And (to my intense embarrassment today) I didn't hesitate to vociferate it to anyone who asked.
|Listed in Amazon|
Guilie, in full wrath mode, retorts, He's preachy and presumptuous and arrogant and totally incompetent as a storyteller.
But, but, would stammer the poor bystander, he won a Nobel prize for literature.
And I, in all my wisdom, would just roll my eyes. What. Ever.
And then along came a friend with a copy of Saramago's Caín. Have you read this, he says. No, I say, and before I can spit out my usual Saramago-induced vituperations, he shoves it into my hands. Here. I owed you a book.
I don't read this crap seemed, given it was a gift--and a special friend, and the tail end of a pretty special evening--a tad harsh. So I smiled and did my best to sound graceful when I said thank you.
I did not intend to read it.
But... Well, like I said. Special friend. Special evening. Maybe I was predisposed toward paradigm shifts. Maybe the book I was reading wasn't doing much for me. (Can't even remember which one it was, so there's that.)
|Next up on the Making-Up-For-Lost-Time|
(aka the Saramago Guilt Trip)
I didn't put it down for the whole day, a good chunk of the night, and throughout all the waiting and sitting and standing in line of my flights back to Curaçao. I drew wary stares and realized I'd been chuckling or--worse--repeating a sentence out loud, just for the pleasure of hearing the words.
As one wades into middle age, one's convictions--beliefs, prejudices, experience-sourced knowledge--harden like the remains of a Thanksgiving dinner on silver platters left on the kitchen counter in the classic "We'll clean up tomorrow."
Caín, for me, was a much needed reminder that knowledge is only perception; that it's not the fittest but the most adaptable that survive; that there is, in fact, a lot of newness under the sun--if we care to look. To rip off the veil of prejudice and see.
Thank you, Saramago introducer. You'll be remembered with gratitude forevermore. I might've gone through life never knowing this brilliant, brilliant author. His brilliant mind.