Some Borges quotations on his own secret book

February 2, 2010

“A labyrinth of symbols,” he corrected. “An invisible labyrinth of time. To me, a barbarous Englishman, has been entrusted the revelation of this diaphanous mystery. After more than a hundred years, the details are irretrievable; but it is not hard to conjecture what happened. Ts’ui Pe must have said once: I am withdrawing to write a book. And another time: I am withdrawing to construct a labyrinth. Every one imagined two works; to no one did it occur that the book and the maze were one and the same thing. (….)This web of time–the strands of which approach one another, bifurcate, intersect or ignore each other through the centuries–embrace every possibility.”
“The Garden of Forking Paths”

“I cannot think it unlikely that there is such a total book on some shelf in the universe. I pray to the unknown gods that some man–even a single man, tens of centuries ago–has perused and read this book. If the honor and wisdom and joy of such a reading are not to be my own, then let them be for others. Let heaven exist, though my own place may be in hell. Let me be tortured and battered and annihilated, but let there be one instant, one creature, wherein thy enormous Library may find its justification.”
“The Library of Babel”

“- You will write a book we have dreamed of so many times. Around 1979 (….) you will succumb to the vain and superstitious temptation of writing your grand book. The superstition inflicted on us by The Faust, Salammbô, Ulisses. You will incredibly fill up many pages.

-And you come to understand, finally, that you have failed.

_ Somenthing worse. I understood that I have accomplished to create a masterpiece, in the most overwhelming sense of the word.”

“August 25th, 1983”

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