Filed under: departure lounge, the sweet life | Tags: Jorge Luis Borges, Seven Nights
The gods make trouble to spur us write and sing songs (Homer); we write down everything we see in the world (Mallarme). Mallarme’s full statement was “Tout au monde existe pour aboutir a un livre,” which means everything in the world exists to end up in a book.
These ideas are the same: life is poetry, poetry life. Art, memory, poetry, death.
“The gods weave misfortunes for men, so that the generations to come will have something to sing about.” Mallarmé repeats, less beautifully, what Homer said; “tout aboutit en un livre,” everything ends up in a book. The Greeks speak of generations that will sing; Mallarmé speaks of an object, of a thing among things, a book. But the idea is the same; the idea that we are made for art, we are made for memory, we are made for poetry, or perhaps we are made for oblivion. But something remains, and that something is history or poetry, which are not essentially different.
Jorge Luis Borges, Seven Nights
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