\"Borges and I\" - Jorge Luis Borges
Thread poster: Aurora Humarán (X)

Aurora Humarán (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:27
English to Spanish
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Oct 4, 2002

Jorge Luis Borges was born in Buenos Aires in 1899. He spent several years in Europe as a child and was educated in English as well as Spanish. He later returned to Argentina to write and work as a professor of English.

For the world: one of the major writers of our time.

For the Nobel Prize people: a creditor... (yes, it´s hard for me to be objective when speaking about Borges...)

Consciously rebellious artistically, his poems and stories are imaginative and often puzzling, many of them vehicles for philosophical themes. His favourite themes being: mirrors, tigres, dreams, forking paths, labyrinths, doppelgänger (always!) and his own blindness.

He has probably written about more imaginary books than he\'s written actual books, and yet his collections of stories and essays have had a lasting and profound effect on modern literature, impacting on a field of writing that ranges from Latin American fiction to the fantasy genre, and influencing a collection of authors that includes such luminaries as Umberto Eco, Carlos Fuentes and Paul Auster.

Jorge Luis Borges died in 1986.

Let´s share these beautiful words in their original version in Spanish (“Borges y yo”) and a translation into English. Unfortunately the translator is not mentioned. If you click on the site below you will enjoy a hypertext version with notes and commentary by Martin Irvine.

(Let´s face it...Georgie is to be read with somebody´s help. His literature is not an easy one, which he....hated being told!...)


Fiction to start the day...

icon_smile.gifCheers, Aurora

\"Borges y yo\"

Al otro, a Borges, es a quien le ocurren las cosas. Yo camino por Buenos Aires y me demoro, acaso ya mecánicamente, para mirar el arco de un zaguán y la puerta cancel; de Borges tengo noticias por el correo y veo su

nombre en una terna de profesores o en un diccionaio biográfico. Me gustan los relojes de arena, los mapas, la tipografía del siglo XVIII, las etimologías, el sabor del café y la prosa de Stevenson; el otro comparte esas

prefrencias, pero de un modo vanidoso que las convierte en atributos de un actor. Sería exagerado afirmar que nuestra relación es hostil; yo vivo, yo me dejo vivir, para que Borges pueda tramar su literatura y esa literatura me justifica. Nada me cuesta confesar que ha logrado ciertas páginas válidas, pero esas páginas no me pueden salvar, quizá porque lo bueno ya no es de

nadie, ni siquiera del otro, sino del lenguaje o la tradición. Por lo demás,

yo estoy destinado a perderme, definitivamente, y sólo algún instante de mí

podrá sobrevivir en el otro. Poco a poco voy cediéndole todo, aunque me consta su perversa costumbre de falsear y magnificar. Spinoza entendió que todas las cosas quieren perseverar en su ser; la piedra eternamente quiere ser piedra y el tigre un tigre. Yo he de quedar en Borges, no en mí (si es

que alguien soy), pero me reconozco menos en sus libros que en muchos otros o que en el laborioso rasgueo de una guitarra. Hace años yo traté de librarme de él y pasé de las mitologías del arrabal a los juegos con el tiempo y con lo infinito, pero esos juegos son de Borges ahora y tendré que idear otras

cosas. Así mi vida es una fuga y todo lo pierdo y todo es del olvido, o del otro.

No sé cual de los dos escribe esta página.

\"Borges and I\"

The other one, the one called Borges, is the one things happen to. I walk through the streets of Buenos Aires and stop for a moment, perhaps mechanically now, to look at the arch of an entrance hall and the grillwork on the gate; I know of Borges from the mail and see his name on a list of professors or in a biographical dictionary. I like hourglasses, maps, eighteenth-century typography, the taste of coffee and the prose of Stevenson; he shares these preferences, but in a vain way that turns them into the attributes of an actor. It would be an exaggeration to say that ours is a hostile relationship; I live, let myself go on living, so that Borges may contrive his literature, and this literature justifies me. It is no effort for me to confess that he has achieved some valid pages, but those pages cannot save me, perhaps because what is good belongs to no one, not even to him, but rather to the language and to tradition. Besides, I am destined to perish, definitively, and only some instant of myself can survive in him. Little by little, I am giving over everything to him, though I am quite aware of his perverse custom of falsifying and magnifying things.

Spinoza knew that all things long to persist in their being; the stone eternally wants to be a stone and the tiger a tiger. I shall remain in Borges, not in myself (if it is true that I am someone), but I recognize myself less in his books than in many others or in the laborious strumming of a guitar. Years ago I tried to free myself from him and went from the mythologies of the suburbs to the games with time and infinity, but those games belong to Borges now and I shall have to imagine other things. Thus my life is a flight and I lose everything and everything belongs to oblivion, or to him.

I do not know which of us has written this page.

If you want to know more about JLB, go to this link. You´ll enjoy it!


And if you want to listen to Borges....try this one:


[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-10-04 01:33 ]


Arthur Borges
Local time: 03:27
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:-) Oct 4, 2002



Aurora Humarán (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:27
English to Spanish
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Oops... Oct 4, 2002

\"Borges and I\"

\"I and Borges\"????

icon_smile.gif Hi, Arthur!


Silvana Parascandolo  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:27
English to Italian
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Borges and I Oct 4, 2002

When I was a university student, my department awarded Borges a honorary degree. I was invited to attend a speech he was giving and I went purely out of curiosity, because then I wasn\'t too kin on him. I don\'t remember what kind of person I was expecting, but certainly not the one I met. In front of me was this minute, frail, blind old man (he died a couple of years later) who immediately won us students over by refusing to give a lecture, as organized by the university, but demanding intestead to be surrounded by us and have a conversation face to face. He was friendly yet challanging, humorous and deep, rebellious, truly original, altogheter charming. His mind was as clear and as sharp as a diamond and although blind, his vision acute and piercing. It was a most remarkable experience. I still tresure the memory.

Thank you, Aurora, for reminding me of it.



Aurora Humarán (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:27
English to Spanish
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Agree! Oct 4, 2002


On 2002-10-04 14:47, sylph wrote:

He was friendly yet challanging, humorous and deep, rebellious, truly original, altogheter charming. His mind was as clear and as sharp as a diamond and although blind, his vision acute and piercing.


You certainly used the right words to describe Borges.

His sense of humor was really surprising coming from an intellectual person.

A couple of years before his death, a journalist asked him \"Do you watch TV?\"(Borges was already blind...)

Borges answered: \"Do you always use metaphors when interviewing people\"?

Have a nice week-end


[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-10-04 15:07 ]


aivars  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:27
Member (2003)
English to Spanish
+ ...
story on Borges to be confirmed Oct 5, 2002

Not long ago, I heard a story that gave me the goosebumps. An intellectual here in Argentina told me the following:

Borges had translated one work by Stevenson(?). The publisher or else, asked him (Borges):

- Borges, why this word \"..\"(I would like to know which) was not translated (was omitted)?

- Duh, that word was unnecesary.. - Borges replied.

So the translation into Spanish, doesn´t have that word rendered. But do you want to know how this ends?

The word is missing ALSO in Stevenson´s new edition of that work in ENGLISH (It dissapered from the source text!!!).

Well it gives me the goosebumps, but I could not yet verify the accuracy of story on Google.


Gabriela Tenenbaum (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:27
English to Spanish
+ ...
Borges Oct 7, 2002

What the colleague aivars has already told about Georgie could be just a joke or entirely truth. Never mind, he was no less a unique literary figure with an unparalleled greatness in his (our) language. Thanks for sharing it.

Au, it\'s very nice of you to share Borges\' work with non-spanish speakers. icon_smile.gificon_smile.gificon_smile.gif

A phrase by him:

\"Those things that our memory doesn\'t keep for pleasure, love or necessity do not deserve to be kept in a shoebox\"

And, the last one:

\"Any life, no matter how long and complex it may be, is made up of a single moment, the moment in which a man finds out, once and for all, who he is.\"

- Jorge Luis Borges

Hugs to everybody.

Gaby #icon_smile.gif


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\"Borges and I\" - Jorge Luis Borges

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