Jose Saramago

by SF

Written by Portuguese author Jose Saramago, the 1998 winner of the nobel Prize forLiterature, Blindness is a tale that takes us through the depths and heights

(excerpt)
The green light came on at last, the cars moved off briskly, but then it became clear that not all of them were equally quick off the mark. The car at the head of the middle lane has stopped, there must be some mechanical fault, a loose accelerator pedal, a gear lever that has stuck, problem with the suspension, jammed brakes, breakdown in the electric circuit, unless he has simply run out of gas, it would not be the first time such a thing has happened. The next group of pedestrians to gather at the crossing see the driver of the stationary car wave his arms behind the windshield, while the cars behind him frantically sound their horns. Some drivers have already got out of their cars, prepared to push the stranded vehicle to a spot where it will not hold up the traffic, they beat furiously on the closed windows, the man inside turns his head in their direction, first to one side then the other, he is clearly shouting something, to judge by the movements of his mouth he appears to be repeating some words, not one word but three, as turns out to be the case when someone finally manages to open the door, I am blind. 


I am blind. Somebody please help me, I am blind! Imagine the feeling. One moment you are fine, going about your daily routine. You’ve left work early, hoping to catch your wife at home. Suddenly, your vision is filled entirely with a white luminescence. Not the darkness one would normally associate with blindness, but a whiteness. You panic. What is happening to me? Where is my home? How can I find my way home? A stranger offers to drive you to your apartment, then offers to stay with you as you wait for your wife to arrive. You refuse, fearful. After leaving you at the door of your home, the stranger steals your car. The day progresses and others are struck blind, just as sudden and without warning as you were. Your wife. The car thief. A policeman. The blindness spreads rapidly. An emergency is declared, and the first of those to lose their sight are rounded up and placed in an unused mental hospital, guarded by the military, left to their own devices, quarantined to prevent an outbreak of the epidemic, this “white sickness.” But it is too late. Soon, the entire city, perhaps the world, has gone blind. All except one. 


Blindness by Jose Saramago, Giovanni Pontiero(Translator) 

Published by Harvest Books 

ISBN: 0156007754