Confused by Jose Saramago's "The Cave"
August 18, 2004 10:02 AM   Subscribe

After having read Jose Saramago's excellent book Blindless, I decided to read The Cave. I finally got through the book and was utterly confused.[mi]

I should preface this by saying that I am no literary genius by any means. I failed to understand the signifance of the cave and Jose's revelation that "They Are Us". He explains it to his daughter but not to the reader. Google turns up some reviews and lots of reference's to Plato, but nothing useful for a layman like myself.
posted by trillion to Writing & Language (2 answers total)
I haven't read either of those Saramago books, but I was thoroughly charmed by The Tale of the Unknown Island. The conversational parts were hard to follow, since he uses no quotation marks, just a lot of commas in a single paragraph. Not that it helps with your dilemma. :(
posted by yoga at 3:57 PM on August 18, 2004

It's playing off Plato's Cave, and i saw it as a commentary on commercialism, sealing yourself off in self-contained spaces (gated community, anyone?), willingly closing yourself off from the world, and how soul-crushing it can be. (i'm no literary genius either, and didn't know of the cave/plato thing until reading a review of the book before reading the book.)

I didn't like the Cave nearly as much as his others. My fav of his is Baltazar and Blimunda---an incredibly wonderful book. Blindness is really really powerful, but depresses me too much. The Jesus book is great too, but probably more so if you're not a believer in him. : >
posted by amberglow at 4:15 PM on August 18, 2004

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