Borges' Elegy

Oh destiny of Borges
to have sailed across the diverse seas of the world
or across that single and solitary sea of diverse names,
to have been a part of Edinburgh, of Zurich, of these two
of Columbia and of Texas,
to have returned at the end of changing generations
to the ancient lands of his forbears,
where the Saxon warred the Dane and they mixed their
to have wandered through the red and tranquil labyrinth of
to have grown old in so many mirrors,
to have sought in vain the marble gaze of the statues,
to have questioned lithographs, encyclopedias, atlases,
to have seen the things that men see,
death, the sluggish dawn, the plains,
and the delicate stars,
and to have seen nothing, or almost nothing
except the face of a girl from Buenos Aires
a face that does not want you to remember it.
Oh destiny of Borges,
perhaps no stranger that your own.


After many weeks of reading pure realistic novels (McCarthy and Rushdie) and short stories (Mansfield and Gordimer), I was able to escape into a dreamy and phantasmagoric world by reading Borges. Going into his world is like plunging into an inescapble labyrinth. Trying to comprehend his fiction is one thing, but managing yourself out his maze is even more challenging. You are a reader, writer and character at the same time in his world. He is a challenging writer for those who dare to dream and become children once more.

The above elegy was taken from his famous book, Labyrinths, which was written when he was already blind. It is a good summary to Borges universal themes and perspectives and also the confession of a writer nearing the end of his majestic literary journey (which include us, his readers).


Anonymous said…
salam syawal dari bumi Dublin, Ireland.. jemput2lah singgah ke blog hamba.. :)

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