Thursday, July 1, 2010

Essay: "Blindness." Jorge Luis Borges (2).

Review: Blind in one eye, mostly blind in the other, Gorges believes that his blindness is a gift—something to be used. He learns the Anglo-Saxon language, 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: “A writer, or any man, must believe that whatever happens to him is an instrument; everything has been given for an end. This is even stronger in the case of the artist. Everything that happens, including humiliations, embarrassments, misfortunes, all has been given like clay, like material for one’s art. One must accept it. For this reason I speak in a poem of the ancient food of heroes: humiliation, unhappiness, discord. These things are given us to transform, so that we may make from the miserable circumstances of our lives things that are eternal, or aspire to be so.”

Quote: Goethe: “…everything near becomes distant.”

Quote: “Old age is probably the supreme solitude—except that the supreme solitude is death.”

Quote: “…blindness, of which I hoped to show…that it is not a complete misfortune.”

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

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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