Born on this day in Buenos Aires, philosopher and writer Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986) was a sensitive child who admired Cervantes' Don Quixote and always wanted to write.
The Borges family moved to Europe in 1914 where young Jorge excelled academically and was inspired by the philosophy of Schopenhauer and poetry of Walt Whitman.
"We have these two ideas: the belief that dreams are part of waking, and the other, the splendid one, the belief of the poets: that all of waking is a dream. There is no difference between the two," he once admitted.
In 1921, Borges returned to Argentina and began to write poetry. "I come from a sad country," he said about his homeland's turbulence, juntas, and politics. He learned to turn philosophy into literature and led the city's avant-garde artists with his controversial insights and observations.
"Nothing is built on stone," he said. "All is built on sand, but we must build as if the sand were stone."
He had his first cataract surgery at 28, the first of eight operations to try and save his diminishing vision. Nothing worked. He eventually went blind, but it did not stop his imaginary vision which captured words of dreams that have become 20th century classics.
"Although at my age almost everyone I know is dead, I prefer to live my life looking forward. The past is a subject for poems, for elegies, but I try not to think about the past. I would rather spend my time thinking of the future... I hope to continue dreaming and writing."
Every word is a self-revelation.