Fun_People Archive
29 Oct
Blind composers

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Fri, 29 Oct 99 11:33:23 -0700
To: Fun_People
Precedence: bulk
Subject: Blind composers

X-Lib-of-Cong-ISSN: 1098-7649  -=[ Fun_People ]=-
From: Todd Larason

David Helder wrote:
> A friend told me the other night that 3 composers were blinded in botched
> surgeries by the same eye doctor.  One of the composers was Bach.  The
> story is fascinating, but is it true or urban legend?  Anyone know?

I can't find anything related in the alt.folklore.urban archives or the
related websites.

According to
Bach was already mostly blind when the doctor (John Taylor) operated twice;
Taylor is credited with finishing off the last of Bach's sight and with
killing him.  Handel also underwent surgery from Tayler, with unspecified
poor results.

Another page,
says that that both Bach and Handel suffered from cateracts, and died "from
sepsimia induced as a consequence of un-sterile instruments employed to push
the cataract covered lense back into the eyeball" following surgery
performed by John Taylor.

The FDA chimes in, in
with a diagnosis of acute glaucoma rather than cateracts, and adds a claim
that for a few days following the first surgery, Bach had his eyesight back.

Not very conclusive, but might give some more pointers for research.

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