Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Thoughts on Borges' Thoughts.

Charly, dear.  Dear Charly. Thank you for that essay.  Verbiage for Poems.

Considering the fact that he accused the Royal Spanish Academy of "florid vagueness," he was quite extravagant in expressing himself.  But I was ultimately impressed by what he had to say.

My favorite epiphanic rant he went on was on page 20:

"We touch a sphere, see a small heap of dawn-colored light, our mouths enjoy a tingling sensation, and we lie to ourselves that those three disparate things are only one thing called an orange."

I laughed out loud while reading that.  Really, and I mean really, where would we be without common, objective nouns?

Me: Could you hand me that tingle-inducing, dawn-colored sphere, there?  That one, on the flat, wooden-made surface?  

You:  Are you....talking about the orange-colored ball of juice that squirts ooze when you open it?  

Me: Nope.  Definitely not what I'm talking about. You're so ignorant. 

We would be in subjective disarray, I think.

Okay, I know that's not what he's saying.  Though I think his "utopic...ideas" (his words, not mine) are honorable in their explanation, they're a bit silly.

Again, ultimately, to his credit, I think he raises some very valid points.  And, since this was written in 1926, I'm sure he would be even more passionate on the subject given the decay of our language in the past half-century.  The evolution of language has its own personal history, I think.  Somewhere not on this blog...
Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Jorge Luis Borges


  1. I really enjoy Borges' works, especially his short stories. The guy was a little weird, but that can be said of most writers of the early 20th century. Though, he was a great advocate for language. I think he translated stories and poems from like 5 languages into Spanish, too. Smart guy.

  2. Yeah! He's one of those guys where--when he talks to you--you just nod your head and are fascinated by the way he uses so many words....

    At least, I assume.

  3. Thanks for the response! Huzzah!

    He was only 27 when he wrote this essay. It's cool to read the whole collection and see how his ideas matured. I especially enjoy his essays on Whitman, James Joyce, and translation in general. Any critic who's like, "I haven't read all 700 pages of Ulysses but I'm still reviewing it" I want to give a virtual high-five to. (The fact that he's incredibly beautiful--are all Argentines?--doesn't hurt.)

    Brace yourself for a Borges 2.0 post. I can't tear myself away from this slim tome.