Words from Jorge Luis Borges
Thread poster: Aurora Humarán
Aurora Humarán  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 21:55
English to Spanish
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Jan 9, 2004

Any time something is written against me, I not only share the sentiment but feel I could do the job far better myself. Perhaps I should advise would-be enemies to send me their grievances beforehand, with full assurance that they will receive my every aid and support. I have even secretly longed to write, under a pen name, a merciless tirade against myself.

Do you want to see what human eyes have never seen? Look at the moon. Do you want to hear what ears have never heard? Listen to the bird's cry. Do you want to touch what hands have never touched? Touch the earth. Verily I say that God is about to create the world.

Films are even stranger than theater, for what we are seeing are not disguised people but photographs of disguised people, and yet we believe them while the film is being shown.

The fact is that poetry is not the books in the library . . . Poetry is the encounter of the reader with the book, the discovery of the book.

A writer -- and, I believe, generally all persons -- must think that whatever happens to him or her is a resource. All things have been given to us for a purpose, and an artist must feel this more intensely. All that happens to us, including our humiliations, our misfortunes, our embarrassments, all is given to us as raw material, as clay, so that we may shape our art.

Being with you and not being with you is the only way I have to measure time.


Jorge Luis Borges
(Born in Argentina in 1899 and died (¿?) in Geneva in 1986)





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Roomy Naqvy  Identity Verified
India
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Wow.... Au Jan 9, 2004

Well, Aurora, just great. Both Borges and you, the person you put it for us to read.

Roomy


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Aurora Humarán  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 21:55
English to Spanish
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TOPIC STARTER
And one of his poems Jan 9, 2004

Not a single star will be left in the night.
The night will not be left.
I will die and, with me, the weight of the intolerable universe.
I shall erase the pyramids, the medallions, the continents and faces.
I shall erase the accumulated past.
I shall make dust of history, dust of dust.

Now I am looking on the final sunset.
I am hearing the last bird.
I bequeath nothingness to no one.


Jorge Luis The Great
(Translated into English by Norman Di Giovanni)


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Monika Coulson  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:55
Member (2001)
English to Albanian
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So powerful! Jan 9, 2004

So powerful! I needed to read this.
Thank you Aurora.
Monika

AURORA HUMARAN wrote:

...All that happens to us, including our humiliations, our misfortunes, our embarrassments, all is given to us as raw material, as clay, so that we may shape our art.



[Edited at 2004-01-09 15:56]


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Aurora Humarán  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 21:55
English to Spanish
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More Borges... Jan 10, 2004

Most of the following have been pulled from his works. Enjoy them...
Au


And yet, and yet . . . Denying temporal succession, denying the self, denying the astronomical universe, are apparent desperations and secret consolations. Our destiny is not frightful by being unreal; it is frightful because it is irreversible and iron-clad. Time is the substance I am made of. Time is a river which sweeps me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger which destroys me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire which consumes me, but I am the fire. The world, unfortunately, is real; I, unfortunately, am Borges.


No one is anyone, one single immortal man is all men. Like Cornelius Agrippa, I am god, I am hero, I am philosopher, I am demon and I am world, which is a tedious way of saying that I do not exist.


I am not sure that I exist, actually. I am all the writers that I have read, all the people that I have met, all the women that I have loved; all the cities that I have visited, all my ancestors . . . Perhaps I would have liked to be my father, who wrote and had the decency of not publishing. Nothing, nothing, my friend; what I have told you: I am not sure of anything, I know nothing . . . Can you imagine that I not even know the date of my death?


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Aurora Humarán  Identity Verified
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Local time: 21:55
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Borges, anybody? Jan 14, 2004

A dagger rests in a drawer.

It was forged in Toledo at the end of the last century. Luis Melian Lafinur gave it to my father, who brought it from Uruguay. Evaristo Carriego once held it in his hand.

Whoever lays eyes on it has to pick up the dagger and toy with it, as if he had always been looking out for it. The hand is quick to grab the waiting hilt, and the powerful obeying blade slides in and out of the sheath with a click. This is not what the dagger wants.

It is more than a structure of metal: men conceived it and shaped it with a single end in mind. The dagger that last night knifed a man in Tacuarembo and the daggers that rained on Caesar are in some eternal way the same dagger. The dagger wants to kill, it wants to shed sudden blood.

In a drawer of my writing table, among draft pages and old letters, the dagger dreams over and over its simple tiger's dream. On wielding it the hand comes alive because the metal comes alive, sensing itself, each time handled, in touch with the killer for whom it was forged.

At times I am sorry for it. Such power and singlemindedness, so impassive or innocent its pride, and the years slip by, unheeding.

Borges


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Pablo Cañamares  Identity Verified
Bulgaria
Local time: 03:55
Russian to Spanish
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a dagger... Feb 7, 2004

.. just like my grandfather hid in top of a drawer, for me to find and play with it years later, at the tender age of ten.

My friend Aurora, it was about time that you brought Borges to the english-speaking!


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astrid castellini  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 21:55
English to Spanish
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eterno reencuentro con Borges [Pls use English in the English Forum; it helps.] Mar 31, 2004

Qué delicia, Aurora!!!!!!!!!!
no cualquiera pueda transmitir tanta fuerza detrás de tan pocas palabras! Lo digo por Borges y por vos.
Astrid


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Aurora Humarán  Identity Verified
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Welcome aboard! Mar 31, 2004

How great to "see" you here, Astrid!

And you have not visited the German and Spanish Fora....

WELCOME!

Au


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Wenjer Leuschel  Identity Verified
Taiwan
Local time: 08:55
English to Chinese
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Thanks for the quotations of Borges. Apr 4, 2004

I like the words you quoted from Borges' works. When I read one of his short stories, The Form of the Sword, some thirty years ago, I was astonished by his superb art of telling stories. Just for fun, I translated it into Chinese and published in a campus journal. All my friends were very much interested in Borges at that time. We have a complete set of all his works translated in Taiwan now. People like this Argentine writer very much.

Let me put a sentence from his "La forma de la espada" for appreciation:

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.


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Aurora Humarán  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 21:55
English to Spanish
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Hi Wenjer! Far in distance, close in feelings... Apr 5, 2004



Let me put a sentence from his "La forma de la espada" for appreciation:

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.



I also love these words. Welcome to ProZ.com and to the literary forum where so many alike souls meet every day!

Au


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Aurora Humarán  Identity Verified
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Local time: 21:55
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Greendyk and Borges (a magical joint venture) May 7, 2004

More words from Borges, this time taken from an antology, summarized under a name I invented ("Dictionary of Borgerisms) and sorted by the Spanish alphabetical order.

Enjoy them...

Au


AZAR (Fate)
This is the name which our inevitable ignorance gives to the infinite and incalculable fabric of effects and causes.

BASTÓN (Cane)
I feel that in some way, there exists a certain friendship between my cane and me. But this is not a shared friendship, since the cane does not know that I exist.

CAPRICHOS (Infatuation)
I have written many poems of love caused by many women. If I was in love, I wrote one, two, or three poems. If I was infatuated, I wrote many. At times, left by the woman we love, all that remains is the joy of being sad for the woman who we miss. Love is eternal as long as it lasts……

DEFINICIONES (Definitions)
The only thing that can be defined is the abstract: a polygon, or a congress.
But….how can we define the flavor of coffee, or that agreeable sadness of the sunsets, or that hope (undoubtedly illusory) which one can feel in the morning?
To define is to express something in other words, and those words can be less expressive than that which is defined.


Written by Jorge Luis Borges
Translated by William Greendyk


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Aurora Humarán  Identity Verified
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Local time: 21:55
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More Borges... May 19, 2004

ENSEÑANZA (Teaching)
I have been a teacher during twenty years and I have failed three students. Very few, isn’t it? I’ll never forget an exam which I took for a Spanish literature professor. The theme was the comedy Los intereses creados by Jacinto Benavente, and the teacher asked, “What happened in the second scene of the third act?” That is terrorism. Benavente himself wouldn’t have been able to answer. That’s just like asking in what year an author died, when the author himself doesn’t know. Shakespeare could not have known that he died in 1616.

FELICIDAD (Happiness)
If the word happiness exists in every language, it is most likely that the thing itself exists as well, even in the form of hope or nostalgia. Sometimes, upon turning a corner or crossing a street, a run of happiness has reached me, but from where I cannot tell.

GRETA GARBO
I was in love with her, as was everyone in my time. In Anna Christie, Greta Garbo arrived from the night and from the fog, and entered a sailor’s bar which had a long counter. She began to walk slowly…and all of us men in the world knew that when at the end of her walk, we would hear the voice of Greta Garbo for the first time, and that this would be as if a god spoke. The counter was really long. When she reached the end, she simply said, with her raspy voice, “I want a scotch”…. and we all shivered.

Written by Jorge Luis Borges
Translated by Bill Greendyk


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bokiopaki
English
Borges's quotes in spanish Dec 19, 2004

Hi!
I'd like to have some Borges's quotes in spanish, so please post the original spanish versions of this quotes:

"I am not sure that I exist, actually. I am all the writers that I have read,
all the people that I have met, all the women that I have loved; all the cities that I have
visited, all my ancestors . . . Perhaps I would have liked to be my father, who wrote and had
the decency of not publishing. Nothing, nothing, my friend; what I have told you: I am not sure
of anything, I know nothing . . . Can you imagine that I not even know the date of my death?"

and

"Any time something is written against me, I not only share the sentiment but feel I could
do the job far better myself. Perhaps I should advise would-be enemies to send me their
grievances beforehand, with full assurance that they will receive my every aid and support.
I have even secretly longed to write, under a pen name, a merciless tirade against myself."

and

"And yet, and yet . . . Denying temporal succession, denying the self, denying the astronomical
universe, are apparent desperations and secret consolations. Our destiny is not frightful by
being unreal; it is frightful because it is irreversible and iron-clad. Time is the substance
I am made of. Time is a river which sweeps me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger which
destroys me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire which consumes me, but I am the fire. The world,
unfortunately, is real; I, unfortunately, am Borges."

Thanks!


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Aurora Humarán  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 21:55
English to Spanish
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TOPIC STARTER
Translations Dec 19, 2004

Hi, Bokiopaki

I will give you a link to a thread I opened in the Spanish Forum. These quotes you mention are quite famous, they will probably be there.
http://www.proz.com/topic/13123?start=0

As a plan b) I include Martín Hadis' web site, the best in the Internet. You might get the Spanish versions somewhere there.
http://www.internetaleph.com

Regards from a Borges fan,

Au


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