Not a Mere Juggling of Words

Literature is not a mere juggling of words; what matters is what is left unsaid, or what may be read between the lines. Were it not for this deep inner feeling, literature would be no more than a game, and we all know that it can be much more than that.

– Jorge Luis Borges

Extracted from the book “Borges on Writing” published by E. P. Dutton & Co., Inc. New York 1973, in an Appendix titled “The Writer’s Apprenticeship”.

Man are born for the solid earth, not for the water

‘This is good too, very good,’ he said, ‘listen to this: “A man should be proud of suffering. All suffering is a reminder of our high estate.” Fine! Eighty years before Nietzsche. But that is not the sentence I meant. Wait a moment, here I have it. This: “Most men will not swim before they are able to.” Isn’t it witty? Naturally, they won’t swim! They are born for the solid earth, not for the water. And naturally they won’t think. They are made for life, not for thought. Yes, and he who thinks, what’s more, he who makes thought his business, he may go far in it, but he has bartered the solid earth for the water all the same, and one day he will drown.’

– Hermann Hesse’s Steppenwolf .