Argentine Short-Story Writer, Essayist, Poet
Argentine Short-Story Writer, Essayist, Poet
What I'm really concerned about is reaching one person. And that person may be myself for all I know.
When I wake up, I wake to something worse. It?s the astonishment of being myself.
Who are the inventors of Tl”n? The plural is inevitable, because the hypothesis of a lone inventor ? an infinite Leibniz laboring away darkly and modestly ? has been unanimously discounted. It is conjectured that this brave new world is the work of a secret society of astronomers, biologists, engineers, metaphysicians, poets, chemists, algebraists, moralists, painters, geometers... directed by an obscure man of genius. Individuals mastering these diverse disciplines are abundant, but not so those capable of inventiveness and less so those capable of subordinating that inventiveness to a rigorous and systematic plan. This plan is so vast that each writer's contribution is infinitesimal. At first it was believed that Tl”n was a mere chaos, and irresponsible license of the imagination; now it is known that it is a cosmos and that the intimate laws which govern it have been formulated, at least provisionally. Let it suffice for me to recall that the apparent contradictions of the Eleventh Volume are the fundamental basis for the proof that the other volumes exist, so lucid and exact is the order observed in it.
Writing long books is a laborious and impoverishing act of foolishness: expanding in five hundred pages an idea that could be perfectly explained in a few minutes. A better procedure is to pretend that those books already exist and to offer a summary, a commentary.
Wakefield" prefigures Franz Kafka, but the latter modifies, and sharpens, the reading of "Wakefield." The debt is mutual; a great writer creates his or her precursors. He or she creates them and in some fashion justifies them.
We have a very precise image - an image at times shameless - of what we have lost, but we are ignorant of what may follow or replace it.
What is a book? A book seems, like a picture, to be a living being; and yet if we ask it something, it does not answer. Then we see that it is dead.In order to make the book into a living thing, he invented?happily for us?the Platonic dialogue, which forestalls the reader?s doubts and questions.
When I write, I do it urged by an intimate necessity. I don't have in mind an exclusive public, or a public of multitudes, I don't think in either thing. I think about expressing what I want to say. I try to do it in the simplest way possible.
Whoever has seen the universe, whoever has beheld the fiery designs of the universe, cannot think in terms of one man, of that man?s trivial fortunes or misfortunes, though he be that very man. That man 'has been he' and now matters no more to him. What is the life of that other to him, the nation of that other to him, if he, now, is no one. This is why I do not pronounce the formula, why, lying here in the darkness, I let the days obliterate me.
Years later, Taylor was inspecting the jails of the kingdom; and in the one at Nittur the ceiling had been covered, in barbaric colors, which time was subtilizing before erasing them, by a Muslim fakir's elaboration of a kind of infinite Tiger. This Tiger was composed of many tigers in the most vertiginous fashion: it was traversed by tigers, scored by tigers and it contained seas and Himalayas and armies which seemed to reveal still other tigers. The painter had died many years ago in this very cell; he had come from Sind, or maybe Guzerat, and his original purpose had been to design a map of the world. Indeed, some traces of this were yet to be discerned in the monstrous image.
My books standing there on the shelf do not know that I have written them.
My work tools are humiliation and anguish; what I would not give to be stillborn me!
Of the various instruments invented by man, the most amazing is the book; all others are extensions of his body... Only the book is an extension of imagination and memory .
One of the habits of mind is the invention of horrible imaginings.
Out of this city marched armies that seemed to be great, and afterwards were when glory had magnified them. As the years went by, an occasional soldier returned, and with a foreign trace to his speech, told tales of what had happened to him in places called Ituzaingo or Ayacucho. These things, now, are as if they had never been.
Quain used to argue that readers were an already extinct species. No European -reasoned- other than a writer, potential or actual. He claimed also that the various congratulations that can minister the literature, the higher the invention.
Soccer is popular because stupidity is popular.
That history should have imitated history was already sufficiently marvellous; that history should imitate literature is inconceivable....
The central problem of novel-writing is causality.
The event took place in the month of February of 1969, to the north of Boston, in Cambridge. I didn't write it down right away because my first intention was to forget it, so as not to lose my mind.
The geometry of Tl”n comprises two somewhat different disciplines: the visual and the tactile. The latter corresponds to our own geometry and is subordinated to the first.
The lower order is a mirror of higher order; the land forms correspond to the ways of heaven; stains the skin are a map of the incorruptible constellations; Judas in some way reflects Jesus.
The past is the substance that time is made; why is it then becomes past.
The task of art is to transform what is continuously happening to us, to transform all of these things into symbols, into music, into something which can last in man?s memory. That is our duty. If we don?t fulfill it, we feel unhappy.
The word happiness exists in every language; it is plausible the thing itself exists.