The blind light is Labatut\’s first book to be published in German. It is fortunate to be able to hear the voice of this author who grew up in The Hague, Buenos Aires and Lima and now lives in Santiago de Chile. A voice that was solidly transmitted by Thomas Brovot and that is able to say about the old age of physicist Karl Schwarzschild, who is dying of a skin disease: “To distract himself from the pain, he documented the shape and distribution of his wounds, the surface tension of the fluid in the blisters and the average speed at which they burst. Only the emptiness in his mind that had torn open his equations, he could not dissipate.”
Through the increasing space Labatut gives to fiction, he succeeds in providing an aesthetic answer to the question of the limits of knowledge: Where there is uncertainty, literature develops a special power to make experience possible. Fiction is thus able to save the Enlightenment from going blind. The old question of humanity “What can I know?”, Labatut repositions it with narrative bravura.
Benjamín Labatut: The blind light. Errors of science; a. d. Spanish by Thomas Brovot; Suhrkamp, Berlin 2020; 187 p., 22,- €
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