Cuentos completos

Cuentos completosFame is a form perhaps the worst form of incomprehension.I can recall the first time I discovered the name Borges That marks a near singular occasion It was 1990 and I was thoroughly enjoying my Philosophy of Religion course and curious about nihilism This engendered another retreat to the library and there on the opening page of some text was a quotation from this strange figure It was a few minutes later when I had culled a number of texts from stacks Like many a reader and a number of Borges characters, I was never the same A purchase of Labyrinths was soon to follow.Over the years I ve maintained an intimacy with many of the stories in the Collected Fictions Some tales like Pierre Menard and The Aleph I must have read 15 20 times in my life This reading was thus a wonderful opportunity to discover such jewels as Emma Zunz While I ve maintained my love for such episodes as Death and the Compass see the film starring Peter Brook I have cultivated an affection for the subtle Borges, the gnawing uneasiness which is both philosophical and all too human.There were certainly times poring over these abstracts of imagined books when I not only felt like an illiterate swindler but also that the text would never cease, both like the Book of Sand as well a paged equivalent of the Blue Tiger, forever multiplying in my grasp, like some curse of abundance Maybe one day I ll relax on a park bench and find adjacent that 20 year old undergraduate, wild eyed about The Library of Babel what should I say You who read me, are You sure of understanding my language Jorge Luis Borges,The Library of Babel Even though I read Borges sCollected Fictionsin Spanish, my native tongue, I have to confess I didn t understand half of it Presumptuous of me to think I would Famous for being the founder of postmodernist literature and influenced by the work of fantasists such Edgar Allan Poe and Franz Kafka, whom I adore, I was naive enough to assume I would be able to untangle Borges s labyrinthine, almost rigorously mathematical style to form a coherent opinion of his short narratives I was also deceived by the apparent simplicity of the tales which turned out to be complex, condensed and thought provoking meditations about philosophical and existential issues.Borges s enormous erudition, which might be appealing to others, worked the other way round for me, leaving me mostly frustrated by the multitude of literary allusions from cultures around the globe which I struggled to connect with the meaning of his surrealist inventions It seems this proved to be too much of a strenuous task for my ignorant self.The blurred line between reality and dream challenged comprehension in tales such asTlon, Uqbar and Orbis Tertiuswhere Borges depicts an ideal, metaphysic world made real by the power of imagination.The same idea is reinforced inThe Circular Ruins, in which a man is able to create a son only dreaming about him Later, after the man accomplishes his goal, much to my astonishment, he discovers that he in turn is being dreamt by someone else The tittle, which also notes the mythical temple where the man appears out of nowhere maybe time travel , might also carry the analogy of the infinite repetition which can be seen in a circle, a geometric figure which has no end and no beginning Like the act of this neverending regression of dreaming and creating process presented in the story.I was most disturbed by the oppressive ideaThe Library of Babelconveyed to me We are introduced to a Library whose cataloguing system consists of hexagonal and identical galleries to classify the infinite books it contains The inhabitants of this Library know the answers to all their questions lay somewhere, among the books, although the probability of being able to find those answers is close to impossible The central conflict of the individual intellect and the physical manifestation of the infinite chaos is portrayed with negative connotations, pointing out the futility of trying to establish order in a chaotic universe, which reminds me of the insignificance of human beingsThe Babylon Lotteryfollows the same line of thought in presenting a detached narrator who depicts life as a labyrinth through which a man wanders without control over his own fate, which is governed by ruthless uncertainty Here again there seems to appear the issue of trying to put order in a fragmented, indecipherable universe ruled by randomness.My favorite one wasThe secret miracleprobably because I could identify with the need of Hlad k, a Jewish poet and the main character, to freeze time when he is arrested and condemned to death by the Nazis I found the way Borges manages to portray the subjectivity of time simply brilliant, especially in the scene where Hlad k is being executed Everything seems to end in a second for the rest of world except for Hlad k whose prayer is answered in the form of a precious year in which everything becomes paralysed so that he can mentally finish the last act of his half written playFunes the Memoriousis similar in the way it deals with the curse of having an extraordinary memory to absorb details and subtle changes at a precise moment but not the capability of abstraction needed to control our acts.It is inThe South,The Shape of the SwordandThree versions of Judaswhere Borges s metafiction is most palpable with the multiplication of character identity, combining historical facts with detectivesque narrative techniques.I think I can sense the lurking forces behind Borges s mathematical concision, audacious adjectives and unusual ideas, I think I grasp his need to defy understanding to make his point about incomprehensible concepts such as infinite, time and reality I even feel strongly attracted to the notion that reality can be seen as a mere convention and that the true nature of things is vacuous, existing only in conditional relationship with other things It is language which ultimately creates illusion and builds meanings And it is the dreamer who creates reality as the writer creates the possibility of a reader.The problem is that all these feelings didn t implode in within me, I had to struggle against Borges s detached, metallic style to get them through Maybe I shouldn t have read all the tales in one sitting, maybe Borges is that kind of author to read sparsely, one story at a time, like a rare, exquisite delicatessen to let all the flavors fuse and wholly impregnate the senses It might not be very orthodox, but these three stars are meant to be a rating referred to my own inadequacy to truly enjoy this novel rather than directed to the novel itself, which I am not that fool to recognize as a genuine, exceptional work of art. Jorge Luis Borges Has Been Called The Greatest Spanish Language Writer Of Our Century Now For The First Time In English, All Of Borges Dazzling Fictions Are Gathered Into A Single Volume, Brilliantly Translated By Andrew Hurley From HisDebut With The Universal History Of Iniquity, Through His Immensely Influential Collections Ficciones And The Aleph, These Enigmatic, Elaborate, Imaginative Inventions Display Borges Talent For Turning Fiction On Its Head By Playing With Form And Genre And Toying With Language Together These Incomparable Works Comprise The Perfect One Volume Compendium For All Those Who Have Long Loved Borges, And A Superb Introduction To The Master S Work For Those Who Have Yet To Discover This Singular Genius The South is perhaps my favorite story from this collection, as well as Borges himself In the prologue to Artifices, Borges comments Of The South, which is perhaps my best story, let it suffice for me to suggest that it can be read as a direct narrative of novelistic events, and also in another way.The main character is Juan Dahlmann, a mixture of German and Spanish ancestry, whose life is mundane but who dreams vaguely of aromantic life, inspired by the Flores side of his heritage and the Flores ranch in the South that he owns but has never visited One day Dahlmann brushes his forehead against something in a dark stairway and realizes afterwards that he is bleeding He develops a life threatening infection and is taken to a sanitarium for treatment After many excruciatingly painful and feverish days, he recovers, and decides that he will take a trip to his ranch to convalesce He travels out of the city on a train, feeling as though he is traveling into the past, and has an unexpected confrontation as he nears his final destination Or does he You decide, but several clues in the text a mysterious cat view spoiler symbolic of eternity hide spoiler You who read me are you certain you understand my language Imagine you are watching a highly recommended, multiple awards winning, foreign language film it s everything you expected it to be, then, suddenly, the subtitles stop working how annoying But you are hooked you can t stop watching welcome to the Borgesian Labyrinth The Collected Fictions consists of the following nine collections A Universal History of Iniquity , Fictions , Artifices , The Aleph , The Maker , In Praise of Darkness , Brodie s Report , The Book of Sand , and finally Shakespeare s Memory , totaling around 103 stories A Universal History of Iniquity , describing villainous characters from all over the world, reveals two characteristic features of Borges fiction as translator Andrew Hurley writes in the introduction This volume is purportedly a series of biographies of reprehensible evildoers, and as biography, the book might be expected to rely greatly upon sources of one sort or another as indeed Borges Index of Sources seems to imply In his preface to the 1954 reprinting of the volume, however, Borges acknowledges the fictive nature of his stories This sui generis use of sources, most of which were in English, presents the translator with something of a challenge to translate Borges even while Borges is cribbing from, translating, and changing and distorting other writers stories Another is the geographical and historical diversity of Borges fictional universe from Southern slave traders, New York gangsters, to Chinese pirates, Japanese Ronins, Arabic false prophet..stories are short easy to follow The stand out ones are The Cruel Redeemer Lazarus Morell perhaps Tarantino read it for Django Unchained , Hakim, the Masked Dyer of Merv, for the sheer horror of its ending but the pi ce de r sistance is The Man on Pink Corner a Hemingwayesque homage to the culture of Machismo.The stories in Fictions 1944 , are the ones Borges is most reputed for Tl n, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius,The Approach to Al Mu tasim, Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote, The Circular Ruins, The Library of Babel, The Garden of Forking Paths, are the ever shining gems of his oeuvre Borges style, as seen here, is deceptively simple Quietness, subtlety, a laconic terseness these are the marks of Borges style It is a style that has often been called intellectual, and indeed it is dense with allusion to literature, to philosophy, to theology, to myth, to the culture and history of Buenos Aires and Argentina and the Southern Cone of South America. Add to that the Apocryphal nature of his writing fake reviews of fake books, interpolations from known fake sources his stories become forbidding mind benders as Borges remarks in his Paris Review interview Most of those allusions and references are merely put there as a kind of private joke.Labyrinths, mirrors, dreams, doubles so many of the elements that appear over and over in Borges fiction are symbols of the psyche turned inward it s hard to escape solipsism and alter egos of Borges as blind librarians, diffident, celibate, middle aged academics writers people the stories Borges and I, The Other, August 25,1983 are outstanding stories in this regard Here s Borges having a laugh at his own expense in August 25, 1983I realized that it was a masterpiece in the most overwhelming sense of the word My good intentions hadn t lasted beyond the first pages those that followed held the labyrinths, the knives, the man who thinks he s an image, the reflection that thinks it s real, the tiger that stalks in the night, the battles that are in one s blood, the blind and fatal Juan Murana, the voice of Macedoniel Fern ndez, the ship made with the fingernails of the dead, Old English repeated in the evening That museum rings a bell, I remarked sarcastically Not to mention false recollections, the doubleness of symbols, the long catalogs, the skilled handling of prosaic reality, the imperfect symmetries that critics so jubilantly discover, the not always apocryphal quotations. The military background of Borges family, his love of epic poetry, link him with Argentine history and also with the idea of a man s having to be brave This finds expression in stories like Man on Pink Corner,The South Borges called it his best story ,The Dead Man,The Wait ,The Encounter, The Duel, Juan Mura a The Elderly Lady.A character in the story Juan Mura a, asks him Somebody lent me your book on Carriego, he said It s full of knife fighters and thugs and underworld types Tell me, Borges, he said, looking at me as though stricken with holy terror, what can you know about knife fighters and thugs and underworld types I ve read up on the subject, I replied.How can you not love this bookish writer My favourite Borges stories are The Aleph, Shakespeare s Memory, The Secret Miracle, Borges and I, August 25,1983, The Circular Ruins, Funes, His Memory, The Gospel of St.Mark The least liked was The Immortal.DFW, in his review, Borges on the Couch , emphasized the seminal importance of Borges in literature Why Jorge Luis Borges 1899 1986 is an important enough fiction writer to deserve such a microscopic bio The truth, briefly stated, is that Borges is arguably the great bridge between modernism and post modernism in world literature He is modernist in that his fiction shows a first rate human mind stripped of all foundations in religious or ideological certainty a mind turned thus wholly in on itself His stories are inbent and hermetic, with the oblique terror of a game whose rules are unknown and its stakes everythingAnd the mind of those stories is nearly always a mind that lives in and through books This is because Borges the writer is, fundamentally, a reader The dense, obscure allusiveness of his fiction is not a tic, or even really a style and it is no accident that his best stories are often fake essays, or reviews of fictitious books, or have texts at their plots centers, or have as protagonists Homer or Dante or Averroes Whether for seminal artistic reasons or neurotic personal ones or both, Borges collapses reader and writer into a new kind of aesthetic agent, one who makes stories out of stories, one for whom reading is essentially consciously a creative act This is not, however, because Borges is a metafictionist or a cleverly disguised critic It is because he knows that there s finally no difference that murderer and victim, detective and fugitive, performer and audience are the same Obviously, this has postmodern implications, but Borges s is really a mystical insight, and a profound one It s also frightening, since the line between monism and solipsism is thin and porous,to do with spirit than with mind per se And, as an artistic program, this kind of collapse transcendence of individual identity is also paradoxical, requiring a grotesque self obsession combined with an almost total effacement of self and personality Tics and obsessions aside, what makes a Borges story Borgesian is the odd, ineluctable sense you get that no one and everyone did it.I dreamed that this review was already written so I wouldn t have to write it Borges is a life time reading project because he gets better with repeated readings.Don t let the perceived difficulty of Borges from reading him as these inspiring lines from Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote proclaim Thinking, meditating, imagining are not anomalous acts they are the normal respiration of the intelligence To glorify the occasional exercise of that function, to treasure beyond price ancient and foreign thoughts, to recall with incredulous awe what some doctor universalis thought, is to confess our own languor, or our own barbarie Every man should be capable of all ideas, and I believe that in the future he shall be References The story is uncannily similar to Hemingway s famous story The Killers, but Borges doesn t mention him anywhere in the Foreword.Take a look at the long list of writers that Borges has inspired Review The Art of Fiction No 39, Jorge Luis Borgeshttp interviDFW s essay on Borges Borges on the Couch.http 2004 11 07 boo Do yourself a massive favor and read Borges He can deliverplot and twists in 2 5 pages than many authors do in 300 Every page will blow your mind as you loose yourself in the brilliant labyrinth of his words Read it Now. Deep in Don Quixote, for a while I convinced myself that Cervantes had written the footnotes too, and the Quixote commentators the editor cited were actually made up by Cervantes He messes with you like that he plays so many tricks that you end up thinking anything is possible.Four months later I pick up Borges, andhere he is doing exactly that. Writing essays about imaginary books, with footnotes pointing to other imaginary commenters on the same imaginary books Layer on layer of fiction.Obviously I m not the first to point out that Borges is Cervantes spiritual descendant The first was Borges, orlikely some guy Borges made up One of his persistent themes is the relative reality of literature, and I always think of Richard III there are two of them the monster in Shakespeare s play and the slightly less monstrous asshole in real life But Shakespeare s version is way better known In fact, his is so dominant that most people assume it s the only one Richard III is cited as a warning story, used as a measuring stick for other monstrous leaders So isn t hereal than the real one Hasn t he hadimpact on history Borges is obsessed with this idea, as in Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius, in which a secret cabal writes an encyclopedia of an imaginary world so detailed and convincing that it takes over the real world Not like this is his personal idea Yeats deals with it, and Nabokov, and the King in Yellow And She Hulk And it s half the joke of Don Quixote The second half, to be precise Borges also, BTW, in The Garden of Forking Paths, suggests a quantum multiverse that scientists would begin to take almost seriously fifty years later The possibility of a particle being in two places at once suggests the possibility that, given a choice, both outcomes always happen, with reality forking infinitely off and there being as many times as points on a line Which is, like, whoa, man, and then Borges wrote a story about it I made the mistake of blazing through all of Ficciones on a flight these are not stories to read in great gulps Since then I ve read them intermittently, and I m occasionally going back to Ficciones to take those one at a time as well They re so intense and I might as well just use the word labyrinthine that you need to chew on each one for a while Universal History of Iniquity is Borges first collection, and it s unlike the others a series of almost straight forward stories rewritten from sources The only hint of Borges upcoming trickery is the fact that sometimes the story he tells is radically different from its source, or not from that source at all And how would I know that if I hadn t read the notes The final story, Man on Pink Corner or Streetcorner Man, hints at the Borges to come.With Ficciones he s suddenly here, apparently with no awkward middle period This is his best stuff staggeringly original and weird.At its best, The Aleph matches Ficciones, but at its worst, it reminds one uncomfortably of M Night Shyamalan Borges has developed an O Henry esque obsession with twist endings, so that halfway through each story you start to guess what the twist is Borges is still Borges, so you re often wrongbut being right even once is unworthy of him.Many of The Maker s stories are just sketches, tiny little puzzles Whereas in Ficciones Borges wrote papers about imaginary books, now it sometimes seems like he s writing abstracts of the papers about the imaginary books It works better than I ve made it sound, and this is my second favorite of his collections.The remainder of the collection In Praise of Darkness, Brodie s Report, Book of Sand and Shakespeare s Memory isspotty At times Undr it feels like Borges is just kinda flipping the switch on the crazy idea machine Others Shakespeare s Memory stand up to his best stuff easily.As I told Alasse below I feel like I ve been waiting for Borges all my life He will take the rest of my life to read. Islam tells us that on the unappealable Day of Judgement, all who have perpetrated images of living things will reawaken with their works, and will be ordered to blow life into them, and they will fail, and they and their works will be cast into the fires of punishment.Only Borges could possibly have made such a statement at the beginning of a short story called Covered Mirrors under The Maker 1960 in this multi faceted selection of mesmerizing and fascinating short stories.Why I began with The Maker which is halfway through the book still deludes me but I m glad that I began here Admittedly the author is now beginning to enter into an older period in life as he s now sixty It s basically rather a random collection of works but they immediately entice one and show the broad spectrum of Borges works His themes are rather fascinating, that of dreams, mirrors, slashing of throats, libraries amongst other things butbizarre is his love of tigers When he was young he was just rather taken with them and I guess that was that In my childhood, I was a fervent worshipper of the tigers not the jaguar, that spotted tiger that inhabits the floating islands of water hyacinths along the Parana and the tangled wilderness of the , but the true tiger, the striped Asian breed that can be faced only by men of war, in a castle atop an elephant.Can you imagine, one moment we have a short story on dreamtigers, one on toenails now that was extraordinary to say the least and then one on mirrors Diverse indeed but fascinating I would love to be able to understand Borges thought processes but I never will of course He has tantalized me with his views on life and it never ceases to amaze me how authors come up with these brilliant ideas.The book is divided up into different sections during Borges life starting with A Universal History of Iniquity in 1935 with further sections Fictions 1941, Artifices 1944, The Aleph 1949, The Maker 1960, In Praise of Darkness 1969, Brodies Report 1970, The Book of Sand 1975 and Shakespeare s Memory 1983.The short stories are all brilliant and one can literally open up at any page and continue to be delighted.And my favourite section Well it has to be the final one Shakespeare s Memory It says it all and it is for you to read this book to find out But the Library of Babel is also a must read under The Garden of Forking Paths 1941 This is the most exquisite writing on a library I loved it And remember Borges was Director of the Argentine National Library from 1955 until 1973.The beauty of this book is that the translator, Andrew Hurley very kindly gave copious notes on all sections I felt as though I was at university again while a lecturer went into full flight with his favourite subject.I absolutely loved this book. For the last year or so, I ve been working at a film studios As I wander around the site, what I find most fascinating is not star spotting they tend to be shielded from prying eyes anyway but the many and varied pre production activities needed to make the magic of cinema a reality building sets and props puppet people in motion capture suits food carts for the crews the whir of industrial generators cabling for light and sound the making of costumes, weapons and jewellery Real, tangible crafts, performed by and for living, breathing people.Reading Borges multi layerd and ambiguous blending of truth and imagination has made me consider what is real, and what is fiction in new ways At the studios, there are sets within sets, to tell stories within stories, as well as different versions of the same story First, there was a traditional fairytale, then Uncle Walt s team made a blockbuster animation of it, and now they re making a live action version That in itself prompts philosophical musings, but there sto it than that Even this real version of the story is illusory The huge and impressive sets are made of cheap timber, plaster, plastic and polystyrene their beauty is skin deep, and best viewed from a distance Blue and green screen are used for backgrounds and special effects Maybe audiences will think the sets are CGI as well, so why have builders, carpenters, and sculptors been toiling for months to create the ephemeral palaces of dreams Would such a misapprehension diminish or enhance the importance of their work This question becomespersonal I write help and user guides for software if no one reads what I write, is my effort worthless, my job pointless In a few months, the sets will be dismantled, props and costumes repurposed or thrown away But an impression will live on in the digital realm and people s memories Ephemeral or not Real or not Last month, I touched Chitty Chitty Bang Bang She s real The publications in this volume of Collected Fictions are reviewed individually 1935, A Universal History of Iniquity 3 plain, macho storiesThen a group of philosophical, mind warping stories 1941, The Garden of Forking Paths 6 , which includes Tl n, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius 6 The Library of Babel 6 1944, Artifices 6 1949, The Aleph 6 1960, Dreamtigers aka The Maker 5 , which includes 1969, In Praise of Darkness 6 1970, Brodie s Report 4 back to plainer,realistic stories, but some have a deeper,ambiguous aspect 1975, The Book of Sand 6 another switch back to the style I like best It includesThe Congress 5 1983, Shakespeare s Memory 6 the master s final four stories are a triumph. There exists a relatively small amount of commentary on this short riddle like tale written by the Argentinian fabulist Jorge Luis Borges 1899 1986 Perhaps the reasons have to do with the impenetrable, sphinxlike nature of the secret cult he speaks of and the existence of what Borges refers to as the Secret that s with a capital S of this secret cult being, well, a secret So, with all the secrecy, I will keep my comments brief Below my comments I have included the tale itself From the tone of this Borges tale, we are given the unmistakable impression the Secret is revealed only through direct experience Without such immediate first hand initiation, anybody, no matter how well read or intellectually savvy, not matter how well traveled or wise in worldly things, will forever remain on the outside looking in.Terence McKenna, an American ethnobotanist and field researcher who has made a lifetime study of the use of plants with psychedelic properties by tribespeople and indigenous cultures, upholds the Secret refers to religious practice based on the use of hallucinogenic plants that have existed for millennia Considering the large number of tribes and indigenous peoples both prior to and in the year 1952 when Borges wrote this tale along with the author s including such language as since there is no human group which does not included partisans of the Phoenix McKenna s interpretation makes abundance sense A close cousin to imbibing powerful hallucinogens are the intense physical practices within the yogic and tantric traditions from the East Usually many years of vigorous, demanding discipline is required to receive higher teaching to activate one s subtle energy body these traditions use such technical terms as kundalini and chakras I refer to these practices since a number of interpreters of The Cult of the Phoenix point to specific passages within the text as evidence the Secret that Borges is citing is sexual intercourse or evenspecifically, homosexual intercourse And what, you may ask, is the link between sexual intercourse and these Eastern physical practices These esoteric traditions speak of the union of male female, Shiva Shakti energies within one s own physical body and subtle energy body To maintain secrecy, many times the gurus, rishis and teachers of these esoteric practices have used conventional sexual language to represent what is happening on the spiritual level Additionally, since the practitioners are awakening both male and female subtle energies within their one and same body, in this sense there is also a homosexual component Perhaps another distant cousin are the mystics and the path of mysticism within the three great Western monotheistic religious traditions as well as the esoteric teachings within Buddhism, most especially Tibetan Buddhism Matter of fact, in the tale Borges mentions Buddhism specifically We need only think of those Buddhist monks and solitary hermits in the land of snow with their chanting, visualizations and hyperphysical practices such as tummo meditation So, is Borges secret Cult of the Phoenix really about hallucinogenic plants, esoteric Eastern traditions or religious mysticism Aren t we as far distant as we can possibly be from the reflections and storytelling of a refined, bookish aesthete such as Jorge Luis Borges Yes and no Unless biographers have missed something, it doesn t appear the author had initiation into any of these practices or traditions However, Borges being Borges, he had sometime that in many respects was even stronger medicine an unbounded, creative imagination THE CULT OF THE PHOENIX by Jorge Luis BorgesThose who write that the sect of the Phoenix originated in Heliopolis, and make it derive from the religious restoration which followed the death of the reformer Amenhotep IV, cite texts by Herodotus, Tacitus, and inscriptions from the Egyptian monuments but they ignore, or try to ignore, the fact that the denomination of the sect by the name of Phoenix is not prior to Rabanus Manrus, and that the most ancient sources the Saturnalia, or Flavius Josephus, let us say speak only of the People of Custom or the People of the Secret Gregorovius had already observed, in the Conventicles of Ferrara, that any mention of the Phoenix was extremely rare in oral language In Geneva, I have spoken to artisans who did not understand me when I asked if they were men of the Phoenix, but who admitted, in the next breath, that they were men of the Secret Unless I am mistaken, the same phenomenon is observable among the Buddhists the name by which they are known to the world is not the same as the one they themselves pronounce Miklosie, in an overly famous page, has compared the sectarians of the Phoenix with the gypsies In Chile and in Hungary there are sectarians of the Phoenix and there are also gypsies beyond their ubiquity, they have very little in common The gypsies are horsedealers, tinkers, smiths, and fortune tellers the sectarians tend to practice the liberal professions successfully The gypsies are of a certain definite physical type, and they speak or used to speak secret language the sectarians are indistinguishable from the rest of the world the proof of it is that they have not suffered persecutions Gypsies are picturesque and inspire bad poets Narrative verse, colored lithographs, and boleros pay no heed to the sectarians Martin Buber declares that Jews are essentially pathetic not all sectarians are, and some of them despise pathos, this public and notorious fact suffices to refute the vulgar error absurdly defended by Urmann which sees in the Phoenix a derivative of Israel People thinkor less as follows Urmann was a sensitive man, Urmann was a Jew, Urmann associated with the sectarians in the ghetto at Prague the affinity felt by Urmann serves to prove a fact I cannot in good faith agree with this judgement The fact that sectarians in a Jewish environment should resemble Jews does not prove anything the undeniable fact is that they resemble, like Hazlitt s infinite Shakespeare, all the men of the world They are everything to all men, like the Apostle Only a short time ago Doctor Juan Francisco Amaro, of Paysandu, marveled at the ease with which they became Spanish Americans I have mentioned that the history of the sect does not record persecutions Still, since there is no human group which does not included partisans of the Phoenix, it is also true that there has never been a persecution which they have not suffered or a reprisal they have not carried out Their blood has been spilled, through the centuries, under opposing enemy flags, in the wars of the West and in the remote battles of Asia It has availed them little to identify themselves with all the nations of earth Lacking a sacred book to unify them as the Scripture does Israel, lacking a common memory, lacking that other social memory which is language, scattered across the face of the earth, differing in color and features only, one thing the Secret unites them and will unite them until the end of time Once upon a time, in addition to the Secret, there was a legend and perhaps also a cosmogonic myth , but the superficial men of the Phoenix have forgotten it, and today they conserve only the obscure tradition of some cosmic punishment of a punishment, or a pack, or a privilege, for the versions differ, and they scarcely hint at the verdict of a God who grants eternity to a race of men if they will only carry out a certain rite, generation after generation I have compared the testimony of travelers I have conversed with patriarchs and theologians and I can testify that the performance of the rite is the only religious practice observed by the sectarians The rite itself constitutes the Secret And the Secret, as I have already indicated, is transmitted from generation to generation, but usage does not favor mothers teaching it to their sons, nor is it transmitted by priests Initiation into the mystery is the task of individuals of the lowest order A slave, a leper, a beggar plays the role of mystagogue A child can indoctrinate another child In itself the act is trivial, momentary, and does not require description The necessary materials are cork, wax or gum Arabic In the liturgy there is mention of silt this, to, is often used There are not temples specially dedicated to the celebration of the cult a ruin, a cellar, an entrance way are considered propitious sites The Secret is sacred, but it is also somewhat ridiculous The practice of the mystery is furtive and even clandestine, and its adepts do not speak about it There are no respectable words to describe it, but it is understood that all words refer to it, or better, that they inevitably allude it it, and thus, in dialogue with initiates, when I have prattled about anything at all, they have smiled enigmatically or taken offense, for they have felt that I have touched upon the Secret In Germanic literature there are poems written by sectarians, whose nominal theme is the sea, say, or the evening twilight but they are, I can hear someone say, in some measure symbols of the Secret As stated by DuCange in his Glossary, by way of apocryphal proverb Orbis terrarium est speculum Ludi A kind of sacred horror prevents some of the faithful from practicing the extremely simple ritual the others despise them for it, but they despise themselves evenOn the other hand, those sectarians who deliberately renounce the Custom and manage to engage in direct communication with the divinity enjoy a large measure of credit To make this commerce manifest, these latter sectarians have recourse to figures from the liturgy, thus John of the Rood wrote May the Nine Firmaments know that God is a delightful as cork or muck.I have enjoyed the friendship of devotees of the Phoenix on three continents it seems clear to me that at first the Secret struck them as something paltry, distressing, vulgar and what is even stranger incredible They could not reconcile themselves to the fact that their ancestors had lowered themselves to such conduct The odd thing is that the Secret has not be lost long ago despite the vicissitudes of the world, despite wars and exoduses, in its tremendous fashion, to all the faithful One commentator has not hesitated to assert that it is already instinctive Merged review If asked to suggest a one word key as a humble first step to unlock the worlds and mysteries of Jorge Luis Borges, my answer would be labyrinths Here are two Borges quotes There is no need to build a labyrinth when the entire universe is one It only takes two facing mirrors to build a labyrinth Many Borges tales have references, either direct or indirect, to labyrinths, my favorite, a one pager entitled The Two Kings and the Two Labyrinths Here is my write up Synopsis An ancient Babylonian king has a labyrinth constructed confusing and subtle in the extreme, thus nobody with an ounce of sense dare enter Indeed, so convoluted and twisted, so baffling and wondrous, his labyrinth was unseemly in the eyes of God The king of the Arabs pays a visit to court and, as a way to mock the simplicity of his guest, the Babylonian encourages the Arab to enter his labyrinth Thus, the Arab king wanders for hours, bewildered and disgraced, until evening when he calls upon God s help and finally locates the exit The Arab king says nothing but returns a second time to Babylon with an army and destroys the city and captures his former host The Arab king takes the Babylonian king many miles out into the desert and, before abandoning the Babylonian, tells him as repayment for being treated to his convoluted Babylonian labyrinth, this is his labyrinth.Pattern In an interview, Borges once said how the universe as labyrinth is really encouraging news since the very existence of a labyrinth implies the universe contains both pattern and structure muchpreferable than complete chaos Sidebar The difference between labyrinth and maze a labyrinth has only one path to follow, whereas a maze offers a number of paths to choose from However, this is not a hard and fast rule since there are some labyrinths with multiple paths and some mazes with only one path.Borges Link This short tale is read by a character in another of his stories Ibn Hakam al Bokhari, Murdered in His Labyrinth Also, wise to keep in mind the image of a labyrinth, both Babylonian and Arab, when reading other Borges tales, for example, The Aleph was probably two or three centimeters in diameter, but universal space was contained inside it, with no diminution in size, or, It is not as though the Zahir were made of glass, since one side is not superimposed upon the other rather, it is as though the vision were itself spherical, with the Zahir rampant in the center Or, as in the story, There Are More Things where a nephew investigates his uncle s monstrous house now belonging to an extraterrestrial beingMinotaur than man.Babylonian Labyrinth I myself envision the cubicles in a modern office building forming a convoluted labyrinth with a mean spirited worker as the stand in for Minotaur Of course, some of these labyrinths will havethan one Minotaur, while some others might be fortunate to have none finding out the number is half the challenge Also, the various reams of data that must be understood, assimilated and handled addabstract dimensions to our office labyrinth, making it maze like, with multiple choices and paths available.Desert Labyrinth, One I can really empathize with the Babylonian king out in the middle of the desert since I had an extraordinarily vivid dream when in my early 20s Here s the dream the mountains and ground and sky and sun along with my own body shake as if in a cataclysmic earthquake The convulsions become so extreme the entire universe crumbles and comes to an end all that remains is an infinite blackness and my own consciousness I m in a state of shock, having witnessed the end of the universe I behold the infinite darkness and remain in this shocked state for many minutes, wondering what I should be thinking at this point Then, gradually I felt my fingers ah, fingers touching something soft oh, yes, the sheets of my bed Slowly, very slowly, I woke up What a relief the universe coming to an end was only a dream Desert Labyrinth, Two Of course, there is are critical differences 1 the Babylonian king in the desert remained a man in his body whereas in my dream I was bodiless, and 2 the desert is a specific landscape on our planet whereas the infinite blackness of my dream was, well, infinite and undifferentiated Sidebar It was this vivid dream that in large measure motivated me to seek a meditation teacher and initiate a lifetime meditation practice Desert Labyrinth, Three Several years ago I had a similar vivid dream, a dream where I died and all that remained was my consciousness and an infinite darkness This time, however, since I had many years of meditation practice, I relaxed into the experience and felt restful, even blissful These two encounters with infinity really brought home for me how when it comes to the desert labyrinth in its various manifestations, much of what we undergo is mind created I relay all this as a way of underscoring the truth of how Jorge Luis Borges judges literature.Borges Judges Life and Literature In an interview, Borges said, Many people are apt to think of real life on the one side, that means toothache, headache, traveling and so on, and then you have on the other side, you have imaginary life and fancy and that means the arts But I don t think that that distinction holds water, I think that everything is a part of life I agree the longer I live, the less weight I give to people who are realists, those folks who place hard facts above imagination, storytelling, poetry and the arts For me, such realism bespeaks how one is trapped in a Babylonian labyrinth.This Borges tale is available on line review The myth of the Minotaur goes back to ancient Greece, the Minotaur being a creature part man and part bull dwelling at the center of an elaborate maze like labyrinth on the island of Crete But who since the time of the ancient Greeks over two thousand years ago has ever thought to explore this vivid mythic tale with the Minotaur as the first person narrator Answer Argentina s master fabulist and storyteller Jorge Luis Borges 1899 1986 Reading this Borges short story over the years has prompted me to ask the following questions Below the questions, is the classic tale itself The Minotaur is man like enough to share the very human experience of frustration and boredom and the Minotaur yearns for release How do we in our daily lives escape these conditions, if at all Is our vision of eternal life a life free of frustration and boredom, a life where the experience of time dissolves What would be the qualities of a life completely transcending frustration and boredom Or, a life transcending clock time itself with all our reflections on the past and projections into the future Is this possible in our current form or is this an experience we envision possible only after our death Similar to many other readers, the ending of this Borges tale caught me by surprise What does this say about our very human tendency to project qualities and mindsets onto mythic creatures Put another way, do we think just because a creature is not completely human that creature s experience of life has nearly nothing in common with our own Why does the Minotaur rely on a redeemer to release him Why didn t it occur to him to take aactive role in his own release, his own escape Does the Minotaur envision his release as one into oblivion, or is this simply our own very human projection Lastly, what s with all the numbers Especially number fourteen and number nine As modern people have we lost our sense of numbers containing a kind of magic and symbolically charged meaning THE HOUSE OF ASTERION by Jorge Luis BorgesAnd the queen gave birth to a child who was called Asterion.Apollodorus Bibliotecha III, II know they accuse me of arrogance, and perhaps misanthropy, and perhaps of madness Such accusations for which I shall exact punishment in due time are derisory It is true that I never leave my house, but it is also true that its doors whose numbers are infinite footnote The original says fourteen, but there is ample reason to infer that, as used by Asterion, this numeral stands for infinite are open day and night to men and to animals as well Anyone may enter He will find here no female pomp nor gallant court formality, but he will find quiet and solitude And he will also find a house like no other on the face of this earth There are those who declare there is a similar one in Egypt, but they lie Even my detractors admit there is not one single piece of furniture in the house Another ridiculous falsehood has it that I, Asterion,

Jorge Francisco Isidoro Luis Borges Acevedo, usually referred to as Jorge Luis Borges Spanish pronunciation xo xe lwis bo xes , was an Argentine writer and poet born in Buenos Aires In 1914, his family moved to Switzerland where he attended school and traveled to Spain On his return to Argentina in 1921, Borges began publishing his poems and essays in Surrealist literary journals He also wo

[Reading] ➸ Cuentos completos Author Jorge Luis Borges –
  • Paperback
  • 565 pages
  • Cuentos completos
  • Jorge Luis Borges
  • English
  • 27 August 2019
  • 9780140286809

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