Seeing is Believing – Blindness metaphors and understanding

“My excellency, I could illustrate the greatest manuscript of all time for you. Since my eyes will no longer be distracted by the filth of this world.”

Quote from ALIF in My Name Is Red by Ohran Pamuk

A desaturated image of a page with miniature illustrations from an old Irish book“Seeing is believing”, “a lens for the world”, “visionaries”, “point of view”: The eye is a metaphor for understanding or belief. But why do we connect the eye with our understanding of the world? Do you see what I’m talking about?

What if you couldn’t see the words that I have posted here?

What if, as this post continues, you descend into a pit of blindness?

Is it easier to only believe what you see? Or is there more to be seen if you can figure out a way to look beyond the traditional, the typical, the incidental?

The idea of blindness is discussed in Orhan Pamuk‘s book My Name Is Red. Blindness is used as both a metaphor and a story-telling device, but it was chosen by the author (partly) as a symbol of the commitment of master miniaturist painters such as Bihzad and their dedication to painting even as their eyesight failed them. Blindness, in the book, is seen by some as a mark of pride of a true master miniature painter. It is put forward that only through blindness can we really see the world for what it is. Continue reading “Seeing is Believing – Blindness metaphors and understanding”

Illuminating the Grotesque: Crawling into political satire

For any who have ever experienced caving, you will remember unsure footing, tight squeezes and low-hanging rocks and the claustrophobic feeling that can come in the moist earthy air. You will be aware of how extraordinarily dark it can be in the gloomy underground. It can be stifling and unsettling in the depths of a cave, but with light to guide the way, the experience can instead be extremely fulfilling. Continue reading “Illuminating the Grotesque: Crawling into political satire”