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The Witness by Juan José Saer

The Witness (original 1983; edition 2009)

by Juan José Saer (Author), Margaret Jull Costa (Translator)

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196688,029 (3.73)13
Title:The Witness
Authors:Juan José Saer (Author)
Other authors:Margaret Jull Costa (Translator)
Info:Serpent's Tail (2009), 168 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:toberead, xy

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The Witness by Juan José Saer (1983)


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» See also 13 mentions

English (4)  Spanish (2)  All languages (6)
Showing 4 of 4
16th century: the narrator, now an old man, tells his life-story: orphaned early in his life he joins a ship sailing to the newly discovered Americas as a cabin boy; the only survivor of a landing party he is taken prisoner living with the tribe for ten years eventually returning to Spain. It is a fable of a tribe trapped in an overwhelming existential unreality. But are they the only one being trapped with little choice? And who are the ones that are being aware of their fate? A metaphysical tale. Two quotations:
„Every life is a well of loneliness that only grows deeper with the passing years.“ (34)
„In this respect death and memory are identical: they are unique … (157 bottom)
(IX-18) ( )
1 vote MeisterPfriem | Sep 30, 2018 |
A fascinating, beautifully written story of one young man's formative experience as an unwilling guest of a foreign, unknowable indigenous tribe. Told from the perspective of an old man assimilating and reminiscing about his decade-long life in another world, the story intersperses remembered events with ruminations on the nature of memory and the fabric of experienced reality as well as the attempt to faithfully commemorate the worldview of the indigenous tribe. ( )
1 vote ELiz_M | Apr 6, 2013 |
It was OK; not sure why the thing got so many rave reviews. ( )
  KatrinkaV | Jul 19, 2011 |
A strange and deceptively quiet novel, at times reminiscent of Conrad and Charlotte Perkins Gilman's longer works, this is a wonder through one man's somewhat detached psychology. The explorations here move from being journalistic to philosophical, and readers who reach the end of the book will find that they've come to the end of a novel very different from what they first saw themselves entering. ( )
1 vote whitewavedarling | Jan 25, 2011 |
Showing 4 of 4
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Juan José Saerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Costa, Margaret JullTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Für Laurence Gueguen
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Von jenen leeren Küsten habe ich vor allem die Unermesslichkeit des Himmels zurückbehalten.
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In 16th century Spain, a cabin boy sets sail on a ship bound for the New World. On landing, an inland expedition ends in disaster when the crew is attacked by Indians. This translation originally published: 1990.

(summary from another edition)

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