‘Time is the substance from which I am made. Time is a river which carries me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger that devours me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire that consumes me, but I am the fire.’

Jorge Luis Borges

Albert Camus, l’Étranger

Except for these privations I wasn’t too unhappy. Yet again, the whole problem was: how to kill time. After a while, however, once I’d learned the trick of remembering things, I never had a moment’s boredom. Sometimes I would exercise my memory on my bedroom and, starting from a corner, make the round, noting every object I saw on the way. At first it was over in a minute or two. But each time I repeated the experience, it took a little longer. I made a point of visualizing every piece of furniture, and each article upon or in it, and then every detail of each article, and finally the details of the details, so to speak: a tiny dent or incrustation, or a chipped edge, and the exact grain and color of the woodwork.

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Another of the tribe’s customs is its poets. It occurs to a man to string together six or seven words, generally enigmatic. He cannot contain himself, and so he shrieks them out as he stands in the center of a circle formed by the witch doctors and the tribesmen lying on the ground. If the poem does not excite the tribe, nothing happens, but if the words of the poet surprise or astound the listeners, everyone moves back from him, in silence, under a holy dread. They feel that he has been touched by the spirit; no one will speak to him or look at him, not even his mother. He is no longer a man, but a god, and anyone may kill him. The new poet, if he is able, seeks refuge in the deserts to the north.

Jorge Luis Borges, Brodie’s Report

“A man sets out to draw the world. As the years go by, he peoples a space with images of provinces, kingdoms, mountains, bays, ships, islands, fishes, rooms, instruments, stars, horses, and individuals. A short time before he dies, he discovers that the patient labyrinth of lines traces the lineaments of his own face.”

Jorge Luis Borges, The Aleph and Other Stories

But I feel much annoyed by an event which is about to take place tomorrow ; at seven o’clock the earth is going to sit on the moon. This is foretold by the famous English chemist, Wellington. To tell the truth, I often felt uneasy when I thought of the excessive brittleness and fragility of the moon. The moon is generally repaired in Hamburg, and very imperfectly. It is done by a lame cooper, an obvious blockhead who has no idea how to do it. He took waxed thread and olive-oil ― hence that pungent smell over all the earth which compels people to hold their noses. And this makes the moon so fragile that no men can live on it, but only noses. Therefore we cannot see our noses, because they are on the moon.

Nikolai Gogol, Diary of a Madman