Jorge Luis Borges

“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, The Aleph and Other Stories
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The Aleph and Other Stories The Aleph and Other Stories by Jorge Luis Borges
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