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Tl

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MadArchitect

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Tl

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aegis.ateneo.net/fted/tlontext.htmI suspect this won't appeal to many, but I thought I'd throw out a link to one of my favorite stories by one of my favorite authors, the Argentinian godfather of surrealist fiction, Jorge Luis Borges. Let me know what you think.
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Chris OConnor

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Re: Tl

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This thread is the first one that sticks with the original intention of this new Short Story forum. You've suggested a short story. The story is available for free online. And you have included a link so members can read the story for free online. I'll read it as soon as my girlfriend turns off the TV. We have it on while we're in bed and I'm typing on the laptop. I can't read a story with the noise from the TV.What makes you like the story/author so much, Mad? And why do you think the average BookTalk member won't find it as appealing?
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Loricat
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Tlon's "transparent tigers and towers of blood" are now a part of me......but what does it all mean? "All beings are the owners of their deeds, the heirs to their deeds." Loricat's Book NookCelebrating the Absurd
MadArchitect

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Chris, I like Borges stories because he obviously enjoys playing with ideas, draws from a broad range of cultural influences, and has the good grace to avoid the quagmire of trying to make it all into something it isn't. Part and parcel of that is keeping things brief. Most of the surrealist writers who followed him didn't follow his example in that regard. When Borges came up with an idea for a conceptual novel, for instance, he found it more efficient to simply write a review of that novel, as though it did exist, rather than write the novel itself. You might call that laziness, I suppose, but I think that Borges simply recognized that hardly anyone really enjoys reading 1200 pages that are all meant to illustrate a concept that can be summarized in about 1200 words.Borges is an acquired taste, though. He is playing broadly with ideas, and if you feel a strong attachment to the usual narrative style, then you're not likely to enjoy his ruminations and summarizations. Give the story a try. You'll see what I mean.
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Loricat
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Quote:When Borges came up with an idea for a conceptual novel, for instance, he found it more efficient to simply write a review of that novel, as though it did exist, rather than write the novel itself.I definitely don't see this as laziness -- it takes a different kind of mental flexibility & creativity to imagine a wider vista for a work of fiction than just the work of fiction.(Hmm. Not making myself clear. Must add pop culture references that may or may not alienate Mad... )Two come to mind right away, but I'm sure I've got more stirring around in my brain. The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension is one. Sure it was a load of camp/SF fun, but look at the imaginitive scope of it: written and shot to make the viewer feel like they'd landed in the middle of a serial of different stories, characters not introduced, because the audience 'would' already know them (the novelization is a work of art that stands so far ahead of that cheesy genre that it creates its own). Another example...The Phillip Pullman His Dark Materials series (fantasy) is very well-written. Loved the first two books...the world & magic he has envisioned are out of this world. I remember reading along, not able to put the book down, and then I got to the end of the 2nd book, thinking to myself "oh, this is going to be good!", feeling a little giddy, and then, pow. Disappointment. He'd gone to the heights of imagination, only to come down to a rather old idea, almost a cliche (sorry to be vague, but I hate spoilers).The point to this low-brow meandering, is that I do appreciate Borges' story, because it's out there on a limb, taking liberties, so to speak, with the 'normal' narrative expectations. And it's interesting. And the poetry of language -- and that's only in translation! Imagine it in the original Spanish! [Am I making an assumption here? All of his poetry I've read has been translated...]But I do have to read it again! "All beings are the owners of their deeds, the heirs to their deeds." Loricat's Book NookCelebrating the Absurd
MadArchitect

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I think he originally wrote in Portugeuse. He's from Beunos Ares -- am I wrong in thinking that's the national language? But yeah, Borges definitely has a poet's ear for language. He wrote an essay one time about his love on English, and in it he compared the English word "moon" to the Spanish "luna", and found reasons to recommend both. What came through most strikingly, though, was his love for both words.I've read the first of the Pullman books ("The Golden Compass" stateside -- the British title was something like "Northern Lights", right?), but haven't gotten around to the second book yet. Don't get me wrong. I enjoyed the first one. That's just how I tend to handle stories spread out over multiple books. I like giving the first book time to settle in my thoughts. Anyway, thanks for not including a spoiler there.If you're interested in Borges, I'd suggest tracking down a copy of "Ficciones", which is the book I cut my teeth on, and serves as a good introduction to his work. Penguin has also rereleased a lot of his small collections lately, and they're all worth checking out.
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Loricat
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Well, when you get around to the 2nd Pullman book, dive right in, enjoy, and don't worry about my pov on the ending (which is really the set up for the 3rd, like the 1st) -- my gut reaction has nothing really to do with the elements of his prose.And Spanish is the language of Buenos Aires -- it's in Argentina. It's the Brazilians who fala portugues (I lived in Brazil for a year when I was a teen). "All beings are the owners of their deeds, the heirs to their deeds." Loricat's Book NookCelebrating the Absurd
MadArchitect

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Ah, you're right. I don't know why I consistently get the location of Buenos Ares mixed up. You'd think I'd know since I have a friend from there who most definitely spoke Spanish. I seem to have Borges and Diego settled in completely non-consecutive compartments in my brain.
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