plague and introduce a series of academic and media discussions of it before then claiming that the blank ballot papers are a new plague The President insists on an air drop of his own views on this and it provokes the first Blind man from Blindness to write to him denouncing the Doctor s wife who he mentions was a murderer as being the only person not to go blind four years ago and insinuating that she could be linked to the new plagueThe interior minister finds this hypothesis while not compelling a satisfactory one for his purposes and sends a Superintendent and two other policemen to prove there is a conspiracy involving the characters from Blindness After meeting them all the Superintendent realises the Doctor s Wife was a remarkable woman and the original Blind Man a swine and refuses to co operate The media publicly denounces the conspirators but the Superintendent has the story of what he was asked to do published in a left wing paper The Interior Minister arranges the assassination of the Superintendent The Prime Minister sacks him as a result but then as the story ends the same assassin kills the Doctor s wife and the Dog of TearsAs in Double the narrator intervenes in the story and talks directly to the reader or comments on the proceedings Most noticeably when seeming to admit that the device of linking the story to Blindness by way of the denunciation letter was introduced to give a satisfactory ending to the allegory of the blank ballots Interestingly this device also gives a satisfactory ending to Blindness which can be criticised for seeming overly long with a very detailed narrative but with no real sense of purposeThe themes of the book and Saramago s anti right stance are obvious than in Blindness partly due to the narrator s comments but also due to the interactions between the different ministers in the government particularly the Interior Minister who regards innocence or guilt as a choice of the security forces rather than an objective truth The story has his usual devices dialogue style characters having no names and being like devices particularly in the first part as the narrator at one point admits The second part comes in well just as the story in the first part seems to be like Blindness a detailed and complex narrative that could also have been a powerful short story and as result is starting to get overly long

10 thoughts on “Ensaio Sobre a Lucidez

  1. says:

    I chose José Saramago's Seeing as an October read because Brazil held Presidential Elections on October 5th 1st round and October 26th 2nd round since no candidate received than 50% of the valid votes the first time Brazilian voting system is similar to that of the book's unnamed place in that it is compulsory We've had the closest race ever

  2. says:

    Powerful Sinister Cynical Idiosyncratic Sagacious Fun Modern imaginative well written This guy's got game

  3. says:

    Set in an unnamed city once again Jose Saramago creates an impossible sitiuation in order to write about the human condition Jose Saramago was a humble genius one of the rare few writers who could talk about the trival and mundane and make them seem so magical and importantAs usual he sets out to explore and joust with preconceived universal truths and every day notions and exposes them flips them on their heads re affirms familiar and ag

  4. says:

    Seeing is a seuel to Blindness and it is essential to read Blindness first Blindness introduces the character ‘the doct

  5. says:

    For many good reasons besides being a brilliant dark and dense piece of text this novel seems very actual to my state of mind Not precisely within the same circumstances and effects thank god but still it feels to go in line with some of the events that happened in my own country in the last 30 years since we are again a free democracy and I felt very strange about it To be perfectly honest I feel as if I was lost in t

  6. says:

    I've read about half of Saramago's books now This one is the seuel to Blindness which was by far my least favorite brutal mundane and mostly pointless I much preferred Seeing I would not consider Blindness a prereuisite either Of course lots of people disagree with me and loved BlindnessI finished this book continually astonished with the author's ability to put words together but still wondering what it was all about He narrates like an a

  7. says:

    This novel takes place four years after “Blindness” in same capital city On a rainy day of nationwide local elections – there is almost no turn out in the Capital until 4 when en masse there is 100% turnout Having init

  8. says:

    Harder to get into than Blindness There just isn't a whole lot of action in the first hundred pages of Seeing A lot of pontification

  9. says:

    Seeing is believingThe last time I read Blindness and then Seeing I made the mistake of reading the second volume right after the first The merciless vehemence of Blindness had too strong a resonance and made me literally blind for the underhanded elegance and wit of SeeingI avoided this mistake this time and let some months pass between the two books and I have to say that on this new visit to the unnamed country where the people have no

  10. says:

    Those looking for a seuel to Blindness will be surprised While Seeing carries with it some of the same characters as Blindness it i