LEND ME AN EYE by Albert Vajda


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As a child Vajda injured his left eye, which developed myopia and a nearly blinding cataract. In adulthood a car accident seriously impaired the use of his right eye and his sight rapidly deteriorated. The subsequent loss of the right eye stimulated the left despite the cataract. But the overworked reawakened eye also prompted the cataract to grow and in a few years blindness was nearly complete. Vajda learned about the psychology of the infirm: those who are bitter, those who fred new life through their suffering, and those--like himself -- determined to be more alive and ""better than the healthy."" A humorist, he published a book in 1962 about his accident and his trials with English hospitals. Through sheer determination he learned to ""see"" without eyes, to interpret character through voices, but nearly went insane when spinal cysts gave him four years of intolerable pain. After an operation, his back recovered but, all told, he spent a dozen years in darkness. No doctor wanted to operate on a myopic eye, though eventually one agreed to the extremely touchy cataract removal. Vajda's story ends in a riot of color--and tears. Clinical detail, genial humor--lend him an ear.

Pub Date: Aug. 13th, 1975
Publisher: St. Martin's