Borges

Today is Borges‘ birthday.

When I took the career path of library science, my italian literature teacher at the university was happy: “Good choice, Francese; who knows if working in a library could inspire you like it did with Borges. You know he was a librarian, don’t you?”.

I did not know that at the time. I knew that the great argentinian visionary had the gift of the night, but not the one of the books.

In my digital librarian career, I never saw one single book. But so many inspirations came to me from this world of networks, links, virtual copresences and wanderings, hypertextual labyrinths.

Maybe I’m not strong enough to be inspired by that, but Borges, the blind, eventually had foreseen it: we librarians order the world so that men can more easily get lost in it.

Borges as The Secret Miracle - by John Sokol (all rights reserved)
Borges as The Secret Miracle - by John Sokol (all rights reserved)
Borges

È delle novità che gli uomini si stancano

Yesterday, waiting for a bus to leave, I was thinking about these days’ reflections, about change and novelty, about tradition and renovation. And in the melancholic evening cold and bright, at the reluctant light of Tallinn’s summer, I read again the words of one of my favourite books. I write them here, now that the bus has left, and I have to finish my delivery for tomorrow’s exam.

If all things are always the same, it is because they are always heroic. If all things are always the same, it is because they are always new. To each man one soul only is given; to each soul only is given a little power–the power at some moments to outgrow and swallow up the stars. If age after age that power comes upon men, whatever gives it to them is great. Whatever makes men feel old is mean–an empire or a skin-flint shop. Whatever makes men feel young is great–a great war or a love-story. And in the darkest of the books of God there is written a truth that is also a riddle. It is of the new things that men tire–of fashions and proposals and improvements and change. It is the old things that startle and intoxicate. It is the old things that are young. There is no sceptic who does not feel that many have doubted before. There is no rich and fickle man who does not feel that all his novelties are ancient. There is no worshipper of change who does not feel upon his neck the vast weight of the weariness of the universe. But we who do the old things are fed by nature with a perpetual infancy. No man who is in love thinks that any one has been in love before. No woman who has a child thinks that there have been such things as children. No people that fight for their own city are haunted with the burden of the broken empires. Yes, O dark voice, the world is always the same, for it is always unexpected.

(G.K. Chesterton, The Napoleon of Notting Hill)

 

È delle novità che gli uomini si stancano