Borges on enchantment

written by Michelle on April 14, 2006 in Ephemera and Litbits: excerpts from good books and On Writing with one Comment

I have read almost all of Croce, and though I am not always in agreement with him, I am enchanted by him. Enchantment, as Stevenson said, is one of the special qualities a writer must have. Without enchantment, the rest is useless.

~from “The Divine Comedy,” the first lecture in Seven Nights

I love what Borges says here, by way of Stevenson. As authors we try so hard to enchant, but it is impossible to do so without being, by turns, enchanted–not only with language and narrative, but also with the complexities of human nature and the intricate mysteries of the natural world.

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