Quotes from Ficciones

Jorge Luis Borges ·  174 pages

Rating: (37.7K votes)


“A book is not an isolated being: it is a relationship, an axis of innumerable relationships”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from Ficciones


“Los espejos y la cópula son abominables, porque multiplican el número de los hombres.”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from Ficciones


“Fame is a form, perhaps the worst form, of incomprehension.”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from Ficciones


“From my weakness, I drew strength that never left me.”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from Ficciones


“To think, analyze and invent are not anomalous acts, but the normal respiration of the intelligence.”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from Ficciones



“He measured the achievements of others by what they had accomplished, asking of them that they measure him by what he envisaged or planned.”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from Ficciones


“It is a laborious madness and an impoverishing one, the madness of composing vast books - setting out in five hundred pages an idea that can be perfectly related orally in five minutes. The better way to go about it is to pretend that those books already exist, and offer a summary, a commentary on them." (From the Introduction of 1941's The Garden of Forking Paths)”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from Ficciones


“Que el cielo exista, aunque mi lugar sea el infierno.”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from Ficciones


“Si el honor y la sabiduría y la felicidad no son para mí, que sean para otros. Que el cielo exista, aunque mi lugar sea el infierno”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from Ficciones


“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.”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from Ficciones



“I remember him with a dark passionflower in his hand, looking at it as no one has ever looked at such a flower, though they might look from the twilight of day until the twilight of night, for a whole life long.”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from Ficciones


“There are objects made up of two sense elements, one visual, the other auditory—the colour of a sunrise and the distant call of a bird. Other objects are made up of many elements—the sun, the water against the swimmer's chest, the vague quivering pink which one sees when the eyes are closed, the feeling of being swept away by a river or by sleep. These second degree objects can be combined with others; using certain abbreviations, the process is practically an infinite one. There are famous poems made up of one enormous word, a word which in truth forms a poetic object, the creation of the writer. The fact that no one believes that nouns refer to an actual reality means, paradoxically enough, that there is no limit to the numbers of them.”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from Ficciones


“La realidad no suele coincidir con las previsiones; con lógica perversa, prever un detalle circunstancial es impedir que este suceda”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from Ficciones


“Every man should be capable of all ideas, and I believe that in the future he will be.”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from Ficciones


“Things became duplicated in Tlön; they also tend to become effaced and lose their details when they are forgotten. A classic example is the doorway which survived so long as it was visited by a beggar and disappeared at his death. At times some birds, a horse, have saved the ruins of an amphitheater.”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from Ficciones



“La casa no es tan grande, pensó. La agrandan la penumbra, la simetría, los espejos, los muchos años, mi desconocimiento, la soledad.”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from Ficciones


“Blind to all fault, destiny can be ruthless at one's slightest distraction.”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from Ficciones


“A la realidad le gustan las simetrías y los leves anacronismos”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from Ficciones


“When it was proclaimed that the Library contained all books, the first impression was one of extravagant happiness. All men felt themselves to be the masters of an intact and secret treasure. There was no personal or world problem whose eloquent solution did not exist in some hexagon. The universe was justified, the universe suddenly usurped the unlimited dimensions of hope. At that time a great deal was said about the Vindications: books of apology and prophecy which vindicated for all time the acts of every man in the universe and retained prodigious arcana for his future. Thousands of the greedy abandoned their sweet native hexagons and rushed up the stairways, urged on by the vain intention of finding their Vindication. These pilgrims disputed in the narrow corridors, proffered dark curses, strangled each other on the divine stairways, flung the deceptive books into the air shafts, met their death cast down in a similar fashion by the inhabitants of remote regions. Others went mad ... The Vindications exist (I have seen two which refer to persons of the future, to persons who are perhaps not imaginary) but the searchers did not remember that the possibility of a man's finding his Vindication, or some treacherous variation thereof, can be computed as zero.”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from Ficciones


“Esa trama de tiempos que se aproximan, se bifurcan, se cortan o que secularmente se ignoran, abarca todas la posibilidades. No existimos en la mayoría de esos tiempos; en algunos existe usted y no yo; en otros, yo, no usted; en otros, los dos. En éste, que un favorable azar me depara, usted ha llegado a mi casa; en otro, usted, al atravesar el jardín, me ha encontrado muerto; en otro, yo digo estas mismas palabras, pero soy un error, un fantasma.”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from Ficciones



“Pensar, analizar, inventar no son actos anómalos, son la normal respiración de la inteligencia. Glorificar el ocasional cumplimiento de esa función, atesorar antiguos y ajenos pensamientos, recordar con incrédulo estupor lo que el doctor universalis pensó, es confesar nuestra languidez o nuestra barbarie. Todo hombre debe ser capaz de todas las ideas y entiendo que en el porvenir lo será.”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from Ficciones


“It is generally understood that a modern-day book may honorably be based upon an older one, especially since, as Dr. Johnson observed, no man likes owing anything to his contemporaries. The repeated but irrelevant points of congruence between Joyce's Ulysses and Homer's Odyssey continue to attract (though I shall never understand why) the dazzled admiration of critics.”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from Ficciones


“...medité en ese laberinto perdido: lo imaginé inviolado y perfecto en la cumbre secreta de una montaña, lo imaginé borrado por arrozales o debajo del agua, lo imaginé infinito, no ya de quioscos ochavados y de sendas que vuelven, sino de ríos y provincias y reinos... Pensé en un laberinto de laberintos, en un sinuoso laberinto creciente que abarca el pasado y el porvenir y que implicara de algún modo a los astros.”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from Ficciones


“Mi empresa no es difícil, esencialmente. Me bastaría ser inmortal para llevarla a cabo." Pierre Menard, autor del Quijote”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from Ficciones


“Las cosas se duplican en Tlön; propenden asimismo a borrarse ya perder los detalles cuando los olvida la gente. Es clásico el ejemplo de un umbral que perduró mientras lo visitaba un mendigo y que se perdió de vista a su muerte. A veces unos pájaros, un caballo han salvado las ruinas de un anfiteatro.”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from Ficciones



“In literary practices the idea of a single subject is also all-powerful. It is uncommon for books to be signed. The concept of plagiarism does not exist: it has been established that all works are the creation of one author, who is atemporal and anonymous. The critics often invent authors: they select two dissimilar works - the Tao Te Ching and the 1001 Nights, say - attribute them to the same writer and then determine most scrupulously the psychology of this interesting homme de lettres...”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from Ficciones


“I imagined a labyrinth of labyrinths, a maze of mazes, a twisting, turning, ever-widening labyrinth that contained both past and future and somehow implied the stars. Absorbed in those illusory imaginings, I forgot that I was a pursued man; I felt myself, for an indefinite while, the abstract perceiver of the world. The vague, living countryside, the moon, the remains of the day did their work in me; so did the gently downward road, which forestalled all possibility of weariness. The evening was near, yet infinite.”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from Ficciones


“La gloria es una forma de incomprensión; quizás la peor.”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from Ficciones


“Desvarío laborioso y empobrecedor el de componer vastos libros; el de explayar en quinientas páginas una idea cuya perfecta exposición oral cabe en pocos minutos. Mejor procedimiento es simular que esos libros ya existen y ofrecer un resumen, un comentario.”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from Ficciones


“What one man does is something done, in some measure, by all men. For that reason a disobedience committed in a garden contaminates the human race; for that reason it is not unjust that the crucifixion of a single Jew suffices to safe it. Perhaps Schopenhauer is right: I am all others, any men is all men, Shakespeare is in some way the wretched John Vincent Moon.”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from Ficciones



About the author

Jorge Luis Borges
Born place: in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Born date August 24, 1899
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