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This Blinding Absence of Light

by Tahar Ben Jelloun

A harrowing and difficult book to read - though not without a grim humour at times. This is one of those books that stay with you for life.

Extract

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.
Translated by Linda Coverdale

Parallels

If This is a Man by Primo Levi
An Evil Cradling by Brian Keenan
 

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