Sunday, January 8

Jorge Luis Borges on fame, writing, and doomsday

I cannot get enough of reading Jorge Luis Borges in interviews. He is funny and tells real stories of his life that are amazing and, of course it is all wrapped with great thoughts about all the topics you can imagine.

If you don't know Jorge Luis Borges you have too! Literature deals with all the fields of human knowledge and never stops asking questions. This is one of the reasons totalitarian regimes hate art: even in contact with the most simple form of good art our universe changes.

WB: Do you care about literary recognition? Do you want fame?
JLB: No. No! Those things are non-existent. At the same time, when it comes to me, and it may have come to me, I feel that I should be grateful. I mean if people take me seriously, I think, well, they are wrong. At the same time I should be thankful to them
WB: I wanted to ask you do you live for the next poem, story, or essay or conversation?
JLB: Yes. Yes, I do

WBI: It seems to me that you're a lucky man to have unending obsessions to create and to record. Do you know why you had that destiny of being a writer? That destiny or that obsession?
JLB: The only thing I know is that I need those obsessions. Because if not, why sould I go on living? Of course, I wouldn't commit suicide. But I should feel very unjustified. Because if I don't write something and keep on being obsessed by it, than I have to write it and be rid of it.

WB: Do you believe private justice exists? How do you consider morality and doomsday?
JLB. At the very moment of our lives we know whether we're acting the right way or the wrong way. We might say that doomsday is going on all the time, that every moment of our lives we're acting wrongly or rightly.
Doomsday is not something that comes at the end. It's going on all the time. And we know, through some instinct, when we have acted rightly or wrongly. p. 179

From: "Thirteen questions: a dialogue with Jorge Luis Borges." Willis Barnstone at the book: "Jorge Luis Borges: conversations" edited by Richard Burgin, 1998.
This dialogue is available online here. For a good biography of the Argentine writer, essayist and poet you can go here.


Balqis said...

I read about Jorge Luis Borges. He's a great person where literature is concerned.

cookingvarieties said...

hi ana, JL Borges is a very interesting and intelligent guy

Nicholas V. said...

A great literary figure of our time.