5 Great Phrases From Jorge Luis Borges

5 great phrases from Jorge Luis Borges

We could write several pages as we try to decide which of Jorge Luis Borges’s phrases is the best. His sharpness and charm left us with great subjects for reflection that will always amaze us when we succumb to the temptation to read them.

Already this Argentine name is already unique and special: Jorge Francisco Isidoro Luis Borges Acevedo. He was born in Buenos Aires almost at the same time as the 20th century began. The most interesting thing about his abundant work is that he opposes almost all classifications. Borges is simply Borges. There are no schools or doctrines that would define him.

One of the greatest mysteries of the literary world is that although Borges ’works have been read extensively and he has been loved all over the world, he never won the Nobel Prize. But his name can always be found on the favorites list. Admittedly, it has always been said that this is only due to his political position, classified as conservative.

In a strict literary sense,  few have achieved the universality of ideas, the perfection of language, and the originality of arguments like Borges. Not to mention his poetry, which is always among the most sublime. As a tribute to this author and as a small literary feast for readers, we have included in this article the five most interesting phrases of Jorge Luis Borges.

Jorge Luis Borges and the cat

1. Time, a recurring theme by Borges

Jorge Luis Borges makes time one of his most brutal materials in his work. The past, present, and future boast before him, and they inspire this magnificent phrase: “The future is as irreversible as the inflexible yesterday. There is nothing that is not a silent letter in this impossible and eternal book of scripture, the book of which is time itself. ”

Borges defines time as a book in which each page continues from the previous one, and defines the next page. There is no present here, or at least not in the form most of us see it. We are a past moving towards the future, which is also already delineated by yesterday.

2. The anonymity that becomes us

One thing that reflects Borges well is his sophisticated and intelligent sense of humor. He made ironic art. This is reflected in this beautiful and powerful phrase:  “We all walk towards anonymity, but only the mediocre arrives towards it a little earlier.”

In fact, we all walk towards oblivion. Time erases the name of each author for every achievement. Those who do not perform unparalleled actions or works are like prey that time will forget earlier. But no one else escapes this indefinitely: no matter how great your accomplishments are, there will always be someone who arrives to perform better.

3. Democracy and statistics

This statement is one of Borges ’most classic statements about politics:  “ For me, democracy is an abuse of statistics. Also, I don’t think it has any value either. Do you think that in order to solve a mathematical or aesthetic problem you have to ask the advice of the majority of people? ”

With his typical sense of humor, Borges speaks to us about the fragile food of democracy: the desire of the majority. It reflects an unpleasant truth: the majority does not have to have, in principle, more sense than the minority. These are purely specific statistics.

battle of chess pieces

4. Liquid memory

Jorge Luis Borges reminds us that memory is a dynamic, mutant and inaccurate reality. As science has shown us, we only remember what we want to remember. Memory is not always synonymous with facts.

All of this is reflected in one sentence by Jorge Luis Borges:  “We are our own memory, we are that chimeric, museum of unstable shapes, a pile of broken mirrors.” This sentence shows us that memory is like a puzzle that always really needs several pieces and it never ceases to be magical.

5. How far you have come when traveling alone

Traveling alone, not in its written sense, but in its symbolic sense, makes the road lose its meaning. Borges emphasizes it in this sentence:  “If I started the journey alone, I would spend my life walking in a circle…  I would arrive at customs, at the airport, maybe I would arrive in Ezeiza, but I wouldn’t get further than Ezeiza.”

This is like telling how traveling alone is a way to get anywhere. But it’s just a transition, a waypoint, but not a destination. Traveling alone is going around without purpose, and we never get to leave.

the sun is egg yolk

Jorge Luis Borges was one of the privileged minds of the modern world. His reflection and his clear calling to the truth left us a great legacy. A legacy that certainly, despite the passage of time, we are not able to assess it with proper methods. Borges is one of those writers that it’s good for us to always keep close to us, really close: on our bedside table.

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