Coping the quote
27+ quotes from The Aleph and Other Stories by Jorge Luis Borges

Quotes from The Aleph and Other Stories

Jorge Luis Borges ·  210 pages

Rating: (24.5K votes)


“A man sets out to draw the world. As the years go by, he peoples a space with images of provinces, kingdoms, mountains, bays, ships, islands, fishes, rooms, instruments, stars, horses, and individuals. A short time before he dies, he discovers that the patient labyrinth of lines traces the lineaments of his own face.”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from The Aleph and Other Stories


“There are those who seek the love of a woman to forget her, to not think about her.”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from The Aleph and Other Stories


“Cualquier destino, por largo y complicado que sea, consta en realidad de un solo momento: el momento en que el hombre sabe para siempre quién es”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from The Aleph and Other Stories


“I saw all the mirrors on earth and none of them reflected me...”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from The Aleph and Other Stories


“One day or one night—between my days and nights, what difference can there be?—I dreamed that there was a grain of sand on the floor of my cell. Unconcerned, I went back to sleep; I dreamed that I woke up and there were two grains of sand. Again I slept; I dreamed that now there were three. Thus the grains of sand multiplied, little by little, until they filled the cell and I was dying beneath that hemisphere of sand. I realized that I was dreaming; with a vast effort I woke myself. But waking up was useless—I was suffocated by the countless sand. Someone said to me:

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 the grains of sand. The path that you are to take is endless, and you will die before you have truly awakened.

I felt lost. The sand crushed my mouth, but I cried out: I cannot be killed by sand that I dream —nor is there any such thing as a dream within a dream.

— Jorge Luis Borges, The Writing of the God”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from The Aleph and Other Stories


“Fácilmente aceptamos la realidad, acaso porque intuimos que nada es Real”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from The Aleph and Other Stories


“At my age, one should be aware of one's limits, and this knowledge may make for happiness. When I was young, I thought of literature as a game of skillful and surprising variations; now that I have found my own voice, I feel that tinkering and tampering neither greatly improve nor greatly spoil my drafts. This, of course, is a sin against one of the main tendencies of letters in this century--the vanity of overwriting-- ... I suppose my best work is over. This gives me a certain quiet satisfaction and ease. And yet I do not feel I have written myself out. In a way, youthfulness seems closer to me today than when I was a young man. I no longer regard happiness as unattainable; once, long ago, I did. Now I know that it may occur at any moment but that it should never be sought after. As to failure or fame, they are quite irrelevant and I never bother about them. What I'm out for now is peace, the enjoyment of thinking and of friendship, and, though it may be too ambitious, a sense of loving and of being loved.”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from The Aleph and Other Stories


“Mi carne puede tener miedo; yo, no.”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from The Aleph and Other Stories


“What will die with me the day I die? What pathetic or frail image will be lost to the world? The voice of Macedonio Fernandez, the image of a bay horse in a vacant lot on the corner of Sarrano and Charcas, a bar of sulfur in the drawer of a mahogany desk?”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from The Aleph and Other Stories


“Ser inmortal es baladí; menos el hombre, todas las criaturas lo son, pues ignoran la muerte; lo divino, lo terrible, lo incomprensible, es saberse inmortal.”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from The Aleph and Other Stories


“All language is a set of symbols whose use among its speakers assumes a share past”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from The Aleph and Other Stories


“But let no one imagine that we were mere ascetics. There is no more complex pleasure than thought, and it was to thought that we delivered ourselves over.”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from The Aleph and Other Stories


“Modificar el pasado no es modificar un solo hecho; es anular sus consecuencias, que tienden a ser infinitas”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from The Aleph and Other Stories


“Como todo poseedor de una biblioteca, Aureliano se sabía culpable de no conocerla hasta el fin”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from The Aleph and Other Stories


“Años de soledad le habían enseñado que los días, en la memoria, tienden a ser iguales, pero que no hay un día, ni siquiera de cárcel o de hospital, que no traiga sorpresas”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from The Aleph and Other Stories


“Emma dropped the letter. The first thing she felt was a sinking in her stomach and a trembling in her knees; then, a sense of blind guilt, of unreality, of cold, of fear; then, a desire for this day to be past. Then immediately she realized that such a wish was pointless, for her father's death was the only thing that had happened in the world, and it would go on happening, endlessly, forever after.”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from The Aleph and Other Stories


“Según la doctrina idealista, los verbos vivir y soñar son rigurosamente sinónimos.”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from The Aleph and Other Stories


“There is nothing very remarkable about
being immortal; with the exception of mankind,
all creatures are immortal, for they know
nothing of death. What is divine, terrible, and
incomprehensible is to know oneself immortal.”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from The Aleph and Other Stories


“Nada hay menos material que el dinero, ya que cualquier moneda (una moneda de veinte centavos, digamos) es, en rigor, un repertorio de futuros posibles. El dinero es abstracto, repetí, el dinero es tiempo futuro. Puede ser una tarde en las afueras, puede ser música de Brahms, puede ser mapas, puede ser ajedrez, puede ser café, puede ser las palabras de Epicteto, que enseñan el desprecio del oro; es un Proteo más versátil que el de la isla de Pharos. Es tiempo imprevisible, tiempo de Bergson, no duro tiempo del Islam o de Pórtico”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from The Aleph and Other Stories


“(...) antes de entrar en batalla, nadie sabía quién es. Alguien podía pensarse cobarde y ser un valiente, y asimismo al revés (...)”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from The Aleph and Other Stories


“Hay una hora de la tarde en que la llanura está por decir algo; nunca lo dice o tal vez lo dice infinitamente y no lo entendemos, o lo entendemos pero es intraducible, como una música”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from The Aleph and Other Stories


“So witless did these ideas strike me as being, so sweeping and pompous the way they were expressed, that I associated them immediately with literature.”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from The Aleph and Other Stories


“Taught by centuries of
living, the republic of immortal men had
achieved a perfection of tolerance, almost of
disdain. They knew that over an infinitely long span of time, all things happen to all men. As
reward for his past and future virtues, every
man merited every kindness—yet also every
betrayal, as reward for his past and future
iniquities.”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from The Aleph and Other Stories


“There is a river whose waters give
immortality; somewhere there must be
another river whose waters take it away. The
number of rivers is not infinite; an immortal
traveler wandering the world will someday have
drunk from them all.”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from The Aleph and Other Stories


“Tearing money is an impiety, like throwing away bread.”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from The Aleph and Other Stories


“Essere immortale è cosa da poco: tranne l'uomo, tutte le creature lo sono, giacché ignorano la morte; la cosa divina, terribile, incomprensibile, è sapersi immortali.”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from The Aleph and Other Stories


“La morte (o la sua allusione) rende preziosi e patetici gli uomini. Questi si commuovono per la loro condizione di fantasmi; ogni atto che compiono può esser l'ultimo; non c'è volto che non sia sul punto di cancellarsi come il volto d'un sogno. Tutto, tra i mortali, ha il valore dell'irrecuperabile e del casuale. Tra gl'Immortali, invece, ogni atto (e ogni pensiero) è l'eco d'altri che nel passato lo precedettero, senza principio visibile, o il fedele presagio di altri che nel futuro lo ripeteranno fino alla vertigine. Non c'è cosa che non sia come perduta tra infaticabili specchi. Nulla può accadere una sola volta, nulla è preziosamente precario. Ciò ch'è elegiaco, grave, rituale, non vale per gli Immortali.”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from The Aleph and Other Stories


About the author

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