100 phrases by Jorge Luis Borges about poetry, literature and life

100 phrases by Jorge Luis Borges about poetry, literature and life

Jorge Francisco Isidoro Luis Borges Acevedo (Buenos Aires 1899-Geneva 1986) was a famous Argentine writer, poet, essayist and storyteller, whose works have become classics of world literature of the twentieth century.

Awarded with numerous awards, Borges was also a politically controversial character, with conservative (right-wing) postures estimated to be the reason why he never won the Nobel Prize for Literature, Although he was a candidate for almost thirty years.

As a curiosity we will say that in 1938, the year his father died, Borges suffered a serious head injury and a subsequent blood poisoning, which left him near death, speechless and fearing for his sanity. This experience seems to have released in him the deepest forces for his later creations. In the next eight years he produced his best fantastic stories, those collected later in Fictions and the volume of English translations titled The Aleph and other stories.

Here are some of his best quotes about life, literature and poetry.

Famous quotes by Jorge Luis Borges

Plant your own gardens and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.

I saw all the mirrors on earth and none of them reflected me.

Do not speak unless you can improve the silence.

What you really value is what you miss, not what you have.

In my next life I will try to make more mistakes.

What man of us has never felt, walking through twilight or writing a date from his past, that he has lost something infinite?

From my weakness, I gained a strength that never left me.

I'm not sure of anything, I don't know anything ... Can you imagine that I don't even know the date of my own death?

The word happiness exists in all languages; It is plausible that the thing itself exists.

Doubt is one of the names of intelligence.

We are our memory, we are that chimeric museum of changing forms, that pile of broken mirrors.

Nothing is built in stone; Everything is built on sand, but we must build as if the sand were stone.

Time is the substance of which I am made. Time is a river that takes me, but I am the river; he is a tiger that devours me, but I am the tiger; It is a fire that consumes me, but I am the fire.

The mind was dreaming. The world was his dream.

Everything that happens to us, including our humiliations, our misfortunes, our shame, everything is given to us as raw material, as mud, so that we can shape our art.

Any life, however long and complicated, actually consists of a single moment: the moment when a man knows forever who he is.

Falling in love is creating a religion that has a fallible god.

Being immortal is common; except man, all creatures are immortal, because they ignore death; what is divine, terrible, incomprehensible, is knowing that one is immortal.

Not sure I exist, really. I am all the writers I have read, all the people I have met, all the women I have loved; all the cities I have visited ...

The sea is an idiomatic expression that I cannot decipher.

The truth never penetrates an unwilling mind.

Reality may avoid the obligation to be interesting, but ... the hypotheses may not be.

Time cannot be measured in days, the way money is measured in pesos and cents, because all weights are equal, while each day, maybe every hour, is different.

I can't sleep unless I'm surrounded by books.

I have committed the worst of sins that one can commit… I have not been happy.

I can give you my loneliness, my darkness, the hunger of my heart, I am trying to bribe you with uncertainty, with danger, with defeat.

Poets, like the blind, can see in the dark.

How else can it be threatened that it is not death? The interesting, the original, would be what threatens one with immortality.

A system is nothing more than the subordination of all aspects of the universe to any of these aspects.

Any life consists of a single moment, the moment in which a man discovers, once and for all, who he is.

I thought that a man may be an enemy of other men, of the moments of other men, but not of a country: not of fireflies, words, gardens, water jets, sunsets ...

I do not speak of revenge or forgiveness, forgetting is the only revenge and the only forgiveness.

In general, each country has the language it deserves.

The worst maze is not that intricate form that can trap us forever, but a straight and unique straight line.

No one is a poet from eight to twelve and from two to six. Who is a poet is always one, and continually attacked by poetry.

A maze of symbols ... An invisible maze of time.

Censorship is the mother of metaphor.

We accept reality so easily, perhaps because we feel that nothing is real.

When writers die they become books, which, after all, is not such a bad incarnation.

Heaven and hell seem disproportionate: the actions of men do not deserve so much.

You who read me, are you sure you understand my language?

Beyond my anxiety, beyond this writing,

The universe waits, inexhaustible, inviting.

We are as ignorant of the meaning of the dragon as we are of the meaning of the universe.

Let others take pride in how many pages they have written; I prefer to boast of what I have read.

The memory of man forms his own inner Eden.

My company is not difficult, essentially. It should only be immortal to carry it out.

There are those who cannot imagine a world without birds; there are those who cannot imagine a world without water; As far as I am concerned, I am unable to imagine a world without books.

Reality is not always probable or possible.

That Heaven exists, even if my place is Hell.

Loneliness doesn't worry me; Life is quite difficult, hold on to yourself and with your own habits.

Sometimes I suspected that the only thing that does not hide any mystery is happiness, because it is its own justification.

If space is infinite, we can be anywhere in space. If time is infinite, we can be at any point in time.

The fact is that poetry is not the library's books ... Poetry is the reader's encounter with the book, the discovery of the book.

His life, measured in space and time, will occupy a few lines, which my ignorance will abbreviate even more.

Time, which strips castles, enriches the verses.

Poetry arises from something deeper; It is beyond intelligence.

We forget that we are all dead men who are conversing with dead men.

I anticipate that man will resign each day to new abominations, and soon only bandits and soldiers will remain.

There is nothing in the world that is not mysterious, but the mystery is more evident in certain things than in others: in the sea, in the eyes of the elderly, in the color yellow and in music.

Being with you and not being with you is the only way I have to measure time.

Only in the present things happen.

I think that reading a book is no less an experience than traveling or falling in love.

There is an hour in the afternoon when the plain is about to say something. He never says, or maybe he says it infinitely, or maybe we don't understand it, or we understand it and it is intraducible as music.

When you reach my age, you realize that you could not have done things much better or much worse than you did in the first place.

There is no exercise of intellect that is not, in the final analysis, useless. A philosophical doctrine begins as a plausible description of the universe; Over the years it becomes a mere chapter, but a paragraph or a name in the history of philosophy.

I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.

For me, beauty is a physical sensation, something we feel with our whole body. It is not the result of the trial. We don't get to that by means of rules. Either we feel beauty or not.

Happy are the beloved and the lovers and those who can live without love.

There are those who seek the love of a woman to forget her, not to think about her.

Time is the substance from which we are made.

There is no need to build a maze when the entire universe is one.

Being an agnostic means that all things are possible, even God, even the Holy Trinity. This world is so strange that anything can happen or it may not happen. Being an agnostic makes me live in a bigger, more fantastic, almost mysterious world. It makes me more tolerant.

The things that are said in the literature are always the same. The important thing is the way they are said.

Soccer is popular because stupidity is popular.

Writing is nothing more than a guided dream.

You have woken up not from the dream, but to a previous dream, and that dream is found within another, and so on, to infinity, which is the number of grains of sand. The road you must take is endless, and you will die before you have really woken up.

Democracy is an abuse of statistics.

I have no way of knowing if the events I am about to narrate are effects or causes.

Tango is a direct expression of something that poets have often tried to express in words: the belief that a fight can be a celebration.

Whoever undertakes a heinous enterprise should act as if he had already managed to impose on himself a future as irrevocable as the past.

The central fact of my life has been the existence of words and the possibility of weaving those words into poetry.

The translations are a partial and precious documentation of the changes that the text undergoes.

The future has no other reality than present hope, and the past is nothing more than present memory.

The future is inevitable and precise, but it may not happen. God lurks in the gaps.

When I wake up, I wake up to something worse. It is the astonishment of being myself.

Each novel is an ideal plane inserted in the realm of reality.

You can win the desire of your heart, but in the end you are deceived by death.

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.

Personally, I am a hedonistic reader; I have never read a book simply because it was old. I read books because of the aesthetic emotions they offer me and I ignore the comments and criticisms.

I walk slowly, like someone who comes from so far away that he doesn't expect to arrive

Dictatorships foster oppression, dictatorships foster servitude, dictatorships foster cruelty; More abominable is the fact that they encourage idiocy.

He thought that the rose would be in his own eternity and not in his words; and that we can mention or allude to something, but not express it.

I think that in time we will have reached the point where we deserve to be free from the government.

What a writer wants to do is not what he does.

The original is unfaithful to the translation.

The dictionary is based on the obviously untested hypothesis that languages ​​are made up of equivalent synonyms.

The Falklands thing was a fight between two bald men for a comb.

If you asked me to name the main event in my life, I should say my father's library.

I don't write for a select minority, which means nothing to me, nor to that adult platonic entity known as 'The masses'. In both abstractions, so dear to the demagogue, I don't believe. I write for myself and my friends, and I write to facilitate the passage of time.

Life itself is a date.