Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Where do you get your ideas?


Forever thirsty, I dream (unbearably) of a small and orderly labyrinth at whose center lay a well; my hands can almost touch it, my eyes can see it, but so bewildering and entangled are the turns that I know I’ll die before I reach it.

The well is an infinite, incomprehensible library; a vast territory of madness, so very vast, so very mad. This is where I get my ideas. The library is unlimited, but periodic. If a traveler were to journey an infinite distance, in any direction, for an infinite duration they would find that the same volumes are repeated in the same disorder - which repeated, is order.

Like the philosopher, I believe nothing can be communicated by the art of writing. I’ve never grasped for long the difference between one character and another. Besides, no one cares about facts anymore. They’re mere points of departure for speculation and exercises in creativity. It’s not the reading that matters, but the rereading.

I avoid pointless precision; neither that which has been nor that which is to be holds any interest for me. For this I know that I’m accused of arrogance, and perhaps of misanthropy, and perhaps even of madness. These accusations (which I shall punish in due time) are ludicrous. It’s true that I never leave my house, but it is also true that it’s doors (whose number is infinite) stand open night and day to all. Anyone who wishes to enter may do so. Here no splendors, no ostentation shall be found, but only calm and solitude.

There is no new thing upon the earth. All knowledge is but remembrance; all novelty is but oblivion.

This entire post is assembled from fragments of my favorite Borges stories that’ve been strung together using my own words to make it “comprehensible”; as a demonstration that most (all) ideas are drawn from a well that’s filled with the ideas of others.
Everything is a remix.

There’s a roster of #letsblogoff posts below that lists other participants. Go read their stuff too.
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