This is basically in the form of an interview where two men of literature get an opportunity to discuss various issues related to life and literature. Borges is a short story writer, an essayist, a poet and a translator. His famous works include varied concepts like dreams, libraries, mirrors, philosophy, religion, and God. As Alifano the person who interviewed Borges knew well the areas of his interest. He asked questions pertaining to the same. Alifano wanted to know the first great literary work that Borges had studied. As an answer to it, Borges explains his father’s library as he felt that the collection of books was so huge that he could gain a comprehensive knowledge of various subjects.

Borges appears to be very emotional when he describes his mother. He recollects how she had been so huffed, on the other hand, he could not reciprocate that affection and a sense of guilt buried in him explode during this conversation. As a general observation, he tells that all children are bound to take their mother for granted and will realize her importance when she is no more with them. When asked about blindness, he modestly admits that initially, it was quite difficult for him because he had reached a completely unknown world and many a time he had to suffer embarrassment and humiliation

The entire episode is viewed in a philosophical way when he tells people that all such negative aspects are given as raw material and only a few of them can transmit them and convert their miserable condition into an accomplishment. He further feels that he has to enjoy that period of strive and should also pretend that he is not blind and that is the main reason he bought books and filled his library with them.

Trying to interpret a dream in a way Borges did or does is quite unique because, at the age of 83, a blind man is ready to take up the challenge of trying to write a book on the history of books is not every man’s outlook. Trying to explain the nature of a book or piece of literature, he explains the same keeping the reader in mind. When a poet has created something and he fails to make the reader understand, then the entire process of creation is a futile attempt. Poetry is a magical, mysterious and unexplainable event but it is not something that cannot be comprehended without m the involvement of the reader.

Quoting Emily Dickinson, “This quiet dust was gentlemen and ladies”, he explains how the inclusion of two words gentlemen and ladies in the place of men and women creates magic and enhances the poetic quality. Further, he speaks about metaphors and why they are very important and an integral part of literature.

Borges is very confident that never ever in the future, books could/would be replaced by something else and the reason he quotes should be agreeable to everyone. He argues in a scientific way and feels that the other inventions of man are just an extension of the physical body. The telephone, an extension of our voice, telescope and microscope extensions of sight, sword and plough the extension of our hands, but it is only the book which is the extension of imagination and memory both abstract concepts which are not dependent on any external object.

Literature is a controlled dream and books are supposed to be the memories of all centuries, therefore irreplaceable and that is the main reason if books disappear, history would disappear. Indirectly he gives a hint that man will also disappear.

“I Believe That the Books Will Never Disappear” is a part of excerpts from “Twenty-Four Conversations with Borges”, interviews of Jorge Luis Borges by Roberto Alifano. Jorge Luis Borges is an Argentine short-story writer, essayist, poet and translator. Here he talks about his early years of reading, his family, his blindness, books, poetry, metaphors and literature.

First Reading / on his mother:
Borges proudly says that he was educated at his father’s library where he first read Grimm’s Fairy Tales. His mother, according to him, was an extraordinary person but he regrets having not been understanding of her. Besides, his mother was an intelligent and gracious woman.

On blindness:
Blindness to Borges is a way of life. He calls it a resource and that all things have been given to us for a purpose. Humiliations, our misfortunes, our embarrassments are given to us as raw materials so that we may shape our art.

On reading - books:
Borges says that he still buys books. In every book, he finds a need for something more. A book can be full of errors, but the book always retains something sacred, something mortal, something magical which brings happiness.

On Poetry:
He believes that poetry is something so intimate, so essential that it cannot be defined without oversimplifying it. Poetry is an aesthetic act. It is the poetic act that takes place when the poet writes it and the reader reads it. Poetry is a magical, mysterious and inexplicable event.

On metaphors:
Metaphors exist from the beginning of time. He seems to reduce all metaphors to five or six which are essential metaphors. They are time and a river; life and dreams; death and sleep; stars and eyes; flowers and women.

On the disappearance of books:
Borges believes that modern developments in communications cannot replace books and that books will never disappear. He says that the book is the most astounding of many human inventions. All the others are extensions of our body. Only the book is an extension of our imagination and memory.

On literature:
He says that Literature is a dream, a controlled dream. Our past is a sequence of dreams. Books are the great memory of all centuries. He concludes that if books disappear, surely history would disappear, and surely man would disappear.