This Blinding Absence of Light by Tahar Ben Jelloun

This Blinding Absence of Light

Tahar Ben Jelloun

A harrowing and difficult book to read - though not without a grim humour at times. It is a fictionalisation of 20 years' incarceration for supposedly plotting against the King of Morocco in 1971. This is one of those books that stay with you for life. I'm glad I read it.

For a long time I searched for the black stone that cleanses the soul of death. When I say a long time, I think of a bottomless pit, a tunnel dug with my fingers, my teeth, in the stubborn hope of glimpsing, if only for a minute, one infinitely lingering minute, a ray of light, a spark that would imprint itself deep within my eye, that would stay protected in my entrails like a secret. There it would be, lodging in my breast and nourishing my endless nights, there, in the depths of the humid earth, in that tomb smelling of man stripped of his humanity by shovel blows that flay him alive, snatching away his sight, his voice,and his reason.
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