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Blindness (1926)

por Henry Green

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2311091,027 (3.36)78
Blinded in an accident on his way home from boarding school, John Haye must reevaluate his life and the possibilities for his future. His stepmother--worried that, blind and dependent, he'll spend his life with her--wants to marry him off to anyone who will take him, provided she's of the "right" social class. Contrary to her hopes, John falls in love with the daughter of the town drunk (who is also the town parson). She whisks John off to London, where in this strange city he is confined to a room above a major thoroughfare while she gets on with her life.Blindness was first published when Henry Green was an undergraduate at Oxford. Highly praised as a master of high-modernism, Green went on to write eight other novels, including Concluding and Doting.… (mais)
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How is it possible for a 20 year old to write so brilliantly?
Looking forward to more of his work. ( )
  mortalfool | Jul 10, 2021 |
The story is of a 17 year old boy named John who is blinded in an accident on the way home from boarding school.

Set in the English countryside of the 1920's, the book starts out before the accident, and then proceeds to after the accident.

I find the concept of going blind terrifying, and it made me think about how one would cope with such an event. I can't imagine how hard it would be to go through for both the person and their family members/people close to them, and suspect it would be easy to seem insensitive.

That said, I was surprised and put off to find all the characters coming across as selfish and basically unlikeable.

Yet all in all the book was quite readable.
( )
  curious_squid | Apr 5, 2021 |
Green's first novel is not as good as what came after but still has much to recommend it. In the dialogue there are flashes of the quicksilver genius on display in books like Loving, Nothing, and Doting; many of the poetic descriptive passages are lovely although a few bubble over into purple prosiness. Green's treatment / evocation of blindness seems very astute for someone so young, and I liked the way he introduced Joan as a potential happy ending, only to buck the conventional narrative expectation (although I found the characters of Joan and her alcoholic ex-priest father hard to believe and rather melodramatic).

Overall Blindness feels patchy and somewhat incoherent. It reads rather as though it was cobbled together from fragments - especially the adolescent diary entries that form the first section. I'm glad I read this but I'm also glad it was the seventh, and not the first of his novels that I read. ( )
  yarb | Mar 10, 2020 |
The authors you love, I’ve found, do not come about due to wide or deep reading of their oeuvre, but from a single piece of work, usually in the first half dozen or so by that author you’ve read. It blows you away… and it colours all your other encounters with that author’s works. With Lowry, it was his novella ‘Through the Panama’, with Durrell it was The Alexandria Quartet, with Blixen it was her story ‘Tempest’… and with Green it was the first novel by him I read, Loving. A pitch-perfect control of voice, a refusal to tell the story using normal narrative techniques, and an excellent eye for detail… what’s not to love? Blindness is Green’s first novel, and concerns a public schoolboy whose bright future is snatched from him in an accident which blinds him (a kid throws a stone at a passing train, smashing a window through which the protagonist is looking). The story is told firstly through letters, then through semi-stream-of-consciousness narratives by the young man and his mother and the young woman (of an unsuitable family) whose company he enjoys… It’s very much a story of privilege and deprivation – the main character is the scion of a wealthy family, with a country seat boasting a large staff (members of which which the mother complains about repeatedly); but the young woman is the daughter of an alcoholic vicar fallen on hard times and, if anything, reads more like a DH Lawrence character (on his good days, that is) than a fit companion for the blind boy. Green had a reputation as “a writer’s writer”, which is generally taken to mean he was much admired but sold few copies. It’s true that there’s a dazzling level of technique on display in Blindness, a facility with prose no writer can fail to admire. And it’s Green’s writing prowess I certainly admire, rather than his choice of subjects or the stories he chooses to tell. But there’s a profound pleasure to be found in reading prose that is just put together so well, and that’s why I treasure Green’s writing. ( )
  iansales | Oct 9, 2016 |
3.5 stars ( )
  Lynsey2 | Jan 15, 2016 |
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Diary of John Haye, Secretary to the Noat Art Society, and in J. W. P.'s House at the Public School of Noat.
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Blinded in an accident on his way home from boarding school, John Haye must reevaluate his life and the possibilities for his future. His stepmother--worried that, blind and dependent, he'll spend his life with her--wants to marry him off to anyone who will take him, provided she's of the "right" social class. Contrary to her hopes, John falls in love with the daughter of the town drunk (who is also the town parson). She whisks John off to London, where in this strange city he is confined to a room above a major thoroughfare while she gets on with her life.Blindness was first published when Henry Green was an undergraduate at Oxford. Highly praised as a master of high-modernism, Green went on to write eight other novels, including Concluding and Doting.

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