Category Archives: quotes

Narrative Layers in Tolkien

“We are raised to honor all the wrong explorers and discoverers – thieves planting flags, murderers carrying crosses. Let us at last praise the colonizers of dreams.” Peter S. Beagle, The Tolkien Reader From the dustjacket and foreword of Tolkien’s The Book of Lost Tales, vol. 1: “A story must be told or there’ll be no story, yet it is… (more…)

the Celts

Borges, selected non-fictions, p. 458 – 463 the concept of an academy and the celts In no other part of the world has literary life been organized in such a rigorous manner as among the Celtic nations, which I shall attempt to prove, or more exactly, recall. I spoke of the literature of the Celts: the term is vague. They… (more…)

borges interviews

Paris Review, “Jorge Luis Borges: The Art of Fiction No. 39” BORGES Ah, that’s right. Because if you ask me questions about the younger contemporary writers, I’m afraid I know very little about them. For about the last seven years I’ve been doing my best to know something of Old English and Old Norse. Consequently, that’s a long way off… (more…)

the witness

In a stable that stands almost in the shadow of the new stone church, a man with gray eyes and gray beard, lying amid the odor of the animals, humbly tries to will himself into death, much as a man might will himself to sleep. The day, obedient to vast and secret laws, slowly shifts about and mingles the shadows… (more…)

Hengist wants men, A.D. 449

Hengist wants men. They will rally from the edges of sand which dissolve into broad seas, from huts filled with smoke, from threadbare landscapes, from deep forests haunted by wolves, in whose vague centre Evil lurks. The ploughmen will abandon the plough and the fisher- men their nets. They will leave their wives and their children, for a man knows… (more…)

poem found written in a copy of Beowulf

At various times I have asked myself what reasons moved me to study while my night came down, without particular hope of satisfaction, the language of the blunt-tongued Anglo-Saxons. Used up by the years my memory loses its grip on words that I have vainly repeated and repeated. My life in the same way weaves and unweaves its weary history.… (more…)