finished reading jose saramago's 'all the names' & loved its simple language, devoid of the heavy duty imagery or phrases that abound in the novels of rushdie or amitava ghosh. there is also none of the intensity of an ishiguro, none of the quiet menace of an ian mcewan, all of whom happen to be my favs. apart from exploring the state of loneliness & man's pet fantasy of finding the perfect soul mate, not simply a romantic or sexual counterpart, but more as someone who will quench the soul's thirst for endless communication & be a source of revelation about ourselves, it also shows how such endeavor makes heroes out of ordinary men; that there are no ordinary men really. it is circumstances that drive us to actions that label us with such tags as mundane, coward, brave, or impulsive. it is simply the drive that pushes us to certain modes of behavior as every individual is intrinsically 'capable' of every kind of behavior. the senor jose we meet at the novels onset is far from the man who eventually forges documents & breaks into school buildings in the dead of the night. i also think it's loneliness & the individual's most urgent & primitive need to establish connection with those of his kind, to seek & find solace in company, that explains the success of internet chats, messengers, blogs & other forms of anonymous communication. what all of them have in common is the need to step out from our private world & seek fulfilment from someone/people whom we have never met, yet have been looking for all our lives.
like senor jose, the hero of saramago's novel, only such search brings us close to our deepest impulses & reveals all that could have escaped us. as kincaid tells francesca in 'the bridges of madison county', " we could have easily passed by each other without having ever met & it is this thought that frightens me so."