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11+ quotes from The Library of Babel by Jorge Luis Borges

Quotes from The Library of Babel

Jorge Luis Borges ·  39 pages

Rating: (4.3K votes)


“You who read me, are You sure of understanding my language?”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from The Library of Babel


“I know of a wild region whose librarians repudiate the vain superstitious custom of seeking any sense in books and compare it to looking for meaning in dreams or in the chaotic lines of one's hands . . . They admit that the inventors of writing imitated the twenty-five natural symbols, but they maintain that this application is accidental and that books in themselves mean nothing. This opinion - we shall see - is not altogether false.”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from The Library of Babel


“The universe (which others call the Library) is composed of an indefinite, perhaps infinite number of hexagonal galleries.”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from The Library of Babel


“Let heaven exist, though my own place be in hell. Let me be tortured and battered and annihilated, but let there be one instant, one creature, wherein thy enormous Library may find its justification.”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from The Library of Babel


“The library will endure; it is the universe. As for us, everything has not been written; we are not turning into phantoms. We walk the corridors, searching the shelves and rearranging them, looking for lines of meaning amid leagues of cacophony and incoherence, reading the history of the past and our future, collecting our thoughts and collecting the thoughts of others, and every so often glimpsing mirrors, in which we may recognize creatures of the information.”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from The Library of Babel


“The certitude that everything has been written negates us or turns us into phantoms. I know of districts in which the young men prostrate themselves before books and kiss their pages in a barbarous manner, but they do not know how to decipher a single letter. Epidemics, heretical conflicts, peregrinations which inevitably degenerate into banditry, have decimated the population. I believe I have mentioned suicides, more and more frequent with the years. Perhaps my old age and fearfulness deceive me, but I suspect that the human species -- the unique species -- is about to be extinguished, but the Library will endure: illuminated, solitary, infinite, perfectly motionless, equipped with precious volumes, useless, incorruptible, secret.”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from The Library of Babel


“The Library is a sphere whose exact centre is any one of its hexagons and whose circumference is inaccessible.”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from The Library of Babel


“If honor and wisdom and happiness are not for me, let them be for others. Let heaven exist, though my place be in hell.”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from The Library of Babel


“There are official searchers, inquisitors. I have seen them in the performance of their function: they always arrive extremely tired from their journeys; they speak of a broken stairway which almost killed them; they talk with the librarian of galleries and stairs; sometimes they pick up the nearest volume and leaf through it, looking for infamous words. Obviously, no one expects to discover anything.”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from The Library of Babel


“I cannot combine some characters

dhcmrlchtdj

which the divine Library has not foreseen and which in one of its secret tongues do not contain a terrible meaning. No one can articulate a syllable which is not filled with tenderness and fear, which is not, in one of these languages, the powerful name of a god. To speak is to fall into tautology.”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from The Library of Babel


“Como todos los hombres de la Biblioteca, he viajado en mi juventud; he peregrinado en busca de un libro, acaso del catálogo de catálogos; ahora que mis ojos casi no pueden descifrar lo que escribo, me preparo a morir a unas pocas leguas del hexágono en que nací. Muerto, no faltarán manos piadosas que me tiren por la baranda; mi sepultura será el aire insondable; mi cuerpo se hundirá largamente y se corromperá y disolverá en el viento engendrado por la caída, que es infinita.”
― Jorge Luis Borges, quote from The Library of Babel


About the author

Jorge Luis Borges
Born place: in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Born date August 24, 1899
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“Ask Americans “How similar are you to others?” and on average they will answer “Not very.” Ask the same question in reverse—“How similar are others to you?”—and their judgment of similarity increases noticeably.
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