Title: Sight

Author: Jose Saramago

Translator: Jahanpour Maleki Alamouti

Publisher: Nik Farjam

Subject: Portuguese stories – 20th century

Age category: Adult

Cover: Paperback

Number of pages: 327

Language: Farsi



seeing is, in fact, another story for the inhabitants of the city where the novel “Blindness” took place. Cory’s novel is a satire against seemingly democratic but dictatorial regimes.

Jose Saramago begins the story with a rainy day in an urban polling station.

In the same city where the blind incident took place, the characters reappear and the vision novel begins with the following text:

It is afternoon and no one has yet come to the polls to vote.

District officials call their family members to the constituency, but no one seems to want to vote, but the constituency becomes crowded at times.

Determined and hasty people come to the polls and cast their ballots.
The counting of votes begins the next day. The result is incredible. Most people cast white ballots, and the parties won only a small number of votes.

The president and government declare the election invalid and call for re-election.

The president appears on television and asks the people to decide their fate by voting.

Re-elections will be held, but this time the result is worse. The number of white ballots increases …

In the novel Seeing, Saramago again did not choose a name for the characters.

A very interesting point in Jose’s writing is that it uses only semicolons and does not pay attention to other symbols.

This is why sentences seem long and in a row.
Jose Saramago is the first Portuguese author to win the Nobel Prize in Literature.

His works are among the best in the world. The novels of blindness and vision are among the top books of this author and complement.

Blindness and vision both speak of a spiritual illness that demonstrates human understanding of a misunderstanding of facts.


Part of the text of the book of vision
Confusion and astonishment, along with ridicule and irony, pervaded all parts of the country.

Municipalities in other parts of the country went through almost normal, uneventful elections, and although in some areas bad weather caused a slight delay, the results were, as always, consisting of abrupt and permanent abstentions, along with votes. It was empty and white that had no special meaning.

These municipalities, humiliated by the capital’s sense of self-transcendence and despised in front of the whole country, which is the clearest model of electoral civilization, could now respond to the slap in the face and laugh at the stupid pride of those gentlemen who think they have fallen from the elephant’s nose. Who accidentally live in the capital.

The phrase “these gentlemen”, which was pronounced with a certain state of the lips and if not in every letter, leaked from at least every part of it, did not refer to people who stayed at home until four o’clock in the afternoon and then as if it were an impossible command. Received a defiance and went to the polls,
Rather, it was aimed at the government, which had won a premature victory. They knew something innocent, as if they themselves had played no active role in preparing for this calamity.

Sight follows almost the same style and context of blindness. No one has a name in this novel either.

In the novel, Cory did not have a name because the name did not matter, because in that world people were known on the basis of something else.

In the world of sight, too, the name does not matter because all have become one soul, and no one is himself but a part of a larger whole.

The novel begins with the story of an election on a rainy day.
It is raining heavily and no one goes to the polls in the early hours of the day.

The relevant authorities are deeply concerned that if this continues, the legitimacy of the government will be questioned, but this will not happen.

At four o’clock in the evening, thousands of people leave their homes at the same time and move to the polling stations.

Government officials are happy to have been able to maintain the legitimacy of the government, but they are counting in disbelief that the overwhelming majority does not belong to the right-wing party, the moderate party or the left-wing party, but more than seventy-five. Percentage of votes are white.

This was far worse than questioning the regime. By doing so, the people showed that their problem is not with democratic governments, but with the principle of democracy.


Voting was repeated and this time the percentage of white votes increased. Eighty-three percent of the vote was white, and this created serious tension among cabinet members.
There are many opinions among the cabinet, and in the end, despite the fact that everyone knows that the people who voted white did not commit any illegal acts, it is decided that the government will declare martial law.

In the meantime, the reaction of the people is very interesting. People do not answer any questions.

When asked, did they vote white?

They answer that no, they did not, and if they did, they exercised their legal right.

No one wants to say anything, not even the people under interrogation, and the lie detector could not do anything, as if it were an unwritten law among the people that they should not talk about such a thing.

Gradually, the white vote became an insult that if you attributed it to someone, it was as if you had insulted him.
The military government, however, could not break the resistance of the people.


The people did not cause any clashes, there was no unrest in the capital and no one gathered to protest.

The government, like Napoleon, faced an enemy in Russia that neither surrendered nor stood up and fought, and this led to the exhaustion of the government until the government decided to leave the capital in the hope that the unrest created by the power vacuum would occur. Come and make people understand that a bad government is better than no government (the only place where the white vote was involved was the capital and other parts of the country had a normal routine).


But leaving the city alone was not the answer, and government officials decided to detonate a bomb in the city to expedite the capital’s anarchist process and place it on the shoulders of those who voted white and wanted to undermine the principle of democracy.
But this is not successful. People continue to act as a single soul that continues to insist on what they want.

In the funeral of the victims of the bombing, the people all participate and then move together to the office of the President and the Prime Minister.

But they return home without breaking glass or setting fire to an office.

So far the story goes well.

Yet another political-philosophical story that can symbolize the moral society that emerges after blindness.
A seemingly anarchic society without government but very moral and secure. (If you do not know about anarchism, you can read the following)

But suddenly everything falls apart.

The Portuguese old man’s line of thought is shattered, and it is as if the novel is reduced from a philosophical-political novel to a market novel.

Where one of the people in the novel blindly accompanied the doctor’s wife sends three letters to the office of the president, the prime minister and the interior minister, and the interior minister sends an agent to the capital to follow up on the case to find out more.

The rest of the story revolves around the commander’s mission instead of focusing on the community.

In this part, Saramago tries to make the reader laugh with jokes that in some cases are really interesting jokes, but we do not read this novel for such jokes.

Although we saw such jokes in Cory’s novel, these jokes were greatly increased in our eyesight. Saramago seems to have no idea what the world he has built will look like.

Saramago is exactly like a revolutionary who has made a revolution but does not know what he wants to do next.
So he either sits in a corner and pretends that nothing happened or tries to restore order.

It seems that Saramago decided to take the second way.

When at the end of the story he plunged the people of the world into blindness again.

Although he probably thinks he has reached a philosophical end, for the conscious reader it is certain that Saramago himself did not know where he wanted the story and the world to end and what would happen in the end.

Perhaps the reason for the four-year gap between the blind novel and the vision is the author’s indecision. But does the author need to draw another world?

Is it necessary for the author to introduce the alternatives to the people?

Did all the writers, from Orwell to Huxley to John Christopher to Alan Moore to Ray Bradbury and other writers and directors who predicted the future, draw their utopias alongside it?

In my opinion, if the officials of the Nobel Foundation had read the novel Vision and realized that such a weak novel (at least with a weak second half) is a sequel to the novel Cory, they would never have given it the Nobel Prize.

Because it was not a magnificent literary work but a collection of dying old man illusions.

Of course, these words do not diminish the importance and thickness of Cory’s novel. But it is better to consider blindness as a sequel novel.

Related books

1- Introducing the book seeing on YouTube

2- Introducing the book seeing in Aparat

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