After I finished the book (a couple days later, which for me is fast), I started trying to make sense of what made it such a powerful reading experience. What I quickly realized was that Blindness isn’t just a great book in some necessarily meaningless objective sense. I know people who did not dig it at all. Rather, it was a great, nearly perfect book for me at that moment, because it had all the elements of the kind of fiction I most liked. But it had more, too. And as much as this might seem like it contradicts all the reader vs. writer/scholar stuff I posited in my opening, this “more” that Blindness has showed me how to write a novel.Blindness, by José Saramago • VINTAGE • AVAILABLE AT BLOOM
I first decided to read Saramago after a fellow writer told me (online, of all places) that my writing style reminded him of Saramago. I figured, well, I ought to see who this Saramago guy is. And the similarities between the voice in my debut story collection and that of Saramago’s narrator—highly authoritative, deeply analytical, long-winded and given to seemingly endless asides—were hard to miss. So I read Saramago from that first sentence the way you read a writer whose style and technique, however impressive and overall unmatchable, makes sense all in all. Because there are writers (Faulkner is my best example) who you read and admire, but whose writing so mysterious and off-the-charts good that you can’t write for weeks after your encounter. Even though I was humbled by Saramago’s writing, I felt like I got him right away.
[TODD HASAK-LOWY IS A WRITER AND LITERARY CRITIC WHO WAS BROUGHT BY MARK SARVAS ON THE ELEGANT VARIATION - A PIECE IN THREE PARTS]
• Saramago at the end of his first screening of the movie Blindness.
• Fernando Meireles, the director of Blindness, talks about his experience.
• The Theatrical Trailer of Blindness.