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Top quotes by Jorge Luis Borges on love, God, religion, life, democracy and other things.

82 Top Quotes By Jorge Luis Borges, The Author Of El Aleph

Quick Facts

Famous As: Poet

Born On: August 24, 1899

Died On: June 14, 1986

Born In: Buenos Aires

Died At Age: 86

Jorge Francisco Isidoro Luis Borges, was a short story writer, editor, essayist and critic from Argentina, who is regarded as one of the most accomplished short story writers in the world. Borges was educated in Switzerland and travelled across during his childhood, that gave him a unique worldview in his literary pursiuts.Borges wrote in Spanish and remains one of the icons of Spanish literature, having written such masterpieces like El Aleph and Ficciones, both being collections of short stories. His books of collected stories contained stories that were actually interlinked and was a unique story telling style, that made him a hugely popular author of the 1940s. Other than being a giant of Spanish literature in his own right, Borges also influenced the writer who emerged over the years. He was a pioneer ahead of his time and it is believed that he was the true pioneer of magic realism in literature. According to a critic, his book of collected short stories ‘A Universal His-tory of Infamy’ is perhaps the first instance of magic realism. Borges’ stories and life also produced a vast number of quotes that could be perfectly applicable in the modern world. Here are some of the selected ones.

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I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.

Jorge Luis Borges

I am not sure that I exist, actually. I am all the writers that I have read, all the people that I have met, all the women that I have loved; all the cities I have visited.

Jorge Luis Borges

I cannot sleep unless I am surrounded by books.

Jorge Luis Borges

Let others pride themselves about how many pages they have written; I'd rather boast about the ones I've read.

Jorge Luis Borges

Being with you and not being with you is the only way I have to measure time.

Jorge Luis Borges

To fall in love is to create a religion that has a fallible god.

Jorge Luis Borges

I can give you my loneliness, my darkness, the hunger of my heart, I am trying to bribe you with uncertainty, with danger, with defeat.

Jorge Luis Borges

The mind was dreaming. The world was its dream.

Jorge Luis Borges

Heaven and hell seem out of proportion to me: the actions of men do not deserve so much.

Jorge Luis Borges

Reality is not always probable, or likely.

Jorge Luis Borges

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.

Jorge Luis Borges

Life itself is a quotation.

Jorge Luis Borges

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.

Jorge Luis Borges

So plant your own gardens and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.

Jorge Luis Borges

Don't talk unless you can improve the silence.

Jorge Luis Borges

Writing is nothing more than a guided dream.

Jorge Luis Borges

The original is unfaithful to the translation.

Jorge Luis Borges

No one is anyone, one single immortal man is all men. Like Cornelius Agrippa, I am god, I am hero, I am philosopher, I am demon and I am world, which is a tedious way of saying that I do not exist.

Jorge Luis Borges

Nothing is built on stone; All is built on sand, but we must build as if the sand were stone.

Jorge Luis Borges

To die for a religion is easier than to live it absolutely.

Jorge Luis Borges

Besides, rereading, not reading, is what counts.

Jorge Luis Borges

You can't measure time by days, the way you measure money by dollars and cents, because dollars are all the same while every day is different and maybe every hour as well.

Jorge Luis Borges

You who read me, are You sure of understanding my language?

Jorge Luis Borges

I have no way of knowing whether the events that I am about to narrate are effects or causes.

Jorge Luis Borges

Time is the tiger that devours me, but I am that tiger.

Jorge Luis Borges

Man's memory shapes Its own Eden within

Jorge Luis Borges

Like all those possessing a library, Aurelian was aware that he was guilty of not knowing his in its entirety.

Jorge Luis Borges

There are those who seek the love of a woman to forget her, to not think about her.

Jorge Luis Borges

When you reach my age, you realize you couldn't have done things very much better or much worse than you did them in the first place.

Jorge Luis Borges

What man of us has never felt, walking through the twilight or writing down a date from his past, that he has lost something infinite?

Jorge Luis Borges

We accept reality so readily - perhaps because we sense that nothing is real.

Jorge Luis Borges

I thought that a man can be an enemy of other men, of the moments of other men, but not of a country: not of fireflies, words, gardens, streams of water, sunsets.

Jorge Luis Borges

Estoy solo y no hay nadie en el espejo.

Jorge Luis Borges

The dictionary is based on the hypothesis -- obviously an unproven one -- that languages are made up of equivalent synonyms.

Jorge Luis Borges

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.

Jorge Luis Borges

It means much to have loved, to have been happy, to have laid my hand on the living Garden, even for a day.

Jorge Luis Borges

I believe that in time we will have reached the point where we will deserve to be free of government.

Jorge Luis Borges

I walk slowly, like one who comes from so far away he doesn't expect to arrive

Jorge Luis Borges

A book is not an isolated being: it is a relationship, an axis of innumerable relationships

Jorge Luis Borges

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.

Jorge Luis Borges

There is nothing in the world that is not mysterious, but the mystery is more evident in certain things than in others: in the sea, in the eyes of the elders, in the color yellow, and in music.

Jorge Luis Borges

We have shared out, like thieves, the amazing treasures of days and nights.

Jorge Luis Borges

It may be that universal history is the history of the different intonations given a handful of metaphors.

Jorge Luis Borges

Paradise will be a kind of library

Jorge Luis Borges

I think that the reader should enrich what he is reading. He should misunderstand the text; he should change it into something else.

Jorge Luis Borges

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.

Jorge Luis Borges

Fame is a form, perhaps the worst form, of incomprehension.

Jorge Luis Borges

Loneliness does not worry me; life is difficult enough, putting up with yourself and with your own habits.

Jorge Luis Borges

The machinery of the world is far too complex for the simplicity of men.

Jorge Luis Borges

The certainty that everything has already been written annuls us, or renders us phantasmal.

Jorge Luis Borges

Si me quieren buscar, bsquenme en los libros. No los lean, por favor, si no obtienen placer.

Jorge Luis Borges

Happy are the beloved and the lovers and those who can live without love.

Jorge Luis Borges

We are as ignorant of the meaning of the dragon as we are of the meaning of the universe.

Jorge Luis Borges

He consorted with prostitutes and poets...and with persons even worse.

Jorge Luis Borges

It only takes two facing mirrors to build a labyrinth.

Jorge Luis Borges

Thus my life is a flight and I lose everything and everything belongs to oblivion, or to him.

Jorge Luis Borges

Que el cielo exista, aunque mi lugar sea el infierno.

Jorge Luis Borges

From my weakness, I drew strength that never left me.

Jorge Luis Borges

It's a shame that we have to choose between two such second-rate countries as the USSR and the USA.

Jorge Luis Borges

Literature is not exhaustible, for the sufficient and simple reason that a single book is not.

Jorge Luis Borges

He measured the achievements of others by what they had accomplished, asking of them that they measure him by what he envisaged or planned.

Jorge Luis Borges

The years go by, and I've told the story so many times that I'm not sure anymore whether I actually remember it or whether I just remember the words I tell it with.

Jorge Luis Borges

Any life, however long and complicated it may be, actually consists of a single moment — the moment when a man knows forever more who he is.

Jorge Luis Borges

I saw all the mirrors on earth and none of them reflected me...

Jorge Luis Borges

Chang Tzu tells us of a persevering man who after three laborious years mastered the art of dragon-slaying. For the rest of his days, he had not a single opportunity to test his skills.

Jorge Luis Borges

I have always imagined that Paradise will be some kind of library.

Jorge Luis Borges

With relief, with humiliation, with terror, he understood that he too was a mere appearance, dreamt by another.

Jorge Luis Borges

The art of writing is mysterious, the opinions we hold are ephemeral....

Jorge Luis Borges

Captivated by its discipline, humanity forgets and goes on forgetting that it is the discipline of chess players, not of angels.

Jorge Luis Borges

When I wake up, I wake to something worse. It’s the astonishment of being myself

Jorge Luis Borges

God must not engage in theology. The writer must not destroy by human reasonings the faith that art requires of us.

Jorge Luis Borges

Let neither tear nor reproach besmirch this declaration of the mastery of God who, with magnificent irony, granted me both the gift of books and the night.

Jorge Luis Borges

Time forks perpetually toward innumerable futures. In one of them I am your enemy.

Jorge Luis Borges

A man sets himself the task of portraying the world. Shortly before he dies he discovers that this patient labyrinth of lines is a drawing of his own face.

Jorge Luis Borges

Another school declares that all time has already transpired and that our life is only the crepuscular and no doubt falsified and mutilated memory or reflection of an irrecoverable process.

Jorge Luis Borges

Mi carne puede tener miedo; yo, no.

Jorge Luis Borges

Reading . . . is an activity subsequent to writing: more resigned, more civil, more intellectual.

Jorge Luis Borges

As the end approaches, there are no longer any images from memory - there are only words.

Jorge Luis Borges

.....a miracle has the right to impose conditions.

Jorge Luis Borges

When a writer dies, he becomes his books.

Jorge Luis Borges

All men who repeat a line from Shakespeare are William Shakespeare

Jorge Luis Borges

Words are symbols for shared memories. If I use a word, then you should have some experience of what the word stands for. If not, the word means nothing to you.

Jorge Luis Borges