If you can see, look.
If you can look, observe.
FROM THE Book of Exhortations. Blindness
The moral conscience that so many thoughtless people have
offended against and many more have rejected, is something that
exists and has always existed. It was not an invention of the
philosophers of the Quartenary, when the soul was little more
than a muddled proposition. With the passing of time, as well
as then social evolution and genetic exchange, we ended up putting
our conscience in the colour of blood and in the salt of tears,
and, as if that were not enough, we made our eyes into a kind
of mirror turned inwards, with the result that they often show
without reserve what we are verbally trying to deny. Add to
this general observation, the particular circumstance that in
simple spirits, the remorse caused by committing some evil act
often becomes confused with ancestral fears of every kind, and
the result will be that the punishment of the prevaricator ends
up being, without mercy or pity, twice what he deserved. Blindness
...we're so remote from the world that any day now, we shall
no longer know who we are, or even remember our names, and besides,
what use would names be to us, no dog recognises another dog
or knows the others by the names they have been given, a dog
is identified by its scent and that is how it identifies others,
here we are like another breed of dogs, we know each other's
bark or speech, as for the rest, features, colour of eyes or
hair, they are of no importance, it is as if they did not exist,
I can still see but for how long. Blindness Doctor's wife.
A blind man is sacred, you don't steal from a blind man. Blindness Car thief.
...anyone who gets up early by inclination or has been forced
to rise early out of necessity finds it intolerable that others
should go on sleeping soundly, and with good reason in the case
to which we are referring, for there is a marked difference
between a blind person who is sleeping and a blind person who
has opened his eyes to no purpose. Blindness
...just as well that we are still capable of weeping, tears
are often our salvation, there are times when we would die if
we did not weep... Blindness Doctor's wife.
As the saying goes, in the country of the blind, the one-eyed
man is king, Forget about sayings, But this is not the same,
Here not even the cross-eyed would be saved... Blindness Recalling the H. G. Wells saying.
Attention, attention, the internees may come and collect their
food, but be careful, if anyone gets too close to the gate they
will receive a preliminary warning, and unless they turn back
immediately, the second warning will be a bullet. Blindness Voice over loudspeaker in mental asylum.
Perhaps only in a world of the blind will things be what they
truly are. Blindness The Doctor.
...a longing to curl up inside herself, her eyes, especially
her eyes, turned inwards, more, more, more, until they could
reach and observe inside her own brain, there where the difference
between seeing and not seeing is invisible to the naked eye.
Slowly, ever more slowly, dragging her body, she retraced her
footsteps to the place where she belonged... Blindness Doctor's wife.
...for the authorities had no humanitarian scruples when rounding
up the blind and confining them here, they even stated that
the law once made is the same for everyone and that democracy
is incompatible with preferential treatment. Blindness
...for dignity has no price, that when someone starts making
small concessions, in the end, life loses all meaning. Blindness
Say to a blind man, youre free, open the door that was
separating him from the world, Go, you are free, we tell him
once more, and he does not go, he has remained motionless there
in the middle of the road, he and the others, they are terrified,
they do not know where to go, the fact is that there is no comparison
between living in a rational labyrinth, which is, by definition,
a mental asylum and venturing forth, without a guiding hand
or a dog-leash, into the demented labyrinth of the city, where
memory will serve no purpose, for it will merely be able to
recall the images of places but not the paths whereby we might
get there. Blindness
...just like everything else in life, let time take its course
and it will find a solution. Blindness
Theres no difference between inside and outside, between
here and there, between the many and the few, between what were
living through and what we shall have to live through...this
must be what it means to be a ghost, being certain that life
exists, because your four senses say so, and yet unable to see
...you do not know, you cannot know, what it means to have
eyes in a world in which everyone else is blind, I am not a
queen, no, I am simply the one who was born to see this horror,
you can feel it, I both feel and see it... Blindness Doctor's wife, the only person who retains
her sight through blindness epidemic, to her blind companions.
Inside us there is something that has no name, that something
is what we are. Blindness
Blind people do not need a name, I am my voice, nothing else
It is a great truth that says that the worst blind person
was the one who did not want to see... Blindness
On their way to the home of the girl with dark glasses, they
crossed a large square with groups of blind people who were
listening to speeches from other blind people, at first sight,
neither one nor the other group seemed blind, the speakers turned
their heads excitedly towards their listeners, the listeners
turned their heads attentively to the speakers. They were proclaiming
the end of the world, redemption through penitence, the visions
of the seventh day, the advent of the angel, cosmic collisions,
the death of the sun, the tribal spirit, the sap of the mandrake,
tiger ointment, the virtue of the sign, the discipline of the
wind, the perfume of the moon, the revindication of darkness,
the power of exorcism, the sign of the heel, the crucifixion
of the rose, the purity of the lymph, the blood of the black
cat, the sleep of the shadow, the rising of the seas, the logic
of anthropopagy, painless castration, divine tattoos, voluntary
blindness, convex thoughts, or concave, or horizontal or vertical,
or sloping, or concentrated, or dispersed, or fleeting, the
weakening of the vocal cords, the death of the word, Here nobody
is speaking of organisation, said the doctor's wife, Perhaps
organisation is in another square, he replied. Blindness
The difficult thing isnt living with other people, its
understanding them. Blindness The Doctor.
...all the images in the church had their eyes covered, statues
with a white cloth tied around the head, paintings with the
thick brushstroke of white paint... that priest must have committed
the worst sacrilege of all times and all religions, the fairest
and most radically human, coming here to declare that, ultimately,
God does not deserve to see. Blindness
I don't think we did go blind, I think we are blind, Blind
but seeing, Blind people who can see, but do not see. Blindness One of characters near end of novel.
Blindness, an allegorical novel about
a mysterious epidemic of blindness that paralyzes a major city, was
written by Portuguese writer Jose Saramago and published in 1995.
Born on November 16, 1922, Saramago was awarded the Nobel Prize for
literature in 1998.