Excerpts: Conversations with Jorge Luis Borges

Richard Burgin conducted a series of interviews between 1964 and 1984 with Jorge Luis Borges. Below are candid thoughts from a wonderful thinker:

“I began thinking of the injustice or rather how illogical it was for Christians, let’s say, to believe in the immortal soul, and at the same time to believe that what we did during that very brief span of life was important, because even if we lived to be a hundred years old, that’s nothing compared to everlastingness, to eternity. I thought, well, even if we live to a hundred, anything we do is unimportant if we go on living, and then I also worked in that mathematical idea that if time  is endless, all things are bound to happen to all men, and in that case, after some thousand years everyone of us would be a saint, a murderer, a traitor, and adulterer, a fool, a wise man”

“…I think there’s something very mean about revenge, even a just revenge, no? Something futile about it. I dislike revenge. I think the only possible revenge is forgetfulness, oblivion. That’s the only revenge. But, of course, oblivion makes for forgiving, no?”

“…Perhaps coincidences are given to us that would involve the idea of a secret plan, no? Coincidences are given to us so that we may feel there is a pattern- that there is a pattern in life, that things mean something. Of course there is a pattern in a sense that we have night and day, the four seasons, being born, living and dying, the stars and so on, but there may be a more subtle kind of pattern, no?”

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