Jorge Luis Borges

(24 August 1899 – 14 June 1986 / Buenos Aires / Argentina)

Quotations

  • ''I cannot walk through the suburbs in the solitude of the night without thinking that the night pleases us because it suppresses idle details, just as our memory does.''
    Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986), Argentinean author. "A New Refutation of Time," Labyrinths (1964).
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  • ''Time is the substance from which I am made. Time is a river which carries me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger that devours me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire that consumes me, but I am the fire.''
    Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986), Argentinian author. "A New Refutation of Time," Labyrinths (1964).
  • ''One concept corrupts and confuses the others. I am not speaking of the Evil whose limited sphere is ethics; I am speaking of the infinite.''
    Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986), Argentinian author. repr. In Other Inquisitions (1960, trans. 1964). Avatars of the Tortoise (1939).
  • ''There is a concept that is the corrupter and destroyer of all others. I speak not of Evil, whose limited empire is that of ethics; I speak of the infinite.''
    Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986), Argentinian author. "Avatars of the Tortoise" ["Avatares de la tortuga"], Discussion [Discusión] (1932).
  • ''The flattery of posterity is not worth much more than contemporary flattery, which is worth nothing.''
    Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986), Argentinian author. "Dead Men's Dialogue," Dreamtigers (1964).
  • ''That one individual should awaken in another memories that belong to still a third is an obvious paradox.''
    Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986), Argentinian author. Evaristo Carriego, ch. 2 (1930). A biographical study of a poet of Buenos Aires.
  • ''The truth is that we live out our lives putting off all that can be put off; perhaps we all know deep down that we are immortal and that sooner or later all men will do and know all things.''
    Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986), Argentinian author. "Funes the Memorious," Labyrinths (1964).
  • ''Art always opts for the individual, the concrete; art is not Platonic.''
    Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986), Argentinian author. "Gauchesque Poetry" ["La poesía gauchesca"], Discussion [Discusión] (1932).
  • ''Every writer "creates" his own precursors. His work modifies our conception of the past, as it will modify the future.''
    Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986), Argentinian author. repr. In Other Inquisitions (1960, trans. 1964). Kafka and His Precursors (1951).
  • ''The fact is that all writers create their precursors. Their work modifies our conception of the past, just as it is bound to modify the future.''
    Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986), Argentinian author. "Kafka and His Precursors" ["Kafka y sus precursores"], Other Inquisitions [Otras inquisiciones] (1952). Cf. also the essay on Hawthorne in the same volume, in which Borges says: "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.

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Instants

If I could live again my life,
In the next - I'll try,
- to make more mistakes,
I won't try to be so perfect,
I'll be more relaxed,
I'll be more full - than I am now,
In fact, I'll take fewer things seriously,
I'll be less hygenic,
I'll take more risks,

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