Some Borges Quote

Or yes, and as quoted in the same Parks piece and approvingly remarked on elsewhere, I must heartily agree with Borges’ comment:

most people have so little aesthetic sense they rely on other criteria to judge the works they read.

If, like the good philosophers we are, we test this sentiment by generalising it and taking out “the works they read” and replacing it with “stuff”….

I often find myself staring at a sunset thinking: if only I knew what the majority consensus was, or if this sunset considered itself right-wing…

For those who cannot bear anyone to suspect that Borges wasn’t the great intellectual that’s sometimes made out – that he was in fact something of a faker (well, he wrote “ficcion” didn’t he?) – here’s what your opinions sound like. – Bolaño should show the master more respect.



13 thoughts on “Some Borges Quote

  1. I’ve always found Borges a bit boring, rather like sunsets now I come to think of it. Yes, you appreciate the fine qualities of what you’re looking at, but there’s always a small voice suggesting that there must be something more interesting to do. It’s not a voice I hear, for instance, when watching television drama.

  2. No, the voices you hear while watching television drama are VERY LOUD ONES, emanating from the television itself. SHOUTING = DRAMA.

  3. Well, the argument isn’t really whether Borges was a “great <i.intellectual“, is it?, but rather that he was a great writer. Sure, the idears that his stories enact have become cliches, puppets of the clumsy-clawed unstoppably thrilled to have ‘gotten it’. But the stories are beautifully-enough written to be “great” literature – to some of us prize-givers. And it’s “Borges” that’s been an effective propellent for those idears and techniques having achieved that cliche-status – why blame him for his popularity?

    That Manguel hit-piece fits the Great Debunker bill, right? “[A]n annotated phone book” sounds like Manguel’s own Dictionary of Imaginary Places – I’m waiting for Nazi Literature in the Americas to come out here in paper, so I can “sense” its “aesthetic” qualities for myself.

    I do expect its pages to have been bound and cut in a way appropriately critical of hegemonic accumulation strategies.

  4. This should be good: Mowbray ‘I hate sunsets, love and Milton’ The Populist Iconoclast vs Obooki ‘The Closing Of The British Mind’ Bloom. I’ll get the popcorn…

  5. I would thought that Borges’ stories aren’t long enough to be boring.

    Of course today’s kids like MM have a different threshold for these things but I’d imagine a Borges story would be a slightly demanding but not too difficult long novel for the post-MTV generation in the way Lord of the Rings was a long but not too difficult story for me when I was 14.

    Page-turner would be overstating the case a there usually isn’t a page to turn.

  6. B’s stories tend, for me, to be boring when you read more than one in too short a peroid of time, say a year. There’s a sameness about them.

  7. I imagine by B you mean Borges, Billy.

    I’d like to take back the aspersions I cast on Alberto Manguel’s judgement. Having started reading Bolano’s The Savage Detectives, I’ve suddenly come to the conclusion that he is vastly overrated. The work reminds me a bit of Adrian Mole, for instance (particularly the final entry):

    December 1

    I didn’t go to the Fonts’ house. I spent all day having sex with Rosario.

    December 3

    I have to admit that I have more fun in bed with Rosario than with Maria.

    December 5

    …Today Rosario and I had sex from midnight until four-thirty in the morning and I clocked her again. She came ten times, I came twice. And yet the time we spent making love was longer than yesterday. Between poems (as Rosario slept), I made some calculations. If you come fifteen times in four hours, in four and a half hours you should come eighteen times, not ten. The same ratio goes for me. Are we already in a rut?

    I sure hope this work ends up going somewhere, because it hasn’t so far in 87 pages; – and you know, something tells me it won’t.

  8. Yes, I meant Borges. I tried a Bolano book once, but got nowhere with it, short stories with the word insufferable aptly in the title. At least Borges was good for my Spanish. Unamuno remains the best Spanish fictionist I’ve read, apart from Cervantes. Carmen Laforet was a better writer than Borges, but she tends to get shunted off into the “women’s writing” box. Vallejo’s Tungsten is a good novel, too. But Bolano, no thanks

  9. Pingback: Антон Павлович

  10. Вы правильно, Anton. Он любознательная тема, но не как любознательон как ваш вебсайт…

  11. Aw, come on – stop confusing me. It’s bad enough I get all this Russian spam I can’t make head or tail of.

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