Treasure Island

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).
  • ''We (the indivisible divinity that works in us) have dreamed the world. We have dreamed it resistant, mysterious, visible, ubiquitous in space and firm in time, but we have allowed slight, and eternal, bits of the irrational to form part of its architecture so as to know that it is false.''
    Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986), Argentinian author. "Avatars of the Tortoise" ["Avatares de la tortuga"], Discussion [Discusión] (1932).
  • ''The future is inevitable and precise, but it may not occur. God lurks in the gaps.''
    Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986), Argentinian author. "Creation and P.H. Gosse" ["La creacin y P.H. Gosse"], Other Inquisitions [Otras inquisiciones] (1952).
  • ''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.
  • ''[I]t is worth remembering that every writer begins with a naively physical notion of what art is. A book for him or her is not an expression or a series of expressions, but literally a volume, a prism with six rectangular sides made of thin sheets of papers which should include a cover, an inside cover, an epigraph in italics, a preface, nine or ten parts with some verses at the beginning, a table of contents, an ex libris with an hourglass and a Latin phrase, a brief list of errata, some blank pages, a colophon and a publication notice: objects that are known to constitute the art of writing.''
    Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986), Argentinian author. Evaristo Carriego, ch. 3 (1930). A biographical study of a poet of Buenos Aires.
  • ''Literature is not exhaustible, for the sufficient and simple reason that a single book is not. A book is not an isolated entity: it is a narration, an axis of innumerable narrations. One literature differs from another, either before or after it, not so much because of the text as for the manner in which it is read.''
    Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986), Argentinian author. repr. In Other Inquisitions (1960, trans. 1964). For Bernard Shaw (1952).

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El Instante

Dónde estarán los siglos, dónde el sueño
de espadas que los tártaros soñaron,
dónde los fuertes muros que allanaron,
dónde el Árbol de Adán y el otro Leño?
El presente está solo. La memoria
erige el tiempo. Sucesión y engaño
es la rutina del reloj. El año
no es menos vano que la vana historia.
Entre el alba y la noche hay un abismo

[Hata Bildir]