Question: I’d like him to comment on how that relates to the creative aspects of the reader, that he brings to his reading of Borges. I feel sometimes as though…
Borges: Well, how is the case of Borges different from the case of any other writer? When you are reading a book, if you don’t find your way inside it, then everything is useless. The problem with The Lord of the Rings is you’re left outside the book, no? That has happened to most of us. In that case, that book is not meant for us…
Yates: In Chicago, last night and here before and every place else, people come to Borges eager to find out his opinion on Tolkien.
Borges: Well I could never…I wish somebody would explain it to me or somehow convey what the book’s good for. Those people say if I like Lewis Carroll, I should like Tolkien. I am very fond of Lewis Carroll, but I am disconcerted by Tolkien.
Yates: Last night you mentioned the difference between Tolkien and Lewis Carroll. You said Lewis Carroll is authentic fantasy and Tolkien is just going on and on and on.
Borges: Maybe I’m being unjust to Tolkien but, yes, I think of him as rambling on and on. (pp. 162-163)
What are your thoughts on this?