Monday, August 29, 2011

Borges, the Blue Tigers

A lesser-known short story, online here.

The expressed horror at the a-rational foundation of reality situates him squarely within the tradition of strange fiction (see Hodgson's House on the Borderland) which was only then beginning to differentiate itself from other fiction. Borges even anticipated cyberpunk in a way. The ethno-cultural mishmash, the messy repurposing of rational social order, the uncertainty and crime and based motivations that lead, in the coordinatedness of the modern age and the future, to higher phenomena that are strangely alien to human experience, yet uniquely associated by humans.

It was strange to see an image of Borges ideas during Google's recent celebration of his 112th birthday. His work never presented itself to me visually. It's mostly about ideas and therefore highly semantic, and except for very specific experiences required to support the ideas in the story, not sensory at all. For example, the special color in the story I just posted; or the sensation of fire in The Circular Ruins. Borges remains the only non-English-language writer who I make a point of reading in his original language. This is why it seems quite strange to me that he's honored with a picture, rather than text. Consequently the Google Doodle didn't look to me like Borges but rather like Ultan the librarian from the start of Wolfe's Urth of the New Sun novels.

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