JORGE LUIS BORGES – BORGES AND I (short stories) ENG
Jorge Luis Borges
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.
Jorge Luis Borges (or the other) – Borges and I
Jorge Luis Borges
Jorge Francisco Isidoro Luis Borges Acevedo (24 August 1899 – 14 June 1986) was an Argentine short-story writer,
essayist, poet and translator, and a key figure in Spanish-language literature.
His best-known books, Ficciones (Fictions) and El Aleph (The Aleph), published in the 1940s, are compilations of short stories interconnected by common themes, including dreams, labyrinths, libraries, mirrors, fictional writers, philosophy, and religion.
Borges’ works have contributed to philosophical literature and the fantasy genre.