- (A Caverna) Translated from Portuguese by Margaret Jull Costa A Harvest Book/ Harcourt inc. 2003 ISBN 0151004145; 0156028794
Read from September 5th to 18th 2014
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I don’t know why the end of José Saramago’s novel reminded me of the old joke with the child who asks his father why the writers have got street names. In fact I know why – the apparently innocent question hints to the way of reasoning of an entire society whose values have no common point whatsoever with the culture anymore, a pragmatic society that sees the eternal ideas as simple curiosities projected on the wall for its amusement, that does not feel any metaphysical anxiety anymore and it is quite comfortable with the ropes around the neck and feet which keep it firmly tied to the stone-bench of the immediate, the concrete, the consumable. A society forever anchored in the immanence.
I think this is the main theme of The Cave: the chains of ignorance the modern man proudly rattles, deluding himself he freely gave up his past, his inner life, his humanity as liabilities in change for the comfort of civilisation where having is more important than being.