Borges: Why Write?

Jorge Luis Borges claimed everything he published was a “rough draft.”  Recalling an interview w/ Mexican writer Alfonso Reyes, Borges explains why people write, and why they make those thoughts public.

I am compulsively public, and a hoarder of outlets, so this quote resonates for me:

Well, he once said to me, “Why do we publish books?” “Yes,” I said, “I often ask myself the same question. Why on earth?” He said, “I think I’ve found the solution.” “And what is that?” I asked. “”We publish books,” he said, “in order to avoid spending our whole lives correcting the errors.” And I agree. If one publishes a book, he can then go on to other things.

Jorge Luis Borges: Conversations (edited by Richard Burgin); from Legal Underground.


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One response to “Borges: Why Write?

  1. Of course, making the comment that everything you write is a “rough draft” and then having at least one named “editor” for a book (and who knows how many hordes of other unnamed ones at the publishing house) makes the claim a little less enthralling. Maybe he should stick to real unedited writing: blogging!

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