Saturday, January 09, 2010

O sesquipedalian........

..."El jardín de senderos que se bifurcan"

(en pinche anglo, lo siento)

It is venturesome to think that a coordination of words (philosophies are nothing more than that) can resemble the universe very much. It is also venturesome to think that of all these illustrious coordinations, one of them -- at least in an infinitesimal way -- does not resemble the universe a bit more than the others.
-- Essay: "The Avatars of the Tortoise"

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.
-- Essay: "A Note on (toward) Bernard Shaw"

A man sets out to draw the world. As the years go by, he peoples a space with images of provinces, kingdoms, mountains, bays, ships, islands, fishes, rooms, instruments, stars, horses, and individuals. A short time before he dies, he discovers that the patient labyrinth of lines traces the lineaments of his own face.
-- Afterword to El hacedor, 1960

Of course, like all young men, I tried to be as unhappy as I could -- a kind of Hamlet and Raskolnikov rolled into one.
-- Autobiographical essay 1970

I found America the friendliest, most forgiving, and most generous nation I had ever visited. We South Americans tend to think of things in terms of convenience, whereas people in the United States approach things ethically. This -- amateur Protestant that I am -- I admired above all. It even helped me overlook skyscrapers, paper bags, television, plastics, and the unholy jungle of gadgets.
-- Autobiographical essay 1970

Any time something is written against me, I not only share the sentiment but feel I could do the job far better myself. Perhaps I should advise would-be enemies to send me their grievances beforehand, with full assurance that they will receive my every aid and support. I have even secretly longed to write, under a pen name, a merciless tirade against myself.
-- Autobiographical essay 1970

Truly fine poetry must be read aloud. A good poem does not allow itself to be read in a low voice or silently. If we can read it silently, it is not a valid poem: a poem demands pronunciation. Poetry always remembers that it was an oral art before it was a written art. It remembers that it was first song.
-- Lecture entitled "The Divine Comedy," 1977

Films are even stranger [than theater], for what we are seeing are not disguised people but photographs of disguised people, and yet we believe them while the film is being shown.
-- Lecture entitled "The Divine Comedy," 1977

The aesthetic event is something as evident, as immediate, as indefinable as love, the taste of fruit, of water. We feel poetry as we feel the closeness of a woman, or as we feel a mountain or a bay. If we feel it immediately, why dilute it with other words, which no doubt will be weaker than our feelings?
-- Lecture entitled "Poetry," 1977

There are people who barely feel poetry, and they are generally dedicated to teaching it.
-- Lecture entitled "Poetry," 1977

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.
--From "Twenty Conversations with Borges, Including a Selection of Poems: Interviews by Roberto Alifano, 1981-1983."

To reiterate....." the unholy jungle of gadgets." Heh. One true sentence penned by an authentic scribe puts the average 500-page pot-boiler in....el excusado.

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