Outward Bound Ideas

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Saturday, April 26, 2014

141. Prologue to In Praise of Darkness - Jorge Luis Borges

"Without thinking about it at the beginning. I have dedicated my now long life to literature; to teaching: to idle hours; to the tranquil ventures of conversation; to philology, of which I know nothing; to my mysterious habit called Buenos Aires, and to those perplexities which not without some pomposity are called metaphysics. At the same time, I should say that my life has not been lacking in the friendship of a certain few, the only kind of friendship of value. I do not think I have a single enemy or, if I have had one, that person never made himself known to me. The truth is but for those we love, no one can hurt us. Now, at three score and ten, I publish my fifth books of poems. ……….
    Poetry is no less mysterious than the other elements making up our earth. One or two good lines can hardly make us vain, because they are gifts of Chance of the Spirit; errors come from us only. I hope the reader will discover something worthy of his memory in these pages; in this world beauty is of all of us.

140. From: Joyce Cary, A Biography by Malcolm Foster

In one of the vest-pocket notebooks Joyce always carried with him, usually reserved for entries about his novels and short stories and in which the germs for many of them had first been jotted down, Joyce had written that spring before Trudy’s death,

"What is strange is that I got no pleasure in walking through the parks and looking at the new leaves on the trees, at the buttercups which are just opening in crowds among the brick green grass. I used to think that looking at nature would always give me consolation in misery, but it did not do so today. The only thing that gave me comfort was simply a feeling for other people in misfortune and their need of love. I was made to feel, I suppose, for the first time, the absolute need  of love to make life possible, and the continuous everlasting presence of love in the world. And so the fearful bitterness of this danger to T. and all our memories together, was mixed with the sense of something that can survive any loss, the power of love."