by Henry Green, introduction by Daniel Mendelsohn
Blindness is the story of John Haye, a young student, and begins with an excerpt from his diary, brimming with excitement and affectation and curiosity about life and literature. Then a freak accident robs John of his sight, plunging him into despair. Forced to live with his highhanded, horsey stepmother in the country, John begins a weird dalliance with a girl named Joan, leading to a new determination. Blindness is the curse of youth and inexperience and love and ambition, and blindness, John discovers, can also be the source of vision.by Henry Green, introduction by Daniel Mendelsohn
A quite astonishing tour de force...it announced the entry on the literary stage of the most genuinely original novelist of his day.... [Green] had an ear which was most delicately and sensitively attuned to every cadence and nuance of the English language as it is actually spoken.
Writers do not need to see but to feel, to get away from reality by closing their eyes to it. This exchange of the sensual for the cerebral is a sacrifice without which no art will be made. It is symbolized overpoweringly in Blindness.
—John Sturrock, The Times Literary Supplement
[Blindness] is a polished piece of energetic young work that students of the 20th-century novel’s development will be eager to examine. And Green’s admirers will welcome a significant addition to his relatively small canon.
Green’s remains the most interesting and vital imagination in English fiction in our time.
Green’s novels reproduce as few do the actual sensations of living.
At its highest pitch Green’s writing brings the rectangle of the printed page alive like little else in English fiction in this century.