1.10.12

On Jorge Luis Borges’s ‘Funes the Memorious’

Aleksandar Hemon takes another look for The Daily Beast
Jorge Luis Borges
Aleksandar Hemon (link via 3:AM Magazine): 'The work of Jorge Luis Borges belongs to the tradition of literature with cosmic ambition: the Bible, the Iliad, the Divine Comedy, Paradise Lost, Ulysses, etc.—the works that strive to convey complete universes, containing everything. They’re contingent upon (and thus imply the belief in) the totality of language: all of history, all of memory, all of current cosmology and/or theology, all the unbreakable continuity of human experience can be deposited and narrated in language. Indeed, in such works language seems to be able to cover the perpetual entirety of the past, present, and future and involve the real, the imagined, and all that is in between. They offer crucial evidence that it is utterly impossible to conceptualize humanity without literature. Their philosophical/ethical/aesthetical ambition demands total commitment from the reader—an ideal reader would devote his/her entire life to the exegesis of, say, Joyce’s Ulysses, thereby erasing all the nonreaderly aspects of his/her existence.' [Read More]

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