Reading Borges – 1

Before the morning rush, sat with a few pages from Borges’ anthology. The fact that the man picked up a collection of his writing and suggests the reader that these are what he would like the reader to see as his work, sticks as a reminder all through. From the titles to the opening lines and right down till the end, Borge’ prose moves likes a vital force. Not a stray, frivolous thought. Each sentence suggestive of the complexity of history, life, people, places and the inner selves. The collection is a feast like that rare ones in the town which is remembered for years to come.

In ‘The Maker’ he writes ‘Eager, curious, offhand, without any other principle than satisfaction and its subsequent indifference, he traveled over the varying countries of the earth, and saw, on this or that coastline, the cities and palaces of men.’ What follows next is a remarkable insight into a young man’s ways as he coasts through early years of his life. Tremendously identifiable, yet, only when Borges’ articulates it so, that one recognizes this experience and its import.

It continues, ‘In the teeming markets or at the foot of a mountain with a hazy summit, where centaurs might easily have lived, he had listened to involved tales, accepting them as he accepted reality itself, not questioning whether they were truths or fabrications.’

To read Borges then is to mine the depths of one’s own being with the borrowed headlamp of his prose.

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