e a m harris

Roaming the byways of literature

Archive for the tag “Jorge Luis Borges”

What is paradise like?

I’m indebted to the lovely lady at The Unlikely Bookworm blog for a fascinating quote. She has a list of quotes on her home page and they are all worth considering. The one I’m particularly taken with is from Jorge Luis Borges.

“I have always imagined that paradise will be some kind of library”

I’ve not seen this quote before. I have to admit that such ideas as I have of paradise are pretty conventional: green fields, sunshine, babbling brooks, golden sands, palm trees etc.

Thinking a bit deeper I realise that it wouldn’t be paradise without as many books on as many subjects as I want. But an actual library …

I can’t picture paradise as a building, but I see no reason why it shouldn’t have both an outdoors and an indoors. Or perhaps an outdoor library? Would that work? Having been thoroughly rained on at a number of outdoor theatres, I think probably not – after all, there has to be rain in paradise or there won’t be any flowers.

The speculation is fun, but Borges, like all great writers, suggests ideas beyond simple words. In this case perhaps he’s suggesting that books are a little piece of paradise in the here and now.

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