Jorge Luis Borges

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

Jorge Luis Borges Quotes

  • ''The central problem of novel-writing is causality.''
    Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986), Argentinian author. "Narrative Art and Magic" ["El arte narrativo y la magia"] (1932), Discussion [Discusión] (1932).
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  • ''In the course of a life devoted less to living than to reading, I have verified many times that literary intentions and theories are nothing more than stimuli and that the final work usually ignores or even contradicts them.''
    Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986), Argentinian author. "Nathaniel Hawthorne," Other Inquisitions [Otras inquisiciones] (1952).
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  • ''The exercise of letters is sometimes linked to the ambition to contruct an absolute book, a book of books that includes the others like a Platonic archetype, an object whose virtues are not diminished by the passage of time.''
    Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986), Argentinian author. "Note on Walt Whitman" ["Nota sobre Walt Whitman"], Discussion [Discusión] (1932).
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  • ''Universal history is the history of a few metaphors.''
    Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986), Argentinian author. (Essay first published 1951). "Pascal's Sphere," Other Inquisitions (1960), trans. (1964).
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  • ''Perhaps universal history is the history of the diverse intonation of some metaphors.''
    Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986), Argentinian author. "Pascal's Sphere" ["La esfera de Pascal" (1951)], Other Inquisitions [Otras inquisiciones] (1952).
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  • ''Reading ... is an activity subsequent to writing: more resigned, more civil, more intellectual.''
    Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986), Argentinian author. Preface, Universal History of Infamy [Historia universal de la infamia] (1935).
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  • ''Life and death have been lacking in my life.''
    Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986), Argentinian author. Prologue, Discussion [Discusión] (1932).
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  • ''Life itself is a quotation.''
    Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986), Argentinian author. Quoted in Baudrillard, Cool Memories, ch. 5 (1987, trans. 1990). Heard by Jean Baudrillard at a lecture given in Paris.
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  • ''In the order of literature, as in others, there is no act that is not the coronation of an infinite series of causes and the source of an infinite series of effects.''
    Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986), Argentinian author. "The Flower of Coleridge" ["La flor de Coleridge"], Other Inquisitions [Otras inquisiciones] (1952).
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  • ''To fall in love is to create a religion that has a fallible god.''
    Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986), Argentinian author. "The Meeting in a Dream," Other Inquisitions (1952).
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Best Poem of Jorge Luis Borges

Limits

Of all the streets that blur in to the sunset,
There must be one (which, I am not sure)
That I by now have walked for the last time
Without guessing it, the pawn of that Someone

Who fixes in advance omnipotent laws,
Sets up a secret and unwavering scale
for all the shadows, dreams, and forms
Woven into the texture of this life.

If there is a limit to all things and a measure
And a last time and nothing more and forgetfulness,
Who will tell us to whom in this house
We without knowing it have said farewell?

Through the dawning window night ...

Read the full of Limits

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

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