From Borges: Seven Nights

There are times when one needs a book that calmly pulls you into a different place. Not so much an adventure story, with its emotional highs and lows. But a peaceful invitation to see the universe more broadly. If you need that, search out Jorge Luis Borges’ Seven Nights.

The book offers edited texts of seven presentations that Borges gave over the years. Each one a marvel of imaginative thinking. Here is how he starts his presentation of “The Thousand and One Nights”.

A major event in the history of the West was the discovery of the East. It would be more precise to speak of a continuing consciousness of the East, comparable to the presence of Persia in Gerek history. With this general consciousness of the Orient — something vast, immobile, magnificent, incomprehensible — there were certain high points, and I would like to mention a few. This seems to me to be the best approach to a subject I love so much, one I have loved since childhood, the book of The Thousand and One Nights, or as it is called in the English version – the one I first read – the Arabian Nights, a title that is not without mystery but which is less beautiful.

BTw, you might ask, why one thousand and one? Why not just one thousand? The idea is that one thousand is a huge number. One more makes it close to infinity.



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