Thursday, November 14, 2013

Borges on reading

Jorge Luis Borges, against “lectura obligatoria,” obligatory reading:

Reading should be a form of happiness, so I would advise all possible readers of my last will and testament — which I do not plan to write — I would advise them to read a lot, and not to get intimidated by writers’ reputations, to continue to look for personal happiness, personal enjoyment. It is the only way to read.

From Professor Borges: A Course on English Literature, ed. Martín Arias and Martín Hadis, trans. Katherine Silver (NY: New Directions, 2013).
And the original passage, from the documentary film Borges para millones (dir. Ricardo Wullicher, 1978):
La lectura debe ser una de las formas de la felicidad, de modo que yo aconsejaría a esos posibles lectores de mi testamento — que no pienso escribir — que leyeran mucho, que no se dejaran asustar por la reputación de los autores, que sigan buscando una felicidad personal, un goce personal. Es el único modo de leer.
[Borges para millones is available at the usual place.]

comments: 2

Fresca said...

I've just been looking through WPA Posters and was surprised that several of them were exhortations to read: they practically quote Borges! (Well, not really.)

You may well know them already, but there's a cool slideshow here:

Michael Leddy said...

Yes, I saw the one you posted — very cool.

I love those WPA posters: I’ve posted the ones for January, March, and October. And I’m a member in good standing of the Vacation Reading Club. I trust you’re one too. :)