Selected Non-Fictions Quotes

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Selected Non-Fictions Selected Non-Fictions by Jorge Luis Borges
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Selected Non-Fictions Quotes Showing 1-12 of 12
“A writer, or any man, must believe that whatever happens to him is an instrument; everything has been given for an end. This is even stronger in the case of the artist. Everything that happens, including humiliations, embarrassments, misfortunes, all has been given like clay, like material for one’s art. One must accept it. For this reason I speak in a poem of the ancient food of heroes: humiliation, unhappiness, discord. Those things are given to us to transform, so that we may make from the miserable circumstances of our lives things that are eternal, or aspire to be so.”
Jorge Luis Borges, Selected Non-Fictions
“The thought came over me that never would one full and absolute moment, containing all the others, justify my life, that all of my instants would be provisional phases, annihilators of the past turned to face the future, and that beyond the episodic, the present, the circumstantial, we were nobody.”
Jorge Luis Borges, Selected Non-Fictions
“His life, measured in space and time, will take up a mere few lines, which my ignorance will abbreviate further.”
Jorge Luis Borges, Collected Non Fiction
“The European and the North American consider that a book that has been awarded any kind of prize must be good; the Argentine allows for the possibility that the book might not be bad, despite the prize.”
Jorge Luis Borges, Selected Non-Fictions
“We must not be too prodigal with our angels; they are the last divinities we harbor, and they might fly away.”
Jorge Luis Borges, Selected Non-Fictions
“I think—the hero observes that nothing is so frightening as a labyrinth with no center.”
Jorge Luis Borges, Selected Non-Fictions
“He [Omar Khayyam] is an atheist, but knows how to interpret in orthodox style the most difficult passages of the Koran; for every educated man is a theologian and faith is not a requisite.”
Jorge Luis Borges, Selected Non-Fictions
“... in art nothing is more secondary than the author's intentions.”
Jorge Luis Borges, Selected Non-Fictions
“Distance and antiquity (the emphases of space and time) pull on our hearts. If we are already sobered by the thought that men lived two thousand five hundred years ago, how could we not be moved to know that they made verses, were spectators of the world, that they sheltered in light, lasting words something of their ponderous, fleeting life, words that fulfill a long destiny?”
Jorge Luis Borges, Selected Non-Fictions
“Word for word, Galland’s version [of the One Thousand and One Nights] is the worst written, the most fraudulent and the weakest, but it was the most widely read. Readers who grew intimate with it experienced happiness and amazement. Its orientalism, which we now find tame, dazzled the sort of person who inhaled snuff and plotted tragedies in five acts. Twelve exquisite volumes appeared from 1707 to 1717, twelve volumes innumerably read, which passed into many languages, including Hindustani and Arabic. We, mere anachronistic readers of the twentieth century, perceive in these volumes the cloyingly sweet taste of the eighteenth century and not the evanescent oriental aroma that two hundred years ago was their innovation and their glory. No one is to blame for this missed encounter, least of all Galland.”
Jorge Luis Borges, Selected Non-Fictions
“I reread these negative remarks and realize that I do not know whether music can despair of music or marble of marble. I do know that literature is an art that can foresee the time when it will be silenced, an art that can become inflamed with its own virtue, fall in love with its own decline, and court its own demise.”
Jorge Luis Borges, Selected Non-Fictions
“I always imagine them at nightfall, in the dusk of a slum or a vacant lot, in that long, quiet moment when things are gradually left alone, with their backs to the sunset, and when colours are like memories or premonitions of other colours. We must not be too prodigal with our angels; they are the last divinities we harbour, and they might fly away.

From "A History of Angels”
Jorge Luis Borges, Selected Non-Fictions