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Started by droqen, April 24, 2022, 08:08:48 AM

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I've been reading Jorge Luis Borges' Ficciones.


Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius


The Approach to Al-Mu'tasim


April 24, 2022, 08:31:11 AM #3 Last Edit: April 24, 2022, 08:34:53 AM by droqen
Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote

Note: contains spoilers for this short story, as well as for a pair of films from 2013 and 2016.

Set upon a background of blinding cyan, we can read 30 translations of Matsuo Basho's Frog Haiku. Each translation is necessarily imperfect and incomplete, and carries a little of the translator in it.

Borges' short story is reminiscent of a pair of films* which are about the non-use of time travel: not time travel as a tool for overcoming, but as a lens for the appreciation of life; with the power to change things, what if we left them exactly as they are?

I really enjoyed this one, the surreal take on reinterpretation of a work, as well as this line...

Quote[This] technique, requiring infinite patience and concentration, encourages us to [..] read Mme. Henri Bachelier's Le jardin du Centaure as though it were written by Mme. Henri Bachelier. This technique fills the calmest books with adventure.

It's an absurd curiosity to imagine reading a book as though it were written by a different author, but considering making the attempt is enough to unlock a new way of thinking. What if we applied that new way of thinking to the way things actually are? Partake of a work of art as though it were created by the person who in fact created it, but with the same mental consideration as if that were an equally absurd act to imagining it were created by some other person. (Or persons and/or process(es).)

What could we learn?

*Spoilers: the films are Arrival, and the ending of About Time


The Circular Ruins

I get what it's doing, but I did not think much of it.


The Lottery in Babylon

Similar vibes to The Circular Ruins... there is a setup, but I have no feelings about it afterwards