Jorge Luis Borges Quotes (55 Quotes)


    Whatever one man does, it is as if all men did it. For that reason, it is not unfair that one disobedience in a garden should contaminate all humanity; for that reason it is not unjust that the crucifixion of a single Jew should be sufficient to save it.

    So my life is a point-counterpoint, a kind of fugue, and a falling away-and everything winds up being lost to me, and everything falls into oblivion, or into the hands of the other man.

    With relief, with humiliation, with terror, he understood that he too was a mere appearance, dreamt by another.


    Then he reflected that reality does not usually coincide with our anticipation of it; with a logic of his own he inferred that to forsee a circumstantial detail is to prevent its happening. Trusting in this weak magic, he invented, so that they would not happen, the most gruesome details.


    To say good-bye is to deny separation; it is to say Today we play at going our own ways, but we'll see each other tomorrow. Men invented farewells because they somehow knew themselves to be immortal, even while seeing themselves as contingent and ephemeral.

    Another school declares that all time has already transpired and that our life is only the crepuscular and no doubt falsified and mutilated memory or reflection of an irrecoverable process. Another, that the history of the universe - and in it our lives and the most tenuous detail of our lives - is the scripture produced by a subordinate god in order to communicate with a demon. Another, that the universe is comparable to those cryptographs in which not all the symbols are valid...

    Upstream, Arkansas and Ohio have their bottomlands, too, populated by a jaundiced and hungry-looking race, prone to fevers, whose eyes gleam at the sight of stone and iron, for they know only sand and driftwood and muddy water.


    Whoever would undertake some atrocious enterprise should act as if it were already accomplished should impose upon himself a future as irrevocable as the past.




    My taste runs to hourglasses, maps, seventeenth-century typefaces, etymologies, the taste of coffee, and the prose of Robert Louis Stevenson.


    Time is the substance I am made of. Time is a river which sweeps me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger which destroys me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire which consumes me, but I am the fire.

    It also occurred to him that throughout history, humankind has told two stories: the story of a lost ship sailing the Mediterranean seas in quest of a beloved isle, and the story of a god who allows himself to be crucified on Golgotha.

    We can handle all European themes, handle them without superstition, with an irreverence which can have, and already does have, fortunate consequences.



    Poetry remembers that it was an oral art before it was a written art.

    My undertaking is not difficult, essentially. I should only have to be immortal to carry it out.

    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.




    Like all those possessing a library, Aurelian was aware that he was guilty of not knowing his in its entirety.

    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.

    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.



    More Jorge Luis Borges Quotations (Based on Topics)


    Life - Infinity - Man - Literature - Reality - Past - Librarian - Immortality - Art - Time - Fire - Library - Religions & Spirituality - Ethics - Writing - Good & Evil - Future - Sense & Perception - History - View All Jorge Luis Borges Quotations

    More Jorge Luis Borges Quotations (By Book Titles)


    - Collected Fictions
    - Labyrinths

    Related Authors


    John Keats - Dante Alighieri - Alexander Pope - William Congreve - Rainer Maria Rilke - Elizabeth Bishop - Edward Young - Aristophanes - Anne Sexton - A. E. Housman


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