Author 237599

Jorge Luis
Borges
1899
1986

Argentine Short-Story Writer, Essayist, Poet

Author Quotes

Unlike Newton and Schopenhauer, your ancestor did not acretitava a uniform time, absolute. He believed in infinite series of times, in a growing and vertiginous network of times to come, bifurcate, intersect or ignore each secularly, covers all the possibilities. We do not exist in most of these times; in some there is you and not me. In others, I, not the Lord; in others the two. In this, a favorable chance surprises me, you come to me; in another, he, crossing the garden, found me dead; in another, I say these same words, but I am a mistake, a ghost.

We are made for art, we are made for memory, for poetry or perhaps to oblivion. But something remains and that something is the story or poetry, which are not essentially different.

We see the great poets of antiquity - among them Homer, sword in hand - poets Dante change with words that can not be reproduced. But silence reigns here, because everything is dominated by terrible shame those who will never see the face of God. But once we reach the fifth edge, we see that Dante had already made his great discovery: the possibility of a dialogue with the souls of the dead, which then will judge in their own way. No, not judge; He knows it is not a judge; Judge is another; is the third interlocutor, is divine.

What we say seldom seems to us.

When you reach my age, you realize you couldn't have done things very much better or much worse than you did them in the first place.

With relief, with humiliation, with terror, he understood that he too was a mere appearance, dreamt by another.

You who read me, are You sure of understanding my language?

Unlike the novel, a short story may be, for all purposes, essential.

We are our memory, we are that chimerical museum of shifting shapes, that pile of broken mirrors.

We spend our lives waiting for our book and it never comes.

What will die with me the day I die? What pathetic or frail image will be lost to the world? The voice of Macedonio Fernandez, the image of a bay horse in a vacant lot on the corner of Sarrano and Charcas, a bar of sulfur in the drawer of a mahogany desk?

When you read The Arabian Nights you accept Islam. You accept the fables woven by generations as if they were by one single author or, better still, as if they had no author. And in fact they have one and none. Something so worked on, so polished by generations is no longer associated with and individual. In Kafka's case, it's possible that his fables are now part of human memory. What happened to Quixote could happen to to them. Let's say that all the copies of Quixote, in Spanish and in translation, were lost. The figure of Don Quixote would remain in human memory. I think that the idea of a frightening trial that goes on forever, which is at the core of The Castle and The Trial (both books that Kafka, of course, never wanted to publish because he knew they were unfinished), is now grown infinite, is now part of human memory and can now be rewritten under different titles and feature different circumstances. Kafka's work now forms a part of human memory.

Word for word, Galland?s version [of the One Thousand and One Nights] is the worst written, the most fraudulent and the weakest, but it was the most widely read. Readers who grew intimate with it experienced happiness and amazement. Its orientalism, which we now find tame, dazzled the sort of person who inhaled snuff and plotted tragedies in five acts. Twelve exquisite volumes appeared from 1707 to 1717, twelve volumes innumerably read, which passed into many languages, including Hindustani and Arabic. We, mere anachronistic readers of the twentieth century, perceive in these volumes the cloyingly sweet taste of the eighteenth century and not the evanescent oriental aroma that two hundred years ago was their innovation and their glory. No one is to blame for this missed encounter, least of all Galland.

You will reply that reality hasn't the slightest need to be of interest. And I'll answer you that reality may avoid the obligation to be interesting, but that hypotheses may not. In the hypothesis you have postulated, chance intervenes largely. Here lies a dead rabbi; I should prefer a purely rabbinical explanation; not the imaginary mischances of an imaginary robber.

Until the time of sunset yellow many times have I watched the mighty Bengal tiger.

We can go further; we suspect that there is no universe in the organic, unifying sense of that ambitious word. If there is, we must conjecture its purpose; we must conjecture the words, the definitions, the etymologies, the synonyms, from the secret dictionary of God.

Well, [Lorca had] a gift for gab. For example, he makes striking metaphors, but I think he makes striking metaphors for him, because I think that his world was mostly verbal. I think that he was fond of playing words against each other, the contrast of words, but I wonder if he knew what he was doing."

Whatever one man does, it is as if all men did it. For that reason, it is not unfair that one disobedience in a garden should contaminate all humanity; for that reason it is not unjust that the crucifixion of a single Jew should be sufficient to save it.

When, in Geneva or Zurich, the fortune wanted that I also was a poet, I set myself, like everyone else , the secret Obligation to define the moon. I thought the poet is the one man who, like the Adam red paradise, Imposes each thing its precise and not true and no known name.

Words are symbols for shared memories. If I use a word, then you should have some experience of what the word stands for. If not, the word means nothing to you.

Your absence around me like a rope to the throat, the sea sinking.

Upstream, Arkansas and Ohio have their bottomlands, too, populated by a jaundiced and hungry-looking race, prone to fevers, whose eyes gleam at the sight of stone and iron, for they know only sand and driftwood and muddy water.

We can handle all European themes, handle them without superstition, with an irreverence which can have, and already does have, fortunate consequences.

Well, he [Pablo Nerada] wrote a book -- well, maybe here I'm being political -- he wrote a book about the tyrants of South America, and then he had several stanzas against the United States. Now he knows that that's rubbish. And he had not a word against Per¢n. Because he had a law suit in Buenos Aires, that was explained to me afterwards, and he didn't care to risk anything. And so, when he was supposed to be writing at the top of his voice, full of noble indignation, he had not a word to say against Per¢n. And he was married to an Argentine lady, he knew that many of his friends had been sent to jail. He knew all about the state of our country, but not a word against him. At the same time, he was speaking against the United States, knowing the whole thing was a lie, no? But, of course, that doesn't mean anything against his poetry. Neruda is a very fine poet, a great poet in fact. And when they gave Miguel de Asturias the Nobel Prize, I said that it should have been given to Neruda! Now when I was in Chile, and we were on different political sides, I think he did the best thing to do. He went on a holiday during the three or four days I was there so there was no occasion for our meeting. But I think he was acting politely, no? Because he knew that people would be playing him up against me, no? I mean, I was an Argentine, poet, he was a Chilean poet, he's on the side of the Communists, I'm against them. So I felt he was behaving very wisely in avoiding a meeting that would have been quite uncomfortable for both of us."

When a writer dies, he becomes his books.

Author Picture
First Name
Jorge Luis
Last Name
Borges
Birth Date
1899
Death Date
1986
Bio

Argentine Short-Story Writer, Essayist, Poet