Writing as if Reading

Jose Saramago’s “The Cave” is written almost from several points of view simultaneously, as if the narrator is also reading the story he’s writing for the first time as he goes along. He’s inside and outside, above and below, and all over the placel, making pronouncements, making sentences go on and on with unexpected commas, offering insights when you least expect it and backing off, retreating into distance on occasions such as this:

“were it in the interests of the stort to delve more deeply into their private life, she would be quite prepared to declare vehemently that she loves him, but she is not given to self-deception, and, were we to insist, it is even likely that she would ultimately admit that he sometimes seemed to her too prudent, not to say calculating, always assuming that we wanted to take our investigations into such negative areas of the personality”


“life is like that, full of words that are not worth saying or that were worth saying once but not anymore …”

when a character decides not to say what he had in mind after all. You don’t know where the writer is at any given moment, because he could be anywhere at any time, even in the middle of a sentence. I kind of like it.


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