I’ve started reading the blog Planet of the Blind by author Stephen Kuusisto, who has been “legally blind” since birth.

In a post titled “Spoons in the Snow“, Kuusisto describes attending the keynote address by Jorge Luis Borges at a conference on Nabokov in the late 1970s. Amusingly, it turns out that in the Q&A following Borges’ talk that Borges gave the impression that he had never heard of Nabokov. (It’s likely that Borges was simply toying with the Nabokov scholars.)

Writing is not another form of journalism

But the gem of Kuusisto’s post is not that anecdote but the lesson learned from Borges, or “How would I be able to write about the world if I couldn’t see it?”

“I thought some more about Borges.

A friend told me how his mother used to walk everyday in Buenos Aires with the poet. She would describe the things she was seeing in the central market and in turn Borges would narrate his version of their walk.

This emancipation from the photographic image is what allowed me to become a writer.

What a relief it is to write about the things I do not see!”