LITERATURE: Blindness – Voice

Saramago's narrative voice sounds almost unnaturally formal and prissy following Junot Diaz's Oscar Wao, but this particular eloquence in describing a very ladylike prostitute's meeting in a hotel with her client is, well, a hoot.

Two guests got out [of an elevator], an elderly couple, she stepped inside, pressed the button for the third floor, three hundred and twelve was the number awaiting her, it is here, she discreetly knocked on the door, ten minutes later she was naked, fifteen minutes later she was moaning, eighteen minutes later she was whispering words of love she no longer needed to feign, after twenty minutes she began to lose her head, after twenty-one minutes she felt that her body was being lacerated with pleasure, after twenty-two minutes she called out, Now, now, and when she regained consciousness she said, exhausted and happy, I can still see everything white. (p. 25)

Saramago has already led us to a couple more cases of blindness, and here, with the young woman, he has so very easily turned orgasm into the affliction without the character's awareness. Neat.

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