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Ensaio sobre a Lucidez
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Ensaio sobre a Lucidez (2004)

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2,404584,709 (3.71)85
On election day in the capital, it is raining so hard that no one has come out to vote. The politicians are growing jittery. Should they reschedule for another day? Around three o'clock, the rain finally stops. At four, voters rush to the polling stations, as if ordered to appear. But when the ballots are counted, more than 70% are blank. The citizens are rebellious. A state of emergency is declared. The president proposes that a wall be built around the city. But are the authorities acting too precipitously? Or even blindly? The word evokes terrible memories of the plague of blindness that hit the city four years before, and of the one woman who kept her sight. Could she be behind the blank ballots? Is she the organizer of a conspiracy against the state? What begins as a satire on governments and the sometimes dubious efficacy of the democratic system turns into something far more sinister.--From publisher description.… (mais)
Membro:rjmeyer
Título:Ensaio sobre a Lucidez
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Coleções:Sua biblioteca, Fiction, Dango Storage
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Ensaio sobre a Lucidez de José Saramago (2004)

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» Veja também 85 menções

Inglês (45)  Espanhol (5)  Italiano (4)  Holandês (3)  Francês (1)  Árabe (1)  Todos os idiomas (59)
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A "sequel," if you will, to Blindness. It started out as an apparently light-hearted and wry political satire, then turned much darker, until the ending, which was like a punch in the stomach. ( )
  Charon07 | Jul 16, 2021 |
The more I've read from Saramago the more impressed I've gotten, and this is another excellent novel that works well on both the narrative level and the political level. It's a sequel to Blindness set 4 years later, and it complements the other book really well, both thematically and plot-wise.

It starts off with a somewhat similar premise, only instead of a sudden epidemic of blindness, there's an epidemic of ballot-spoiling: a majority of voters in a routine yet rainy election in the same unnamed Portugal-ish country all decide to mark their ballots as blank. Taken aback by this unprecedented yet completely legal form of non-participation, the puzzled government decides to hold another election, except that the second time, even more ballots are marked as blank, and no one will tell the authorities why. Faced with this crisis of legitimacy, the government takes increasingly desperate measures like declaring martial law, escaping to another provisional capital, cordoning off the recalcitrant capital city, launching false flag operations to discredit "blankers", and eventually sending in a three-man team of police detectives to investigate possible ties between this crisis and the last one.

"What if they threw an election and nobody came?" doesn't sound like the most promising theme for a novel, but Saramago makes it work, firstly by building well on Blindness, secondly by exploring a lot of interesting political themes, and thirdly by having lots of good dialogue and pithy observations about the various characters.

Both Blindness and Seeing take place in this almost hermetically sealed country, seemingly unaffected by or unable to affect anything in the world outside. Both novels involve the government trying to quarantine dangerous things it can't control and doesn't understand, with grave consequences for the main characters. Whereas in Blindness the loss of sight was literal and personal, here it's metaphorical and political: the citizens of a country simply decline to participate in the act of casting their ballots for a political party, and won't disclose their motives. In Blindness, the separation from the government caused by the disease results in anarchy for the main characters; in Seeing, the residents of the capital city seem to be able to go on with their lives without issue. The characters in Blindness were brought together by their infirmity; the various ministers in Seeing are slowly isolated and then fired by the increasingly dictatorial government, while the police superintendent who becomes the main character in the second half eventually loses contact with everyone in his former life and has a human relationship only with the doctor's wife from the first novel.

It's not an accident that all the "main characters" in Seeing are in the government, as opposed to the private citizens in Blindness, as this lets Saramago write about what politics is like in a country disconnected from its leaders. The election monitors in precinct 14 don't know what to make of the unusual circumstances in the first election, the government ministers can't cope with the steadfast refusal of the populace to behave in a way that validates them after the second election, and the team of policemen sent to pin the ballot-blanking epidemic on the doctor's wife won't violate their own internal moral codes, so their bosses have to take matters into their own hands. There are lots of obvious parallels between the behavior of the authorities here and the real-life Portuguese dictatorship, such as the censorship, the use of violence against civilians, and the increasingly self-parodic nature of all of the various officials' lectures and speeches about the duty of the people towards the nation as the novel goes on.

The book is filled with the neat little lines characteristic of Saramago: "Censorship proper is like the sun, which, when it rises, rises for everyone"; "Caution and chicken soup never hurt anyone, in good health or bad"; "How often fears come to sour our life and prove, in the end, to have no foundation, no reason to exist". His trademark style is here too: the long exchanges of dialogue without quotation marks, the aversion to capitalization, the absence of proper names, funny authorial asides, and the police superintendent even had the same love of buttered toast as the proofreader in The History of the Siege of Lisbon. My favorite conversations might have been the ones between the police superintendent and the minister of the interior during the mission ("Ye gods of the police and of espionage, what a farce, I'm puffin and he's albatross, the next thing you know we'll be communicating by squawks and screeches, there'd be a storm then, no fear."), but Saramago places enough moments of humanity in here that it's a great book on that level too. The depressing ending is a great way to drive home the political points of the novel. ( )
1 vote aaronarnold | May 11, 2021 |
Muy lento. Poco interesante hasta el final. ( )
  uxue.adarve | Apr 19, 2020 |
Durante las elecciones municipales de una ciudad sin nombre, la mayoría de sus habitantes decide individualmente ejercer su derecho al voto de una manera inesperada. El gobierno teme que ese gesto revolucionario, capaz de socavar los cimientos de una democracia degenerada, sea producto de una conjura anarquista internacional o de grupos extremistas desconocidos. Las cloacas del poder se ponen en marcha: los culpables tienen que ser eliminados. Y si no se hallan, se inventan.
  katherinevillar | Mar 24, 2020 |
Cosa succede a un paese se alle elezioni i cittadini decidono in massa di votare scheda bianca? Quali meccanismi vengono sollecitati fino alla rottura, quali contromisure andranno messe in atto? Se lo chiede José Saramago con questo straordinario romanzo, avvincente come un giallo e penetrante come un'analisi (fanta)politica. L'ipotesi più accreditata è che ci sia un legame fra questa "rivolta bianca" e l'epidemia di cecità che, solo quattro anni prima, si era sparsa come la peste. Gli indimenticabili protagonisti di Cecità fanno ritorno, per condurci in un viaggio di scoperta delle radici oscure del potere.
  kikka62 | Feb 1, 2020 |
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Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Saramago, Joséautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Costa, Margaret JullTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Kort, Maartje deTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Mansour, ClaudineDesigner da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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On election day in the capital, it is raining so hard that no one has come out to vote. The politicians are growing jittery. Should they reschedule for another day? Around three o'clock, the rain finally stops. At four, voters rush to the polling stations, as if ordered to appear. But when the ballots are counted, more than 70% are blank. The citizens are rebellious. A state of emergency is declared. The president proposes that a wall be built around the city. But are the authorities acting too precipitously? Or even blindly? The word evokes terrible memories of the plague of blindness that hit the city four years before, and of the one woman who kept her sight. Could she be behind the blank ballots? Is she the organizer of a conspiracy against the state? What begins as a satire on governments and the sometimes dubious efficacy of the democratic system turns into something far more sinister.--From publisher description.

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