Happy Birthday, Borges!

I only recently discovered Maria Popova’s blog Brain Pickings, and it has become a daily read for me.  Today she tweeted about the birthday of Argentine author Jorge Luis Borges and linked to her great post “Jorge Luis Borges on Writing: Wisdom from His Most Candid Interviews.”

I was first introduced to Borges my freshman year at Indiana University when I enrolled in  “Contemporary Latin American Literature in Translation” just because it sounded interesting.  A very kind and intelligent professor emeritus, Russell O. Salmon taught the class, and he assigned us Labyrinthsa book of short stories by Borges.

Just now I’m realizing it has been ten or eleven years since I have read it; I couldn’t even begin to give you a summary.  I just remember that when I read Borges time felt as though it were being flipped inside out and upside down in the most exhilarating way. Now I’m feeling the urge to dust it off and reread it.

"One of the schools of Tlön goes so far as to negate time; it reasons that the present is indefinite, that the future has no reality other than as a present hope, that the past has no reality other than as a present memory." Borges, Jorge Luis. Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius. 1940.  PHOTO CREDIT:  Pepe Fernandez
“One of the schools of Tlön goes so far as to negate time; it reasons that the present is indefinite, that the future has no reality other than as a present hope, that the past has no reality other than as a present memory.”
Borges, Jorge Luis. Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius. 1940. PHOTO CREDIT: Pepe Fernandez via Wikicommons

Borges is also known for his many quotes.  Here are a couple of my favorites.

“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.”
Borges, Jorge Luis. Brodie’s Report. 1970.

What one man does is something done, in some measure, by all men.
Borges, Jorge Luis. Ficciones. 1944.

If he were alive today, Jorge Francisco Isidoro Luis Borges Acevedo would be 115 years old.

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