Cain – José Saramago – Quotes

This episode, which gave rise to the first definition of a hitherto unknown concept, original sin, has never been satisfactorily explained. Firstly, even the most rudimentary of intelligences would have no difficulty in grasping that being properly informed about something is always preferable to being ignorant, especially in such delicate matters as good and evil, which could put anyone at risk, quite unwittingly, of being consigned to eternal damnation in hell that had not yet been invented. Secondly, the lord showed a lamentable lack of foresight, because if he really didn’t want them to eat that fruit, it would have been easy enough simply not to have planted the tree or to have put it somewhere else or surrounded it with barbed wire. Thirdly, it wasn’t because they had disobeyed god’s instructions that adam and eve discovered that they were naked. They were already stark naked when they went to bed, and if the lord had never noticed such an evident lack of modesty, the fault must lie with a father’s blindness, an apparently incurable infliction that prevents us from seeing that our children are, after all, neither better nor worse than all the others.

Yes, you read correctly, the lord ordered abraham to sacrifice his own son, and he did so as naturally as if he were asking for a glass of water to slake his thirst, which means it was a deep-seated habit of his. The logical natural and simply human response would have been for abraham to tell the lord to piss off, but that isn’t what happened.

In short, as well as being as big a son of a bitch as the lord, abraham was a consummate liar, ready to deceive anyone with his forked tongue, which in this case, according to the personal dictionary belonging to the narrator of this story, means treacherous, perfidious, false, disloyal and other similarly fine qualities.

You’re late, said cain again, Better late than never, replied the angel smugly, as if he had uttered a great truth, That’s where you’re wrong, never is not the opposite of late, the opposite of late is too late, retorted cain.

it was the tower of babel, which the lord, out of pride, would not allow to be completed. The history of mankind is the history of our misunderstandings with god, for he doesn’t understand us, and we don’t understand him.

People say then that the donkey is as stubborn as a mule, when, in fact, it’s simply a communication problem, as happens so often between human beings.

Photo by Violetta Kaszubowska 

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