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 grains of sand. The path that you are to take is endless, and you will die before you have truly awakened.
Whatever one man does, it is as if all men did it. For that reason, it is not unfair that one disobedience in a garden should contaminate all humanity; for that reason it is not unjust that the crucifixion of a single Jew should be sufficient to save it.
Let not the rash marble riskgarrulous breaches of oblivion's omnipotence,in many words recallingname, renown, events, birthplace.All those glass jewels are best left in the dark.Let not the marble say what men do not.The essentials of the dead man's life--the trembling hope,the implacable miracle of pain, the wonder of sensual delight--will abide forever.Blindly the uncertain soul asks to continuewhen it is the lives of others that will make that happen,as you yourself are the mirror and imageof those who did not live as long as youand others will be (and are) your immortality on earth.
There are objects made up of two sense elements, one visual, the other auditory—the colour of a sunrise and the distant call of a bird. Other objects are made up of many elements—the sun, the water against the swimmer's chest, the vague quivering pink which one sees when the eyes are closed, the feeling of being swept away by a river or by sleep. These second degree objects can be combined with others; using certain abbreviations, the process is practically an infinite one. There are famous poems made up of one enormous word, a word which in truth forms a poetic object, the creation of the writer. The fact that no one believes that nouns refer to an actual reality means, paradoxically enough, that there is no limit to the numbers of them.
Emma dropped the paper. Her first impression was of a weak feeling in her stomach and in her knees; then of blind guilt, of unreality, of coldness, of fear; then she wished that it were already the next day. Immediately afterwards she realized that that wish was futile because the death of her father was the only thing that had happened in the world, and it would go on happening endlessly.
Puis il réfléchit: la réalité ne coïncide habituellement pas avec les prévisions; avec une logique perverse, il en déduisit que prévoir un détail circonstanciel, c'est empêcher que celui-ci se réalise. Fidèle à cette faible magie, il inventait, pour les empêcher de se réaliser, des péripéties atroces; naturellement, il finit par craindre que ces péripéties ne fussent prophétiques. Misérable dans la nuit, il essayait de s'affirmer en quelque sorte dans la substance fugitive du temps. Il savait que celui-ci se précipitait vers l'aube du 29; il raisonnait à haute voix; je suis maintenant dans la nuit du 22; tant que durera cette nuit (et six nuits de plus) je suis invulnérable, immortel. Il pensait que les nuits de sommeil étaient des piscines profondes et sombres dans lesquels il pouvait se plonger. Il souhaitait parfois avec impatience la décharge définitive qui le libérerait tant bien que mal de son vain travail d'imagination.
Sometimes, looking at the many books I have at home, I feel I shall die before I come to the end of them, yet I cannot resist the temptation of buying new books. Whenever I walk into a bookstore and find a book on one of my hobbies — for example, Old English or Old Norse poetry — I say to myself, “What a pity I can’t buy that book, for I already have a copy at home.
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.
He thought that the rose was to be found in its own eternity and not in his words; and that we may mention or allude to a thing, but not express it.
I...have always known that my destiny was, above all, a literary destiny — that bad things and some good things would happen to me, but that, in the long run, all of it would be convertedinto words. Particularly the bad things, since happiness does not need to be transformed: happiness is its own end.
The famed author Robert Lewis Stevenson declared that he'd trained his Brownies to be writers. As he slept, they would whisper fantastic plots in his ear -- for example, the strange case of Dr. Jekyll and the diabolical Mr. Hyde, and that episode in Olalla when a young man from an old Spanish family bites his sister's hand.
He was very religious he believed that he had a secret pact with God which exempted him from doing good in exchange for prayers and piety.
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.
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.
One of the schools in Tlön has reached the point of denying time. It reasons that the present is undefined, that the future has no other reality than as present hope, that the past is no more than present memory.
It was under English trees that I meditated on that lost labyrinth: I pictured it perfect and inviolate on the secret summit of a mountain; I pictured its outlines blurred by rice paddies, or underwater; I pictured it as infinite—a labyrinth not of octagonal pavillions and paths that turn back upon themselves, but of rivers and provinces and kingdoms....I imagined a labyrinth of labyrinths, a maze of mazes, a twisting, turning, ever-widening labyrinth that contained both past and future and somehow implied the stars. Absorbed in those illusory imaginings, I forgot that I was a pursued man; I felt myself, for an indefinite while, the abstract perceiver of the world. The vague, living countryside, the moon, the remains of the day did their work in me; so did the gently downward road, which forestalled all possibility of weariness. The evening was near, yet infinite.
There are official searchers, inquisitors. I have seen them in the performance of their function: they always arrive extremely tired from their journeys; they speak of a broken stairway which almost killed them; they talk with the librarian of galleries and stairs; sometimes they pick up the nearest volume and leaf through it, looking for infamous words. Obviously, no one expects to discover anything.
A book is more than a verbal structure or series of verbal structures; it is the dialogue it establishes with its reader and the intonation it imposes upon his voice and the changing and durable images it leaves in his memory. A book is not an isolated being: it is a relationship, an axis of innumerable relationships.
Personally, I am a hedonistic reader; I have never read a book merely because it was ancient. I read books for the aesthetic emotions they offer me, and I ignore the commentaries and criticism.
Of all man’s instruments, the most wondrous, no doubt, is the book. The other instruments are extensions of his body. The microscope, the telescope, are extensions of his sight; the telephone is the extension of his voice; then we have the plow and the sword, extensions of the arm. But the book is something else altogether: the book is an extension of memory and imagination.
Leaving behind the babble of the plaza, I enter the Library. I feel, almost physically, the gravitation of the books, the enveloping serenity of order, time magically dessicated and preserved.
The gods weave misfortunes for men, so that the generations to come will have something to sing about.” Mallarmé repeats, less beautifully, what Homer said; “tout aboutit en un livre,” everything ends up in a book. The Greeks speak of generations that will sing; Mallarmé speaks of an object, of a thing among things, a book. But the idea is the same; the idea that we are made for art, we are made for memory, we are made for poetry, or perhaps we are made for oblivion. But something remains, and that something is history or poetry, which are not essentially different.
My father and he had cemented (the verb is excessive) one of those English friendships which begin by avoiding intimacies and eventually eliminate speech altogether. They used to exchange books and periodicals; they would beat one another at chess, without saying a word.
It must be that I am not made to be a dead man, but these places and this discussion seem like a dream, and not a dream dreamed by me but by someone else still to be born.
The three of them knew it. She was Kafka’s mistress. Kafka had dreamt her. The three of them knew it. He was Kafka’s friend. Kafka had dreamt him. The three of them knew it. The woman said to the friend, Tonight I want you to have me. The three of them knew it. The man replied: If we sin, Kafka will stop dreaming us. One of them knew it. There was no longer anyone on earth. Kafka said to himself Now the two of them have gone, I’m left alone. I’ll stop dreaming myself.
Let others pride themselves about how many pages they have written, I'd rather boast about the ones I've read.
There is an hour of the afternoon when the plain is on the verge of saying something. It never says, or perhaps it says it infinitely, or perhaps we do not understand it, or we understand it and it is untranslatable as music.