With Borges

A slim volume, with Manguel’s youthful memories of evenings spent reading to Borges in his home in Buenos Aires.

Related writing

Reading notes


He was a haphazard reader who felt content, at times, with plot summaries and articles in encyclopedias, and who confessed that, even though he had never finished Finnegan’s Wake, he happily lectured on Joyce’s linguistic monument. He never felt obliged to read a book down to the last page. His library (which like that of every other reader was also his autobiography) reflected his belief in chance and the rules of anarchy. “I am a pleasure-seeking reader: I’ve never allowed my sense of duty to have a hand in such a personal matter as that of buying books.”

Manguel, With Borges, page 31

No wonder that Borges is (postumously) in Bayard’s court, since he was one who loved the library with more verve than he could love any single book.

Long enough

“…If a book is lost, then someone will write it again, eventually. That should be enough immortality for everyone,” he said to me once when he was talking about the destruction of the Library at Alexandria.

Manguel, With Borges, page 72

No book lasts forever, because no thing lasts forever. But many things—books included—last long enough.