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The very idea of the (definitive) translation is misguided, Borges tells us; there are only drafts, approximations.

Andrew Hurley

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José Saramago

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Characters with no names

I am finding it clumsy writing about the characters in Blindness without having names for them. I understand, sort of, why Saramago does not want to give them names; but if he had, it would make it easier to think about the book. I had this same reaction recently to another book, I am forgetting which one.*

I found the rape scene utterly devastating -- so even without names, I am apprehending the characters enough as individuals, to feel for them. This book is generally getting under my skin -- the descriptions of walking through the sewage on the hallway floors are viscerally revolting, as strongly as anything from any other book I can think of. (Specifically, the comparison that came to mind when I was reading the first such description, was to the coprophagy scene in Gravity's Rainbow.)

*Oh yeah, it was The New Life.

posted evening of Tuesday, January first, 2008
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