A city is hit by an epidemic of "white blindness" whose victims are confined to a vacant mental hospital, while a single eyewitness to the nightmare guides seven oddly assorted strangers through the barren urban landscape
Many writers have proven that they are capable of transforming an original idea into an entertaining and intriguing novel. Other writers have shown that they are adept at creating an addictively compelling plotline, while others choose to use fictional scenarios as grand metaphors to investigate our social status. Very few authors are audacious enough to attempt all three of these strategies simultaneously, and the few books that have actually succeeded in these multiple endeavors are rightly renowned as classics. José Saramago's BLINDNESS belongs on that short list.
The plague begins on the first page, as a man driving his car in a nameless country is suddenly struck blind. Soon, everyone who crosses paths with the man is losing their sight, triggering a wave of blindness which leads to mass panic and an impromptu quarantine. As more and more people lose their vision, the moral tenets underlying the society rapidly dissolve amidst the desperate scramble for basic necessities, such as food, shelter, and hygiene. At the center of it all is one woman who has mysteriously retained her vision, but chooses to feign blindness in order to avoid being separated from her husband. Her adherence to this deception will be severely tested when a group of armed men take control of the quarantine facility and enact their own brutal regime. Saramago's disturbing and scrupulous analysis of the tenuous nature of our social bonds earned him the Nobel Prize for Literature, and will endure as one of the most important novels of the late 20th century.
- Fiction + Literature Themes, Fiction + Literature Genres
- Literary, Medicine + Health, Literary Genres + Types of Novels
- October 4, 1999
- October 4, 1999
- Jose Saramago, Giovanni Pontiero