All entries for Thursday 28 December 2006
December 28, 2006
The following passage is from Jorge Luis Borges’s essay entitled, ‘A New Refutation of Time’. I recommend the whole essay as well as most of his fiction, which reveals sudden bursts of pure genius from an ordinary mind. No Shakespeare or Kant, but arguably more readable because of it.
‘And yet, and yet....Denying the temporal succession, denying the self, denying the astronomical universe, are apparant desperations and secret consolations. Our destiny (as contrasted with the hell of Swedenborg and the hell of Tibetan mythology) is not frightful by being unreal; it is frightful because it is irreversible and iron-clad. 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. The world, unfortunately, is real; I, unfortunately, am Borges.’