Ficciones by Jorge Luis Borgues

(New York: Grove, 1941/1956/1962), 174

  • "Until you can say 'The criminal coming at me? The criminal coming at me is I!,' you can not know the Stoic philosophy." (10)
  • "Exegesis is the mother of heresy." (10)
  • Writing: "The composition of vast books is a laborious and impoverishing extravagance." (15)
  • "These declarations are all meant to insinuate a unitary God who accommodates Himself to human diversities. To my mind, the idea is not very stimulating." (41)
  • "(what is worse) charming us with the primary idea that all epochs are the same, or that they are different" (48)
  • "I cannot imagine the universe without the interjection of Edgar Allan Poe" (50)
  • "My general memory of Don Quixote, simplified by forgetfulness and indifference, is much the same as the imprecise, anterior image of a book not yet written." (51, cf. How to Talk About Books You Haven't Read)
  • "To think, analyze and invent are not anomalous acts, but the normal respiration of the intelligence." (54)
  • The Inferno Canto X (74)
  • "Of the various pleasures offered by literature, the greatest is invention." (78)
  • "From my weakness I drew strength that never left me." (92)
  • "A volume whose last page would be the same as the first and so have the possibility of continuing indefinitely." (97)
  • "When a man is faced with alternatives he chooses one at the expense of the others." (98, cf. Four Thousand Weeks)
  • "The heterogeneous census of the authors whom I continually reread is made up of Schopenhauer, De Quincey, Stevenson, Mauthner, Shaw, G.K. Chesterton, Léon Bloy." (106)
  • "The truth is that we all live by leaving behind." (113)
  • Notetaking: "To think is to forget a difference, to generalize, to abstract. In the overly replete world of Funes there were nothing but details, almost contiguous details." (115)
  • "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 save it." (120-121)
  • Generalism: strive to not be this man: "The man does not exist who, outside his own speciality, is not credulous." (144)
  • Forecasting: "reality does not tend to coincide with forecasts about it." (144-145)
  • Fourth Eclogue of Virgil (149)
  • "He disposed of no document but his own Memory; the mastering of each hexameter as he added it, had imposed upon him a kind of fortunate discipline" (149)
  • "Eternity of the instant" (170)
  • Favorite stories:
    • Pierre Menard, Author of Don Quixote
    • The South ("perhaps my best story")
    • The Secret Miracle

Topic: Short Stories

Source: Becca



New Words

  • tautological: A repetition of the same meaning in different words (15, 50)
  • heresiarch: A leader in heresy (18)
  • demiurges: artisan-like figure responsible for fashioning and maintaining the physical universe (32)
  • emendation: The act of altering for the better, or correcting what is erroneous or faulty; correction; improvement (37)
  • peregrination: A traveling from one country to another (39)
  • perspicaciously: Having or showing penetrating mental discernment (52)
  • simulacrum: A likeness; a semblance; a mock appearance; a sham (62)
  • vertiginous: Turning round; whirling; rotary (65)
  • pusillanimous: Destitute of a manly or courageous strength and firmness of mind (66)
  • veridical: Truth-telling; truthful; veracious (83)
  • apodictic: Self-evident; intuitively true; evident beyond contradiction (119)
  • cosmogonic: relating to the creation of the world or universe; a theory or account of such creation (164)

Created: 2022-06-17-Fri
Updated: 2023-01-07-Sat