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Blindness . By: Jorge Luis Borges. Anjali Iyer James Powell Kai Mou. Jorge Luis Borges’ Life. Argentine writer, essayist, poet Received education in Switzerland Nominated director of the National Library Completely blind in the 1950’s.

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By: Jorge Luis Borges

  • Anjali Iyer
  • James Powell
  • Kai Mou
jorge luis borges life
Jorge Luis Borges’ Life
  • Argentine writer, essayist, poet
  • Received education in Switzerland
  • Nominated director of the National Library
  • Completely blind in the 1950’s.
  • Saw blindness not as a bad thing but an opportunity.
  • Blindness is a gift “gradual nightfall”
  • Could distinguish colors like yellow but not red and black
  • Lost his sight in 1955 and began to study English and other Anglo-Saxon languages
  • Offered opportunity such as publication if he wrote 30 poems a year.
  • Blindness is not something to endure but an opportunity.
  • Promote that blindness is not a disability but another way to see.
  • Lecturing the reader to oversee and overcome one’s tragedies.
  • States other people can help inspire you.

(Two previous library directors were blind)

  • Creation in darkness
  • Written as a lecture
  • First explains his condition about not being able to see colors like red/black and
  • putting reader into his perspective.
  • Then goes on to explain how the people in his life influenced him (Paul Groussac)
  • Explains all the literature of the Anglo-Saxon language that his blindness opened him up to.
outside quotations
Outside Quotations
  • Shakespeare: “Looking on darkness which the blind do see.”
  • Familiar Idea: “Two is a mere coincidence, three a confirmation.”
  • Rudolf Steiner: “when something ends, we must think that something begins.”
  • Socrates: “Who can know himself more than the blind man?”
  • Borges’ Poem of the Gifts: “Who with such splendid irony granted me books and blindness at the touch.”
  • “Each one of the words stood out as thought it had been carved, as though it were a talisman.”
  • “Wouldn’t it be interesting to embark on the study of a language?”
  • Blindness
    • “That Slow Nightfall, that slow loss of sight”
    • “It should be seen as a way of life.”
  • “I had always imagined Paradise as a kind of


  • “Poetry is…music, poetry is…the lyre”
  • “A writer…must believe what every happens

to him is an instrument

  • • “I did not allow blindness to intimidate me.”
  • • “[Blindness] gave me Anglo-Saxon, it gave me

some Scandinavian, it gave me a knowledge of a Medieval literature I had ignored.”

borges appeals
Borges appeals
  • Logos: “What always happens when one studies a language…each one of the words stood out as if it had been carved…for that reason the poems of a foreign language have a prestige they do not enjoy in their own language…” (380)
  • Ethos: “a writer, or any man, must believe that whatever happens to him is an instrument; everything has been given for an end.” (385)
  • Contrary to Pathos
  • Yes it is effective!
    • He argues well that blind people are gifted to be good literary contributors (mentions the famous)
  • Validates his point of view by
    • Giving examples of other accomplished blind men
  • Reaches audience with his positive view of his disability