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

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🦋 Belly laughs

They weren't conspirators, they were simply afraid.

The first half of Seeing is different from the rest of these two books in that it is not tightly focused on particular characters -- the events being related take place at large in the city. This portion of the book strikes me as broad political satire, and here is where the highest frequency of really hilarious punch-lines is to be found. Mixed naturally with frightening images like the detainees being interrogated about their conversations on election day.

Saramago's punch-lines hit especially hard because of the rhythm of his voice -- the way he strings sentences together can become hypnotic, so as I'm reading along it's like listening to a chant recited -- then the punch-line breaks into that and snaps me out of the sing-song, and I laugh.

posted evening of Wednesday, February 27th, 2008
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