83 Jorge Luis Borges Quotes

Samuel Adehinwo
Sep 19, 2023 By Samuel Adehinwo
Originally Published on Oct 21, 2022
Get inspired with the following Jorge Luis Borges quotes about life, dreams, time, and paradise.

Jorge Luis Borges was an essayist, short story writer, editor, and critic.

He was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The Argentine writer is regarded as one of the most successful short story writers in the world and is well respected in Argentine society.

Borges traveled a lot during his childhood, coupled with being educated in Switzerland. This gave him an all-encompassing view of his literary pursuits.

Jorge Luis Borges is the author of El Aleph and Ficciones, both of which are Spanish short stories. He was seen as one of the Icons of Spanish Literature and is also believed to be the true pioneer of magic realism in literature.

Julius Borges's books, short stories, and life have produced numerous quotes that are very insightful in our today's modern world. Here are some inspirational and beautiful Julius Luis Borges quotes selected for you.

Jorge Luis Borges Quotes About Time

Jorge Luis Borges had a unique philosophy about what time meant to him. This he expresses with much alacrity and sometimes in a poetic manner. Let's see some of his quotes regarding time.

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

"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."

"A man set out to draw the world. As the years go by, he peoples a space with images of provinces, kingdoms, mountains, bays, ships, islands, fishes, room, instruments, stars, horses, individuals. A short time before he dies, he discovers that patient labyrinth of lines traces the lineaments of his own face."

"You cannot measure time by days, the way you measure money by dollars and cents because dollars are all the same while every day is different and maybe every hour as well."

"Time forks perpetually toward innumerable futures. In one of them, I am your enemy."

"Time, which despoils castles, enriches verses."

"If space is infinite, we may be at any point in space. If time is infinite, we may be at any point in time."

"The web of time - the strands of which approach one another, bifurcate, intersect, or ignore each other through the centuries - embrace every possibility."

"Time is the substance of which we are made."

Jorge Luis Borges quotes About Literature and Art

Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges is known for his exceptional mastery of literary arts. There are different meanings of literature to various writers; the below quotes depict what literature means to Jorge Luis Borges.

"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, 'The Divine Comedy'.

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

"It may be that universal history is the history of the different intonations given a handful of metaphors."

"Literature is not exhaustible, for the sufficient and simple reason that a single book is not."

'Words are symbols for shared memories. If I use a word, then you should have some experience of what the word stands for. If not, the word means nothing to you."

"We feel poetry as we feel the closeness of a woman, or as we feel a mountain or bay. If we feel it immediately, why dilute it with other words, which no doubt will be weaker than our feelings?"

"I think nowadays, while literary men seem to have neglected their epic duties, the epic have been saved for us, strangely enough, by the Westerns."

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

"A book is more than a verbal structure or series of verbal structures; it is a dialogue, it establishes with its reader and the intonation it imposes his voice and the changing and durable images it leaves in his memory. A book is not an isolated being; it is a relationship, an axis of innumerable relationships.

"Myth is at the beginning of literature, and also at its end."

"Intelligence has nothing to do with poetry. Poetry springs from something deeper, it's beyond intelligence. It may not even be linked with wisdom. It's a thing of its own; it has a nature of its own. Undefinable."

"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."

"Creativity is suspended between memory and forgetting."

'Censorship is the mother of metaphor."

"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."

"Every novel is an ideal plane inserted into the realm of reality."

"Art is very mysterious. I wonder if you can really do any damage to art. I think that when we are writing, something, something comes through or should come through, in spite of our theories. So theories are not really important."

"Every man should be capable of all ideas."

"I have always know that my destiny was above all a literary destiny - that bad things and some good things will happen to me, but that, in the long run everything would be converted into words. Particularly the bad things, since happiness does not need to be transformed; happiness is its own end."

"Reality is not always probable, or likely. But if you are writing a story, you have to be plausible as you can, because if not, the reader's imagination will reject it."

"I will 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."

"Art always opts for the individual, the concrete; art is not platonic."

"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."

"I believe books will never disappear. It is impossible for it to happen. Of all man's diverse tools, undoubtedly, The most astounding are his books... If books were to disappear, history would disappear. So would man."

"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."

"All literature is, finally, autobiographical."

"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."

"Imprecision is tolerable and verisimilar in literature, because we always tend towards it in life."

"The task of art is to transform what is continuously happening with us, to transform all these things into symbols, into music, into something which can last a man's memory. That is our duty. If we don't fulfill it, we feel unhappy."

Jorge Luis Borges Quotes About Writing and Being a Writer

Recognized in Argentine society as well as the world for his exceptional creativity in putting words on paper, Jorge Luis Borges shares some of his ideas behind writing and what it takes to be a literature writer Below are his quotes and sayings regarding being a writer and writing.

"Let others pride themselves on how many pages they have written; I'd rather boast about the ones I've read."

"When writers die they become books, which is, after all, not too bad an incarnation."

"Writing is nothing more than a guided dream."

"You who read me, are You sure of understanding my language?"

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

"The certainty that everything has already been written annuls us, or renders us phantasmal."

"The art of writing is mysterious; the opinions we hold are ephemeral"

"God must not engage in theology. The writer must not destroy by human reasonings the faith that art requires of us."

"Reading . . . is an activity subsequent to writing: more resigned, more civil, more intellectual."

"Words are symbols for shared memories. If I use a word, then you should have some experience of what the word stands for. If not, the word means nothing to you."

"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."

"Writing long books is a laborious and impoverishing act of foolishness: expanding in five hundred pages an idea that could be perfectly explained in a few minutes. A better procedure is to pretend that those books already exist and to offer a summary, a commentary."

"When I write, I write because a thing has to be done. I don't think a writer should meddle too much with his own work. He should let the work write itself."

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

"When I write, I do it urged by an intimate necessity. I don't have in mind an exclusive public, or a public of multitudes, I don't in either thing. I think about expressing what I want to say. I try to do it in the simplest way possible."

"The tango is a direct expression of something that poets have often tried to state in words: the believe that a fight may be a celebration."

"I write for myself, and perhaps a half dozen of friends. And that should be enough. And that might improve the quality of my writing.

But if i were writing for thousands of people, then I would write what might please them. And as I know nothing about them, maybe I'd have a rather low opinion of them. I don't think that would do any good to my work."

"No one is a poet from eight to twelve and from two to six. Whoever is a poet is one always, and continually assaulted by poetry."

"A poet... is a discoverer rather than an inventor."

"A writer needs loneliness, and he gets his share of it. He needs love, and he gets shared and unshared love. He needs friendship. In fact, he needs the universe. To be a writer is, in a sense, to be a day-dreamer, to be living a kind of double life."

"When I feel like I'm going to write something, then I'm just quite and I try to listen. Then something comes through. And I do what I can in order not to tamper with it."

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

"A writer should have another lifetime to see if he's appreciated."

"I cannot sleep unless I am surrounded by books."

"If a writer disbelieves what he's writing, then he can hardly expect his reader to believe it."

"The art of writing is a mysterious, the positions we hold are ephemeral."

"The central problem of novel-writing is causality."

"I don't think there's any essential difference, at least for me, between writing poetry and writing prose."

"Every writer creates his own precursors. His work modifies our conception of the past, as it will modify the future."

Jorge Luis Borges Quotes About Reality, Spirituality, and Life

Jorge Luis Borges present an uncommon view about reality and life. Below are some of his relevant sayings about this subject.

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

"To fall in love is to create a religion that has a fallible god."

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

"Don't talk unless you can improve the silence."

"You have wakened not out of sleep, but into a prior dream, and that dream lies within another, and so on, to infinity, which is the number of grains of sand. The path that you are to take is endless, and you will die before you have truly awakened."

"The mind was dreaming. The world was its dream."

"Heaven and hell seem out of proportion to me: the actions of men do not deserve so much."

"Reality is not always probable, or likely."

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

"Man's memory shapes Its own Eden within."

"We accept reality so readily - perhaps because we sense that nothing is real."

"Fame is a form, perhaps the worst form, of incomprehension."

"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."

"May Heaven exist, even if my place is Hell."

"Really, nobody knows whether the world is realistic or fantastic, that is to say, whether the world is a natural process or whether it is a kind of dream, a dream that we may or may not share with others."

"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."

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Written by Samuel Adehinwo

Bachelor of Science specializing in Acounting and Finance

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Samuel AdehinwoBachelor of Science specializing in Acounting and Finance

With years of experience in finance and a degree in Finance and Accounting from Obafemi Awolowo University, Samuel has developed a keen eye for detail and an analytical mindset. He is skilled in managing financial data and ensuring accuracy in financial reporting. His experience in auditing has also equipped him with the ability to identify and mitigate risks, an essential skill in any field. In recent years, Samuel has shifted his focus to content writing and marketing, leveraging his strong writing skills and financial expertise. He has a proven track record of creating engaging and informative content that resonates with audiences.

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