My focus was on the library; the need people like us have to consume learning… the yearning and drive of the “shoulds”. At least for myself (as it’s presumptuous to speak for another, which I just did errantly), I have in front of me this opportunity. The internet. a library of libraries with no excuse not to learn all I can that I can.
But, out of curiousity, I skim-read the story this quote came from to get the ‘gist’ of it. I’ve only read a handful of Borges stories, most of them I read in 1989 in my Spanish IV class…. in Spanish, which was hard. I doubt I could now. But the pictures they painted in my mind were amazing. [I also cheated at times and read them in English as well just to be sure I was getting it right]
That said, I looked at the context: It’s from a story I hadn’t read before about a theologian studying the nature of time apparently. What is marvelous about his stories is that you are never quite sure what is real and true and what is fictional. I don’t know how he does it, weaving histories both real and imagined together but it’s unique, at least to my experience.
It was my first time reading this one myself. His stories are short but thick and complicated. He brings you through histories, real and imagined and you end up experiencing a truly rich alternate dimension. These were written in the days before parallel Universes but in the beginnings of the concepts as we know them today. While fictional Universes are nothing new (going back to the beginnings of human history from the very first mythologies) and they intermix with reality, his is in such a scholarly fashion that you don’t know whether a historical figure actually did or said something (sometimes they had and sometimes they hadn’t). Quite amazing. I was surprised he still had that effect on me today. I’ve learned a lot more since I was 17, being 45 now, and I’m better able to know what bits are true and what bits are alternate realities *somewhat*… but he still pulled me along to where I simply just didn’t know. All of what he said might as well be true, even if it isn’t. I found that enjoyable.