Thursday, November 06, 2014

Book fifty-five: Cain by José Saramago

Quite possibly the best book I've read all year. Love, love, love it. Saramago reimagines stories from the Old Testament. And his writing is genius. It begins with Adam and Eve's expulsion from Garden of Eden. It ends with Noah and the ark. It is brilliant. Fantastic.
"The history of mankind is the history of our misunderstandings with god, for he doesn't understand us, and we don't understand him." --78
 "Yes, anything is possible, even eve's extraordinary idea of going to ask the angel for permission to enter the garden of eden and pick some fruit to keep them alive for a few more days. Adam was as skeptical as any man is regarding the success of any enterprise born of a woman's brain and so he told her to go alone and to prepare to be disappointed…" --12
"As for lot's wife, she disobeyed the order not to look back and was transformed into a pillar of salt. No one has ever been able to understand why she was punished in that way, for it is only natural to want to know what is going on behind you." --86
"Once, the lord would appear to us in person, in the flesh so to speak, and even took a certain satisfaction in showing himself to the world…Now, though, the lord conceals himself in columns of smoke, as if he preferred not to be seen. As mere observers of events, we are of the view that he feels ashamed of some of his less palatable actions, for example, those innocent children in sodom devoured by his divine fire." --97
"Anyway, the innocent are now accustomed to paying for the sinners, The lord seems to have a very strange idea of justice, Yes, the idea of someone who hasn't the slightest notion of what human justice might be." --117
"The ways of the lord are inscrutable, not even we angels can fathom the workings of his mind, Oh, I've had enough of all this nonsense about the lord's ways being inscrutable, answered cain, got should be as clear and transparent as a pane of glass and not go wasting his energies on creating an atmosphere of constant terror and fear, god, in short, does not love us." --123
55 down and still going strong.

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