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Jorge Luis Borges (Writer)

In these selections the quotes from a story or essay are listed among the earliest collections which are known to contain it.
Jorge Luis Borges quotes
Ourdiffers little; it is a trivial and chance circumstance that you should be the reader of these exercises and I their author.
Jorge Luis Borges author
Time can't be measured in days the way money is measured in pesos and centavos, because all pesos are equal, while every day, perhaps every hour, is different.
Jorge Luis Borges money
Doubt is one of the names of intelligence.
Jorge Luis Borges intelligence
Being conservative is a way of being skeptic.
Jorge Luis Borges being
If the pages of thiscontain some successful verse, the reader must excuse me the discourtesy of having usurped it first. Ourdiffers little; it is a trivial and chance circumstance that you should be the reader of these exercises and I their author.
Jorge Luis Borges success
was not a great poet nor a consummate prose writer. He was a very astute Irishman who encompassed in epigrams an esthetic credo which others before him scattered in the space of long pages. He was an enfant terrible.
Jorge Luis Borges man
That one individual should awaken in another memories that belong to still a third is an obvious paradox.
Jorge Luis Borges memories
It 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 writing
Mayexist, even if my place is .
Jorge Luis Borges
Reading ... is an activity subsequent to writing: more resigned, more civil, more intellectual.
Jorge Luis Borges writing
The vast ineptitude of his pretense would be a convincing proof that this was no fraud.
Jorge Luis Borges
Mir Bahadur Ali is, as we have seen, incapable of evading the most vulgar of art's temptations: that of being a genius.
Jorge Luis Borges art
Your unforgivable sins do not allow you to see my splendor.
Jorge Luis Borges sin
The earth we inhabit is an error, an incompetent parody. Mirrors and paternity are abominable because they multiply and affirm it.
Jorge Luis Borges art
The universe (which others call the Library) is composed of an indefinite and perhaps infinite number of hexagonal galleries, with vast air shafts between, surrounded by very low railings.
Jorge Luis Borges universe
Letexist, though my own place may be in . Let me be tortured and battered and annihilated, but let there be one instant, one creature, wherein thy enormous Library may find its justification.
Jorge Luis Borges cat
I know of one semibarbarous zone whose librarians repudiate the "vain and superstitious habit" of trying to find sense in books, equating such a quest with attempting to find meaning in dreams or in the chaotic lines on the palms of one's hand.
Jorge Luis Borges books
Que el cielo exista, aunque mi lugar sea el infierno.
Jorge Luis Borges sea
Dictatorships foster oppression, dictatorships foster servitude, dictatorships foster cruelty; more abominable is the fact that they foster idiocy.
Jorge Luis Borges cruelty
El original es infiel a la traducci
Jorge Luis Borges
I saw the delicate bone structure of a hand; I saw the survivors of a battle sending out post cards. . . I saw the oblique shadow of some ferns on the floor of a hot-house; I saw tigers, emboli, bison, ground swells and armies; I saw all the ants in the world.
Jorge Luis Borges world
Dictatorships foster oppression, dictatorships foster servitude, dictatorships foster ; more abominable is thethat they foster .
Jorge Luis Borges oppression
There is nothing very remarkable about being immortal; with the exception of mankind, all creatures are immortal, for they know nothing of death. What is divine, terrible, and incomprehensible is to know oneself immortal.
Jorge Luis Borges death
There are no moral or intellectual merits. Homer composed the Odyssey; if we postulate an infinite period of time, with infinite circumstances and changes, the impossible thing is not to compose the Odyssey, at least once.
Jorge Luis Borges time
I am god, I am hero, I am philosopher, I am demon and I am world, which is a tedious way of saying that I do not exist.
Jorge Luis Borges god
No one is anyone, one single immortal man is all men. Like , I am god, I am hero, I am philosopher, I am demon and I am world, which is a tedious way of saying that I do not exist.
Jorge Luis Borges god
Any life, however long and complicated it may be, actually consists of a single moment — the moment when a man knows forever more who he is.
Jorge Luis Borges life
Besides, time, which despoils castles, enriches verses . . . Time broadens the scope of verses and I know of some which, like music, are everything for all men.
Jorge Luis Borges time
The minotaur more than justifies the existence of the .
Jorge Luis Borges existence
There's no need to build awhen the entireis one.
Jorge Luis Borges need
We know that a certainwith a mane is aand that a certain animal with horns is a . We do notwhat thelooks like.
Jorge Luis Borges man
His many years had reduced and polished him the way water smooths and polishes a stone or generations of men polish a proverb.
Jorge Luis Borges men
I would define the baroque as that style that deliberately exhausts (or tries to exhaust) its own possibilities, and that borders on self-caricature. [...] The baroque is the final stage in all art, when art flaunts and squanders its resources.
Jorge Luis Borges art
It is universally held that theis a supernatural being and of auspicious omen; so say the odes, the annals, the biographies of worthies, and other texts whoseis unimpeachable. Even village women and children know that the unicorn is asign. But this animal does not figure among the barnyard animals, it is not always easy to come across, it does not lend itself to zoological classification. Nor is it like theor , theor deer. In such circumstances we may be face to face with a unicorn and not know for sure that we are. We know that a certain animal with a mane is a horse and that a certain animal with horns is a bull. We do notwhat the unicorn looks like.
Jorge Luis Borges women
To die for a religion is easier than to live it absolutely.
Jorge Luis Borges religion
Villari took no notice of them because the idea of a coincidence between art and reality was alien to him. Unlike people who read novels, he never saw himself as a character in a work of art.
Jorge Luis Borges art
Do you want to see what human eyes have never seen? Look at the moon...
Jorge Luis Borges man
Years of solitude had taught him that, in one's memory, all days tend to be the same, but that there is not a day, not even in jail or in the hospital, which does not bring surprises, which is not a translucent network of minimal surprises.
Jorge Luis Borges work
Every novel is an ideal plane inserted into the realm of reality.
Jorge Luis Borges reality
The heresies we should fear are those which can be confused with orthodoxy.
Jorge Luis Borges fear
Like all those possessing a library, Aurelian was aware that he was guilty of not knowing his in its entirety.
Jorge Luis Borges war
Do you want to see what human eyes have never seen? Look at the moon. Do you want to hear what ears have never heard? Listen to the bird's cry. Do you want to touch what hands have never touched? Touch the earth. Verily I say that God is about to create the world.
Jorge Luis Borges art
Poetry always remembers that it was an oral art before it was a written art. It remembers that it was first song.
Jorge Luis Borges art
Arrasado el jard
Jorge Luis Borges sad
Writing is nothing more than a guided dream.
Jorge Luis Borges dream
He sospechado alguna vez que la
Jorge Luis Borges
My advanced age has taught me the resignation of being Borges.
Jorge Luis Borges age
Being with you and not being with you is the only way I have to measure time.
Jorge Luis Borges time
The poverty of yesterday was less squalid than the poverty we purchase with our industry today. Fortunes were smaller then as well.
Jorge Luis Borges poverty
We all think that fate has dealt us a wretched sort of lot in life, and that others must be better. [...] I presume that in the heaven of the Bless
Jorge Luis Borges life
When one confesses to an act, one ceases to be an actor in it and becomes its witness, becomes a man that observes and narrates it and no longer the man that performed it.
Jorge Luis Borges man
El hecho ocurri
Jorge Luis Borges
Ser conservador es una forma de ser esc
Jorge Luis Borges
The fact is that poetry is not the books in the library … Poetry is the encounter of the reader with the book, the discovery of the book.
Jorge Luis Borges poetry
Truly fine poetry must be read aloud. A good poem does not allow itself to be read in a low voice or silently. If we can read it silently, it is not a valid poem: a poem demands pronunciation. Poetry always remembers that it was an oral art before it was a written art. It remembers that it was first song.
Jorge Luis Borges poetry
Films are even stranger, for what we are seeing are not disguised people but photographs of disguised people, and yet we believe them while the film is being shown.
Jorge Luis Borges people
The fact is that poetry is not the books in the library . . . Poetry is the encounter of the reader with the book, the discovery of the book.
Jorge Luis Borges poetry
The Falklands thing was a fight between two bald men over a comb.
Jorge Luis Borges men
The aesthetic event is something as evident, as immediate, as indefinable as love, the taste of fruit, of water. We feel poetry as we feel the closeness of a woman, or as we feel a mountain or a bay. If we feel it immediately, why dilute it with other words, which no doubt will be weaker than our feelings?
Jorge Luis Borges love
There are people who barely feel poetry, and they are generally dedicated to teaching it.
Jorge Luis Borges poetry
La duda es uno de los nombres de la inteligencia.
Jorge Luis Borges
As I think of the many myths, there is one that is very harmful, and that is the myth of countries. I mean, why should I think of myself as being an Argentine, and not a Chilean, and not an Uruguayan. I don't know really. All of those myths that we impose on ourselves — and they make for hatred, for war, for enmity — are very harmful. Well, I suppose in the long run, governments and countries will die out and we'll be just, well, cosmopolitans.
Jorge Luis Borges war
He cometido el peor pecado que uno puede cometer. No he sido feliz.
Jorge Luis Borges
The man who acquires an encyclopedia does not thereby acquire every line, every paragraph, every page, and every illustration; he acquires the possibility of becoming familiar with one and another of those things.
Jorge Luis Borges man
Life itself is a quotation.
Jorge Luis Borges self
A writer — and, I believe, generally all persons — must think that whatever happens to him or her is a resource. All things have been given to us for a purpose, and an artist must feel this more intensely. All that happens to us, including our humiliations, our misfortunes, our embarrassments, all is given to us as raw material, as clay, so that we may shape our art.
Jorge Luis Borges art
Theone insists And shapeswith delicate geometry.
Jorge Luis Borges wit
carries him as the river carries A leaf in the downstream water. No matter. Theone insists And shapeswith delicate geometry. Since his illness, since his birth, He goes on constructing God with the word.The mightiest love was granted him that does not expect to be loved.
Jorge Luis Borges love
Reality is not always probable, or likely.
Jorge Luis Borges reality
Reality is not always probable, or likely. But if you're writing a story, you have to make it as plausible as you can, because if not, the reader's imagination will reject it.
Jorge Luis Borges writing
En mi juventud prob
Jorge Luis Borges
Heaven and hell seem out of proportion to me: the actions of men do not deserve so much.
Jorge Luis Borges men
I will pause to consider this eternity from which the subsequent ones derive.
Jorge Luis Borges eternity
El infierno y el para
Jorge Luis Borges
From that correct application of the law of causality it follows that the slightest event presupposes the inconceivable universe and, conversely, that the universe needs even the slightest of events.
Jorge Luis Borges light
Life and death have been lacking in my life.
Jorge Luis Borges life
Imprecision is tolerable and verisimilar in literature, because we always tend towards it in life.
Jorge Luis Borges life
We (the indivisible divinity that works in us) have dreamed the world...
Jorge Luis Borges work
The exercise of letters is sometimes linked to the ambition to construct 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 books
Art always opts for the individual, the concrete; art is not Platonic.
Jorge Luis Borges art
It is known thatwhen asked how long it took him to paint one of his "nocturnes" answered: "All of my life." With the same rigor he could have said that all of the centuries that preceded the moment when he painted were necessary. From that correct application of the law of causality it follows that the slightest event presupposes the inconceivable universe and, conversely, that the universe needs even the slightest of events.
Jorge Luis Borges life
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 time
It is venturesome to think that a coordination of words (philosophies are nothing more than that) can resemble the universe very much...
Jorge Luis Borges words
Hay un concepto que es el corruptor y el desatinador de los otros. No hablo del mal cuyo limitado imperio es la
Jorge Luis Borges
He transforms all concepts into incommunicable, solidified objects. To refute him is to become contaminated with unreality.
Jorge Luis Borges reality
It is also venturesome to think that of all these illustrious coordinations, one of them — at least in an infinitesimal way — does not resemble the universe a bit more than the others.
Jorge Luis Borges universe
It is venturesome to think that a coordination of words (philosophies are nothing more than that) can resemble the universe very much. It is also venturesome to think that of all these illustrious coordinations, one of them — at least in an infinitesimal way — does not resemble the universe a bit more than the others.
Jorge Luis Borges words
The central problem of novel-writing is causality.
Jorge Luis Borges writing
The possibilities of the art of combination are not infinite, but they tend to be frightful. The Greeks engendered the chimera, a monster with heads of the lion, the dragon and the goat; the theologians of the second century, the Trinity, in which the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost are inextricably tied; the Chinese zoologists, the ti-yiang, a vermilion supernatural bird, endowed with six feet and four wings, but without a face or eyes; the geometers of the nineteenth century, the hypercube, a figure with four dimensions, which encloses an infinite number of cubes and has as its faces eight cubes and twenty-four squares. Hollywood has just enriched this vain museum of horrors: by means of an artistic malignity called dubbing, it proposes monsters that combine the illustrious features ofwith the voice of .
Jorge Luis Borges art
First translated by James E. Irby (1961)
Jorge Luis Borges
I owe the discovery of Uqbar to the conjunction of a mirror and an encyclopedia.
Jorge Luis Borges discovery
One of theof Uqbar had stated that mirrors and copulation are abominable, since they both multiply the numbers of man.
Jorge Luis Borges man
Para uno de esos gnosticos, el visible universo era una ilusion o (mas precisamente) un sofisma. Los espejos y la paternidad son abominables porque lo multiplican y lo divulgan.
Jorge Luis Borges men
In life, he suffered from a sense of unreality, as do many Englishmen.
Jorge Luis Borges life
This felicitous supposition declared that there is only one Individual, and that this indivisible Individual is every one of the separate beings in the universe, and that these beings are the instruments and masks of divinity itself.
Jorge Luis Borges men
Who are the inventors of Tl
Jorge Luis Borges
noted for all time that 's arguments did not admit the slightest refutation nor did they cause the slightest conviction. This dictum is entirely correct in its application to the earth, but entirely false in Tl
Jorge Luis Borges time
One thinker no less brilliant than the heresiarch himself, but in the orthodox tradition, advanced a most daring hypothesis. This felicitous supposition declared that there is only one Individual, and that this indivisible Individual is every one of the separate beings in the universe, and that these beings are the instruments and masks of divinity itself.
Jorge Luis Borges men

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