Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Essay: "Blindness." Jorge Luis Borges (1).

Review: Blind in one eye, mostly blind in the other, Gorges believes that his blindness is a gift—something to be used. He learns Anglo-Saxon, for example, as others read it to him. Being blind, as with so many other talented people, is a blessing. Homer. James Joyce. “It is one more instrument among so many—all of them so strange—that fate or chance provide.”

Quote: “I had replaced the visible world with the aural world of the Anglo-Saxon language.”

Quote: “I did not allow blindness to intimidate me.”

Quote: “Being blind has its advantages. I owe to the darkness some gifts: …so many lines of poetry, so many poems….”

Quote: “In general, writers try to make what they say seem profound; Wilde was a profound man who tried to seem frivolous.”

Quote: On being appointed director of the library: “Little by little I came to realize the strange irony of events. I had always imagined Paradise as a kind of library.”

Quote: On James Joyce: “We have those two vast and—why not say it?—unreadable novels, Ulysses and Finnegans Wake.”

Quote: “We may believe that Homer never existed, but that the Greeks imagined him as blind in order to insist on the fact that poetry is above all, music; that poetry is, above all, the lyre; that the visual can or cannot exist in a poet.”

Rating of the essay: ***** out of *****. 

To be continued.

The Art of the Personal Essay: An Anthology from the Classical Era to the Present. Ed. Phillip Lopate. New York: Anchor Books. A Division of Random House, Inc. 1995.

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