The other is something remarkable, not only in this particular book, but in all his books, is that he does not use character names - the main character in this book is an exception. The characters are appointed by function or location of residence. Also here is a simple reasoning behind, that they also rarely used names in the daily lives of people, when you talk about someone. You talk about soon, the neighbor across the street / man, the old man with the stick, / the bus driver, police officer, teacher, etc. then you really use their names.
Mr. José is an official ?? writer - of the General Archive of the Civil Registry in an unknown small country where people live according to old rules and a strongly hierarchical social classes. A good example is the hierarchical relationship within the archive, in which the writers all day at work on the first row of desks, the clerks occasionally work on the second row, behind the clerks are the sous chefs who only very occasionally and to be at work and the archivist is at the back apart and alone and almost never does anything.
Outside office hours, Mr. José collected newspaper clippings of famous compatriots and one day he decides to extend this newspaper cuttings with official information from the register of the Civil Registry, as these are in fact 100% reliable. When he one day this person cards and files ?? night will borrow temporarily from the archive, through its connecting door to the archive, to copy them at home is his attention to a birth certificate of a 36-year-old unknown woman who was accidentally come with the deeds of famous people. He is so fascinated by this act, he decides to make a complete reconstruction of the life of this strange woman. The previously so fine gentleman José overlaps now all the rules to get to achieve his goal ?? the end justifies any means -, it is even a real obsession for him, which he taketh not stop. So he uses lies, he abused his position, he breaks in, he falsified official documents and he stays on point even away from work. His quest leads him through the address where the unknown woman is born, her high school, her godmother, and even the graveyard, her parents and the house where the unknown woman lived. After a long search discovered Mr. José something shocking about this unknown woman. However, his curiosity leads him on a new quest of what he has discovered about her.
- Little use of punctuation;
- Brief view of history;
- No use of names in the story ?? only the main character -:
- Many inner / fantasy dialogues:
- ?? At that point, the ceiling sail his indifferent attitude and said something like, directly or indirectly be related to what it had just heard, there are certainly three people you have not spoken ????
But the enormous size of the archives in which the names of all citizens are included and the strong hierarchical relations within the archive, I suspect it is a criticism of the increased bureaucracy and that there really is no escape. But that quickly abnormal behavior of an individual, Mr. José, is rejected by the community, in this case ?? s colleague of Mr. José.
I also think that there also is a certain philosophical story / message in hiding because, in giving names to people, and perhaps that is why Saramago used no names in this story. Because in the long run has seen human existence really has no meaning. We are namely born, get a name and then we live in a period in which we are known by friends, family, etc. But after the death dilapidated our names into oblivion and anonymity especially when the people who knew us have also not been .