What you see

Some questions about different mind’s eyes while reading. Please,

1. read the text below and then (only then) go to number 2, which follows.

*

2. Please answer these questions (if you’re in a rush, just answer some). Write them down, best in a seperate text document on your computer. Go by what you remember from reading, don’t return to the text (you won’t find any answers there)

What time of day is it?

Where/ when is this? What kind of town, city?

What kind of car is driven by the man who goes blind?

Describe the blind man in simple terms – age, face, voice, clothing, etc.

Describe the setting in simple terms – light, temperature/ season, dry/wet, size of road, size & kind of buildings, distance of road from buildings, etc.

3. Copy / paste your answers into the comments section below.

4. Compare with the other comments.

Thanks!

(ps. i won’t use anything you write directly, but this will help a lot with a project i’m starting, about reading. More on that soon)

Text is opening page from the amazing / devastating Blindness by Jose Saramago

Advertisements

19 responses to “What you see

  1. theheaviestfunkintheworld

    1) It is in the afternoon at 3:00 p.m.

    2) It is in a provincial town that was bombed in the last war and rebuilt in the 1950s in concrete and textured cladding.

    3) The blind man is driving a big, old expensive German car with chrome trim on the doors, which are black.

    4) He’s outside a municipal swimming pool on a slight hill, on the far side of the road, moving up the hill. The buildings are grey and concrete, mostly, with coloured pebbles in the cladding, and some green and grey plants, and there’s a Chinese restaurant with neon lights behind a bright plastic facade. It’s dry. It’s summer, and it’s humid.

  2. anthonyhampton

    (I should do this myself…)
    About 5pm
    In the town centre of a big city, in the early 80’s.
    Car, something like a Simca, or an early Seat – nothing flashy. Everything beige and brown. Light beige outside, brown interior, plastic, hatched upholstery.
    He is lean, tall, and has stubble. He is a Portuguese man with dark features, late forties. He wears glasses, shirt and beige cord jacket. His hair is conservative, but all there.
    It’s quite sunny, dry and hot. The surroundings are an odd mix of Manhattan and something more meditteranean, rural almost. Like the tall glass buildings are fake – I may be thinking of the fake city in Tati’s Playtime.

  3. What time of day is it?
    Evening. Night. It is after dark.

    Where/ when is this? What kind of town, city?
    It’s a middling town. A Jacksonville. A Springfield. A small American city that people outside the state couldn’t place on a map. It is today.

    What kind of car is driven by the man who goes blind?

    An average silver four door. Like a ford or a chrystler. Like the kind of car they give out at rental places to a family, but more care-worn.

    Describe the blind man in simple terms – age, face, voice, clothing, etc.

    He is relatively old. Maybe in his early sixties. Grey hair and a strong face. He is wearing a suit jacket and jumper and sensible trousers.

    Describe the setting in simple terms – light, temperature/ season, dry/wet, size of road, size & kind of buildings, distance of road from buildings, etc.

    It’s dry and hot outside the car. The grass is the thick kind of grass you get in southern states. It’s a three lane road – the kind of crossing where the traffic lights are hung on wire above the junction. A crossroads. It’s in a suburb somewhere out of the centre.

  4. 1. daytime

    2. city

    3. a mercedes from the early 80’s, diesel

    4. man in his fifties, scared

    5. wet, cloudy, a rainy november day like today, a wider one way road, a crossing with traffic lights, big buildings, building sites close to the street, London City, busy, dirty, loud

  5. 2.00 pm

    England, present day. Big town.

    A 1980s Volkswagen Santana, colour: dark emerald green.

    About 65/ 70, healthy looking skin many fine wrinkles from being outdoors,
    2 inch light brown but mainly grey hair combed back,
    soft voice, quite thin, short sleeve shirt tucked in thin cord trousers, well kept but not smart or new.

    Sun hanging slightly low, covered by a white misty layer of clouds, sky a pale blue, not clear. Warm autumn day, damp ground, leaves on pavement and road, A row of Edwardian houses, shops, towncentre, two lanes on each side, crossing with island in the middle of the road,
    pavement approx. 6m wide.

  6. It’s daytime, mid-afternoon. The author is Portuguese so I would say one of the bigger cities in Portugal. I imagine the story is set in the present or rather just slightly into the future… it’s all coming to us. He’s driving a middle of the range car (is that the right term?), four-door, slightly battered maybe. I would think pastel coloured. The man is in his late thirties I guess (or maybe a bit older, mid-forties), thin face, piercing eyes before the blindness, and blue before they were milky? He has wavy dark hair, which will go grey soon (or might already be doing so…). His voice is not as usual because of the panic he is feeling so it’s difficult to hear how he would normally sound. Casual clothing, sports coat on the back seat, maybe a tie but loose, the top button of his shirt undone. It’s a warm day, bright light, summer or late spring, dry. He has stopped on a major road (doesn’t he say there are at least three lanes?), probably at a busy intersection. The buildings all around are tall, mostly flats. The pavements are wide. It’s an expansive avenue.

  7. i don’t remember it being mentioned. but daylight. morning perhaps on the way to work (do i imagine remembering this from later in the novel)

    the zebra makes me think of britain. but then i recognised it and i know the writer is portuguese so that is in my head and the sound in my head is of the experience of being in a country full of sound i don’t understand. i have imagined it as a kind of heavy hot south american modern city of no fixed identity. isolated.

    i have no picture of the car, only what is seen outside the car. the car itself is a kind of dark spot in the middle of the picture.

    again, i have no picture of him really. a blank spot.

    light. hot. summer. too hot. not raining but everyone is a bit damp and sweaty under their suits. wide enough road for more than one lane. but lanes close in on each other. probably should be four lane road but driving style pushes this to six lane. highish seventies blocks but not manhattan high and wide enough between them that there is plenty of sunlight. anyway, this is a crossroad junction so it seems more spacious than the road itself. the pavement is wide and the zebra is wide so a woman with a pushchair is not having a nightmare.
    more space on the pavement than there is on the road. everyone is going somewhere.

  8. What time of day is it? I had it down as roughly the time I read it, lunch time (13:33 to be precise)
    Where/ when is this? What kind of town, city? Oddly, I went for America, something like the non-sky-scrapery bit of New York or Chicago (both of which I’ve only seen in films)
    What kind of car is driven by the man who goes blind? I imagined something quite 1960s, indeed I put the whole scene back about five decades.
    Describe the blind man in simple terms – age, face, voice, clothing, etc. No clear picture. A generalised everyman, average looks, brown hair, middle-aged, short back and sides.
    Describe the setting in simple terms – light, temperature/ season, dry/wet, size of road, size & kind of buildings, distance of road from buildings, etc. So, lunch time, mid-late autumn, grey but with possible bright sunshine, post-rain? Road, three lanes in each direction. Significant road running through a City. Narrower than, say, Euston Road, though. Pavements wide-ish. Wider than most in London. Buildings brown, btw.

  9. 1. Noon

    2. Spanish town

    3. Old-ish golf, cotton seats covers, no AC.

    4. Man in his mid 40s wearing a white shirt with black trousers, baby face, big light coloured eyes, sleek hair. He is skinny.

    5.On a big cross road in the city, you can see few offices blocks around (sun is shining on their glass surface). It is a very hot and dry summer day at noon.

  10. Twilit (6.45pm)

    In Lisbon, driving in Alcantra, in Largo do Calvario

    Driving a creme mercedez

    He is 55 years old, with a moustache, squared shirt, brown corduroy trousers and low voice.

    This happened in the beginning of September, It’s hot,

    the roads are very tiny and that road is very old the floor is made of black stones, the zebra white lines are painted on top of the stones,

    the buildings are very old, badly kept but colourful, there is almost no distance between the buildings and the roads.

  11. bystander in a hurry

    feels like morning; but from the first paragraph or so it could actually be any busy time in a busy city.. why would they be tapping their foot unless there is music playing?

  12. – afternoon, probably rush hour
    – on the mall, London, if you are approaching from the west, after you go round the fountains in front of the palace, there is a set of lights and further on a pedestrian crossing, often, the lights go green on the filter at the fountain while the pedestrian crossing is still red, frustration is already in the air, cemented by the fact that the people using the crossing are often tourists …
    – a faded green 1971 Austin 1300 Master Class Winner
    – early 60s, slightly reddish face, well educated english accent, down at heal …
    – it’s autumn, people are wearing coats and the leaves have just fallen off the trees …

  13. What time of day is it?
    Noon

    Where/ when is this? What kind of town, city?
    London, October 2009.

    What kind of car is driven by the man who goes blind?
    old Peugeot 206, red – faded by sun.

    Describe the blind man in simple terms – age, face, voice, clothing, etc.
    In his fifties, not too tall, simple clothes (jeans and beige shirt), black hair with some silver above the ears, Spanish accent.

    Describe the setting in simple terms – light, temperature/ season, dry/wet, size of road, size & kind of buildings, distance of road from buildings, etc.
    It’s the crossing of White Chapel Rd and Cambridge Heath Rd, windy but not cold, wonderful yellow leaves all over.

  14. Its dark. 7pm, end of rush hour

    We’re in the outskirts of Akron, Ohio. strip-mall-ville

    He drives a beige estate with a wooden strip along the side

    Hes 58. stubble. gaunt. hollow cheeks. brown hair a bit greasy. cream shirt with collar and dark jacket. black warn leather shoes. He sounds foreign but its hard to tell where from

    Its a warm evening. Spring. It all happens in the middle of a straight 6 lane american road between single story strip malls and petrol stations and oversized pet shops set behind car parks

  15. It’s dark. 7pm late rush hour

    It’s the edge of Akron Ohio. America. strip-mall-ville

    He drives a beige sedan with a fake wood strip along the side.

    He’s 58. With stubble. gaunt. hollow cheeks. brown hair a bit greasy. shirt with collar and dark jacket. worn black leather shoes.

    Its a warm evening. Spring. It happens in the middle of a straight 6 lane american road between single story strip malls and petrol stations and oversized pet shops set behind car parks

  16. What time of day is it? daytime, there is light, a nice light, and a clean kind of city dust

    Where/ when is this? What kind of town, city? a large town or a small city, large enough for traffic, small enough for people to help and notice

    What kind of car is driven by the man who goes blind? hatchback, something like that. small-ish.

    Describe the blind man in simple terms – age, face, voice, clothing, etc. – shiny eyes, he has no features but a voice as of yet. he is like an average man, not too young, not too old, but maybe a bit old.

    Describe the setting in simple terms – light, temperature/ season, dry/wet, size of road, size & kind of buildings, distance of road from buildings, etc.

    it is on a road like the one near Liverpool Street, the one that comes up to Dalston, only the light is more Italian and the people are also Italian or something like that. it is like East London only simpler.

  17. ??? daytime, rush hour?

    city with hundreds of traffic lights

    ???

    man, clear eyes not bloodshot, ???, ???

    (funny, I took this as a comprehension exercise and deleted my imagination–though I did try to visualize the scene, I didn’t let myself expand upon it, just the facts, ma’m. hence the question marks.)

    As I read (don’t know the novel), I imagined that perhaps the whole even was staged and that the person who finally offered to take the man home was, in fact, his co-conspirator, and that the final conversation was for the benefit of the onlookers with their faces pressed against the glass.

    daytime; dry, not raining; intersection with several lanes (3 at least) in either direction, many impatient motorists as well as crowds of pedestrians, ???

  18. ??? daytime, rush hour?

    city with hundreds of traffic lights

    ???

    man, clear eyes not bloodshot, ???, ???

    daytime; dry, not raining; intersection with several lanes (3 at least) in either direction, many impatient motorists as well as crowds of pedestrians, ???

    (funny, I took this as a comprehension exercise and deleted my imagination–though I did try to visualize the scene, I didn’t let myself expand upon it, just the facts, ma’m. hence the question marks.)

    As I read (don’t know the novel), I imagined that perhaps the whole even was staged and that the person who finally offered to take the man home was, in fact, his co-conspirator, and that the final conversation was for the benefit of the onlookers with their faces pressed against the glass.

  19. Pingback: What’s Going On Inside Our Heads As We Read: Interview with Ant Hampton

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s