Quotable: José Saramago

I love Saramago’s work, and now that summer is here and I am not tied to any deadlines I have been able to indulge myself by reading those of his novels I hadn’t yet gotten to. Here is a little excerpt from The Double:

What do you do when you’re not at school, Oh, I read, listen to music, occasionally visit a museum, And what about the cinema, No, I don’t go to the cinema much, I make do with what they show on TV, You could buy a few videos, start a collection, a video library if you like, You’re right, I could, except that I haven’t even got enough space for my books,Well, rent some videos then, that’s the best solution, Well, I do own a few videos, science documentaries, nature programmes, archaeology, anthropology, the arts in general, and I’m interested in astronomy too, that sort of thing, That’s all very well, but you need to distract yourself with stories that don’t take up too much space in your head, I mean, given, for example, that you’re interested in astronomy, you might well enjoy science fiction, adventures in outer space, star wars, special effects, As I see it, those socalled special effects are the real enemy of the imagination, that mysterious, enigmatic skill it took us human beings so much hard work to invent, Now you’re exaggerating, No, I’m not, the people who are exaggerating are the ones who want me to believe that in less than a second, with a click of the fingers, a spaceship can travel a hundred thousand million kilometres,You have to agree, though, that to create the effects you so despise also takes imagination, Yes, but it’s their imagination, not mine,

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