Thursday, October 23, 2008


Argentina Today
For nnyhav

[quote author=Beppo link=topic=36.msg28778#msg28778 date=1188943312]
Midway in our life's journey, I went astray [/quote]

Sounds familiar…

[quote author=elportenito1 link=topic=36.msg28900#msg28900 date=1188999015] Peron didn't take power, he was VOTED as president in normal democratic elections [/quote]

Sounds familiar…probably rigged.

[quote author=martinbeck3 link=topic=36.msg28962#msg28962 date=1189012767]
It was strange -living in the days of the Junta [/quote]

Yeah, well, here we go…

[quote author=nnyhav link=topic=36.msg28936#msg28936 date=1189007248] I suppose I could have narrowed it down with [i]ophioleogenously[/i], but t'other seemed more euphonic.

Ah, déjà vu…

“The Wheel fell to the Cross (in Runic crosses the two enemy emblems coexist, intertwined), but the secret battle between John and Aurelian continued”—Borges, “The Theologians,” Fictions, 203

[quote author=nnyhav link=topic=36.msg28958#msg28958 date=1189012410]
pugey—elport's Inferno cite answered your question best, but not wrt Borges: [/quote]

“Shortly after the coup, the new head of government, General Jorge Videla, invited Borges to lunch…

“One such work entitled Cosmogonias appeared in September 1976. This luxurious volume contains only six poems by Borges (of which four had appeared in previous collections) Each poem is accompanied by sumptuous illustrations done by a well-known Argentinean artist. This is the ultimate coffee table book, the supreme object in the cult of Borges…”

“In addition to deluxe editions, the cult of Borges has spawned a new subgenre which might be called paraliterary or hagiographic works "on" or "with Borges." An entire shelf could be filled with all the "interviews," "talks," and "dialogues" in which he has recently participated…”

“To those who are familiar with his writings, Borges's transformation into a public personality is of supreme irony. As he once noted, "My opinions have no importance. Only my works matter." This is not false modesty on the author's part. He considers the details of his life to be without interest. Like Henry James or Flaubert, Borges has defined his existence in terms of two activities: reading and writing…”

“Borges's protagonists tend to be shadowy figures. Their creator is interested in their works rather than in their origins, background, or psychological motivation. Thus while their ideas are presented in a concrete fashion, they are nearly nonexistent as men…”

“In numerous poems, essays, and short stories he suggests that the notion of individual personality is but an illusion fostered by an equally false notion of linear time. At other intersections of space and time an individual may be totally different--even the opposite--of what he appears to be now…”

[quote author=martinbeck3 link=topic=36.msg28962#msg28962 date=1189012767]
“If you went to the Cosmos Cinema (artistic films club ) you could be arrested. We tried not to laugh too loud in the street because then police could ask you for your *cedula* -papers- and start asking questions trying to see what you were laughing about!”

Sounds eerily familiar…

[quote author=nnyhav link=topic=36.msg28958#msg28958 date=1189012410]
pugey—elport's Inferno cite answered your question best, but not wrt Borges: [/quote]

“Thus in The Other Death the coward dies as a hero on the battlefield; in The Circular Ruins the dreamer is an invention of someone else; in Pierre Menard, Author of 'Don Quijote' the reader is the creator of the work of art.”

“In Pierre Menard the notion of interchangeable identities receives its fullest and most complex elaboration. Menard is a contemporary French man of letters who sets out to compose two chapters of Don Quijote. His aim is not to copy but to invent them…That is to say, in the act of reading, Menard develops the implications of Cervantes's text, thereby transforming the Spaniards work into a kind of "palimpsest" in which traces of Menard's future are visible...”

“In this paradoxical manner, Borges underscores the importance of the reader in the creative process. Like the author, the reader actively participates in the elaboration of the work of art…”

“For this reason, in the preface to his first collection of poems published in 1923 (Fervor de Buenos Aires) Borges apologized to his reader for having "usurped" his verses and said, "it is but a trivial and fortuitous circumstance that you are the reader of these exercises and I am the author…”

“If the reader is such an important element in the creative process, if (as is the case of Pierre Menard and Cervantes) reader and author are fused, then an author's name and the details of his life ultimately do not matter…”

"The fact that when I am writing I am stressing certain peculiarities of mind and omitting others has led me to think of Jorge Luis Borges as a creature of fancy. This suspicion is strengthened by the existence of so many articles and studies that deal with him…"

“In a famous passage entitled, "Borges and I," he even suggests that the other Borges, "the one whom things happen to," has preempted his very existence…”

“And that is the paradox underlying the current cult of Borges in Argentina…”

“…the principle of "biographical invisibility"

[quote author=martinbeck3 link=topic=36.msg28965#msg28965 date=1189013290]
BOQUITA, an avatar is who you are in the web. Like your *double*. [/quote]

I picked up and opened my copy of Edwin Williamson’s Borges: A Life. I hadn’t read it yet—but now I must. The chapter I opened to was “Borges Against Peron (1950-1955) with page 311 beginning “The paranoia that imbues “The Waiting” reflects the rising tension in Argentina at the time…”

My Double said: “It’s already happening again…”

[quote author=nnyhav link=topic=36.msg28958#msg28958 date=1189012410]
pugey—elport's Inferno cite answered your question best, but not wrt Borges: [/quote]

“In addition to falsifying his image, the cult of Borges has taken on certain ideological overtones…”

“It now provides indirect justification for the present government in Argentina. Borges's support of the military regime of Videla seems to be founded upon his intense dislike of Videla's predecessor, Juan Peron. This dislike began in the 1940s even before Peron became President for the first time. A liberal who had favored the Spanish Republic, Borges objected to Peron's fascistic policies and in particular to his support of Nazi Germany. When Peron became President, he demoted Borges from his post as municipal librarian to the rank of poultry inspector. He even imprisoned the writer's mother and sister…”

“When the Peronists were again elected in 1973, he called it a "government of scoundrels." In an interview with a Brazilian newspaper in 1975 he said: "When I think of the cases of torture [in Argentina] I have the impression that my country is disintegrating morally as well as economically." In March 1976, when a friend informed him that Isabela Peron had been overthrown, Borges embraced him and wept. When he met Videla, he thanked him for "having liberated the country from the infamy which we bore…”

“Borges hated Peron because he was a demagogue who practiced torture and suppressed civil liberties. And yet, he has now become a staunch supporter of a regime which is not substantially different. One can only conclude that he no longer espouses those principles of democracy which Peron threatened to destroy thirty years ago. In fact, when he was in Chile last year to receive that country's highest medal he said: "In and of itself a dictatorship doesn't seem reprehensible, one has to consider the particular circumstances. In itself empires don't seem to be wrong. The Roman Empire and the British Empire did a lot of good…”

[quote author=martinbeck3 link=topic=36.msg28962#msg28962 date=1189012767]
It was strange -living in the days of the Junta…You always had the feeling that you had made something wrong that would make somebody important mad and you would be punished…

“It is difficult to reconcile this image of Borges, spokesman for military dictatorships such as that of Videla or even Pinochet, with that of the Borges who wrote Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius, the story of a group of scholars who invent a planet…”

“They elaborate all of the aspects of life on Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius—its philosophical system, languages, ethics, and customs—Tlon becomes "real"…”

“Implicit in Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis, Tertius and in many of his stories is Borges's belief that the universe is incomprehensible. Any efforts to order experience are ultimately revealed to be false and inadequate. His skepticism extends to the realm of politics...”

“If that is the case, then he has betrayed those ideals which have infused all of his works. One can only conclude that the other Borges, the public figure, has taken over at last. Years ago the author himself foresaw this possibility: "little by little I am giving over everything to him, though I am quite aware of his perverse custom of falsifying and magnifying things..."

“In spite of his awareness of this danger, Borges has allowed his namesake to enter the political arena, where he now plays a key role in the propaganda apparatus of the Videla government. It is indeed to be regretted that he has become that government's most prestigious spokesman for the status quo, for it is a status quo built upon the destruction of democratic institutions and the repeated violation of human rights…”

“An example of this was seen in May 1976, when Borges met with Videla. Three other writers were present: Ernesto Sibato, Leonardo Castellani, and Horacio Esteban Ratti, President of the Writer's Union (SADE).”

“Because he objected to their presence, Borges undermined the potential power of public opinion which the Writer's Union had hoped to muster. In this instance, as a "living monument of national letters," he gave tacit approval to the regime's repressive policies…”

“Abroad, potential critics of the regime may be disarmed--after all, a government which has the support of Jorge Luis Borges can't be all that bad.”

[quote author=nnyhav link=topic=36.msg28890#msg28890 date=1188994603]
de gustibus non disputatum [/quote]

After reading Katherine Singer Kovac’s “Borges on the Right” essay in The Boston Review, I stopped dead in my tracks. This business of the Other is serious business—when the Other is appropriated, commandeered and subverted by TPTB for their own nefarious purposes. I looked behind my chair, I looked under my bed, I even looked in my closet. This Other of mine that I’ve been cultivating—this literary doppelganger of mine. I know he’s reacting to what I’ve just read—that he knows better than me what I’m writing now is getting close to him…

[quote author=elportenito1 link=topic=36.msg28900#msg28900 date=1188999015] Borges had in himself that confluence of contradictions which teared apart the country to this day. [/quote]

“It would be nice to say that Graham Greene just appeared one day in Yonda, the leprosy settlement in the Equateur Province of the then Belgian Congo where I was the doctor, stepping off the gangway of the bishop’s riverboat as Querry does in A Burnt-Out Case…”

“We tried to protect Greene from people’s curiosity. The most obvious nuisances were those who wanted his opinion on some manuscript they had in a drawer. The number of people in a colonial town looking for a publisher is amazing…”

“The settlement at Yonda was beginning to encroach on the equatorial forest, whose edges unfolded like huge green cliffs.
The great trees with their roots like the ribs of ships…”

“I believe that Greene was surprised by what he found in Yonda. Here disease rather than sin took precedence…”

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