Jorge Luis Borges -

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"The central fact of my life has been the existence of words and the possibility of weaving those words into poetry." Jorge Luis Borges This is the last of the six Norton Lectures that Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986) delivered at Harvard University in the fall of 1967 and spring of 1968 ("The Craft of Verse"). Nearing both 70 years of age and total blindness, Borges nonetheless gives a virtuosically wide-ranging series of talks, freely reaching across forms, countries, eras, and languages without the aid of notes. The recordings, only lately discovered in the Harvard University Archives, uniquely capture the cadences, candor, wit, and remarkable erudition of one of the most extraordinary and enduring literary voices of our age. Through a twist of fate that the author of Labyrinths himself would have relished, the lost lectures return to us now in Borges' own voice (Source: ubuweb). You can find all the lectures here: "Spinoza" [Original poem in Spanish] Las traslúcidas manos del judío Labran en la penumbra los cristales Y la tarde que muere es miedo y frío. (Las tardes a las tardes son iguales.) Las manos y el espacio de jacinto Que palidece en el confín del Ghetto Casi no existen para el hombre quieto Que está soñando un claro laberinto. No lo turba la fama, ese reflejo De sueños en el sueño de otro espejo, Ni el temeroso amor de las doncellas. Libre de la metáfora y del mito Labra un arduo cristal: el infinito Mapa de Aquél que es todas Sus estrellas. "Spinoza" [Translated into English by Willis Barnstone] Here in the twilight the translucent hands Of the Jew polishing the crystal glass. The dying afternoon is cold with bands Of fear. Each day the afternoons all pass The same. The hands and space of hyacinth Paling in the confines of the ghetto walls Barely exists for the quiet man who stalls There, dreaming up a brilliant labyrinth. Fame doesn’t trouble him (that reflection of Dreams in the dream of another mirror), nor love, The timid love women. Gone the bars, He’s free, from metaphor and myth, to sit Polishing a stubborn lens: the infinite Map of the One who now is all His stars.

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