This chapter consists of an experiment. It began when I was given an invitation
to write on ‘the blind short story’, something I had never contemplated before.
In searching out short stories that had to do with blindness, I encountered a certain
fascination with radiance: either a blinding radiance or a blindness to radiance.
I became interested in this treatment of radiance, as a complement to brilliance,
in terms of how literary texts might try to approach or gesture towards forms of
enlightenment. One of the things that presents itself as a difficulty here is that
radiance is unamenable to theorisation or criticism. It is at once evident and
mysterious, indefinable yet recognisable. Regarding a poetics of the real, these
stories pose a challenge in terms of their knowing naivete´, their naive consciousness,
and offer an opportunity to explore the workings of an ostensive mode of writ-
ing. What is at stake in this mode of writing are the ways in which a text might give
us a consciousness of ‘what is’ – or ‘what may be’ – in its non-definability, non-
formality, non-conceptuality. In the words of Yves Bonnefoy, this consciousness
may be a case of what you see when you ‘lift your eyes from the page’.1