Yes, I think that the novel leads readers to vanity and egoism

From Buddha and Personality in v. 2 of Conversations between Borges and Osvaldo Ferrari:

Ferrari: Of course, you also indicated in that essay that the Western novel prefers ‘the flavour of souls’, in Proust and in other novelists.  And in Buddhism the negation of that flavour of souls, of that individuality of souls.

Borges: Yes, I think that the novel leads readers to vanity and egoism.  Novels talk about a single person and the features that distinguish them from other people, which encourages the reader to try and be a specific person and to have features that distinguish them from other people.  So that reading a novel indirectly promotes egoism and vanity and trying to be interesting.  Which is what happens with all young people.  When I was young, I was purposefully unhappy, because I wanted to be, well, Hamlet, or Byron, or Poe, or Baudelaire, or a character in a Russian novel.  On the other hand, now I try to seek calm, and not think about the personality, well, of a writer called Borges, who lived, let’s say, in the twentieth century (laughs), although he was born in the nineteenth.  I try t o forget those pedantic circumstance, no?  I try to live calmly, forgetting that character who is my companion.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s