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In the land of the blind

Posted by Victoria S Dennis on November 07, 2007

In Reply to: In the land of the blind posted by Smokey Stover on November 06, 2007

: : : : In Spanish there is a proverb that goes: "In the land of the blind, a one-eyed is (the) king2. Is it there any similar proverb in English language?

: : : As far as I'm concerned, we, in the UK at least, have exactly the same proverb 'In the kingdom of the blind the one-eyed man is king.'
: : : However, there was/is a wonderful short story whose title and author I've forgotten, where a one-eyed man who wanders into a remote valley is completely outfoxed by the blind inhabitants.

: : "In the land of the blind, the one-eyed is king" was also the motto/tagline of the short-lived but wonderful satirical magazine, Monacle. Era 1950's, 60's.

: In the TV serial, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 5 is all about Glory, an indesctructible goddess from a monster dimension, forced to don human form. When she said something like, "I am the one -eyed chicklet in the land of the blind," a lot of viewers wondered what she meant, although it was clear that this saying was in her mind (or that of Joss Whedon, her creator).

The French have the identical proverb, "Parmi les aveugles le borgne est roi". All three versions probably derive from the great humanist scholar Erasmus's "Adages", published in 1500, in Latin: "in regione caecorum rex est luscus". Of course it's perfectly possible that it was already a proverb in Erasmus' day and he was only the first person to write it down; but it's a fair guess that it was the great popularity of Erasmus's writings that spread it across Europe. (VSD)