About the book
In sixteenth-century Spain, a cabin boy is bound for the New World. An inland expedition ends in disaster when it is attacked by Indians, leaving the young boy, as sole survivor, to face his fate amidst the natives.The Witness is a reflection on memory, on the role of objects in the construction of our world, on the relationship between existence and meaning, on foreignness, cultural identity and otherness.
The most important Argentinean writer since Borges
Saer's novel combines elements of the haunting metaphysical ambiguity of Jorge Luis Borges' poetry and Graham Greene's sensual description of the dark corners of the physical world and the human soul. The evocative imagery and ideas revealed in The Witness are not easily forgotten.
Haunting and beautifully written... The author's preoccupations are reminiscent of his fellow Argentinians Borges and Cortazar but his vision is fresh and unique.
Let me make myself clear: The Witness is a great book and the name of its author, Juan José Saer, must be added to the list of the best South American writers.
Shades of Melville and Conrad's Heart of Darkness