Other Inquisitions, 1937-1952

Other Inquisitions, 1937-1952

by Jorge Luis Borges

This remarkable book by one of the great writers of our time includes essays on a proposed universal language, a justification of suicide, a refutation of time, the nature of dreams, and the intricacies of linguistic forms.

  • Series: Obras completas
  • Language: English
  • Category: Writing
  • Rating: 4.37
  • Pages: 223
  • Publish Date: January 1st 1975 by University of Texas Press
  • Isbn10: 0292760027
  • Isbn13: 9780292760028

What People Think about "Other Inquisitions, 1937-1952"

In the Kabbalah universal history refers to the metaphorical contraction, breakage and restoration that are held to be fully present in all things, events and experiences at all times. Just as Borges says: the entire history of the cosmos in just a few metaphors. He continues this theme of revelation breaking into the present in The Dream of Coleridge in a somewhat Jungian tone, Perhaps an archetype not yet revealed to men, an eternal object (to use Whiteheads term) is gradually entering the world; its first manifestation was the palace; its second was the poem. The Zohar in the same spirit considers a dream un-interpreted as a letter unopened, already present but waiting to be revealed. Eternity is the explicit theme of Time and J. Borges makes an apparently non-denominational reference when he says, Theologians define eternity as the simultaneous and lucid possession of all instants of time and declare it to be one of the divine attributes. God lies in wait, Borges writes, in the intervals of time. Says one scholar of The Zohar, Letters, symbols, and speech serve for conveying spiritual knowledge, and attainment. For more on the Kabbalah, its symbolism, and its effect on literature see: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

Then Borges takes out his laptop and tells me he has read my review of his book of essays, Other Inquisitions. I am crestfallen, however, when he tells me that it is clear to him that I have reviewed his book without reading it. I look, and see my review there, with its mentions of the subjects of the essaysbooks, dreams, allegory, literature, philosophy, time. I look from the screen to Borges, whose expression is that of one who is waiting to hear the sound of a tree falling in the forest. On the front cover, above a photograph of a shelf full of books, there are the words Other Inquisitions by Jorge Luis Borges. Then, turning back to Borges, I see that he is holding the book out, waiting for me to take it.

Borges is always great for providing an intellectual recharge, for getting you excited about reading and thinking about reading, especially in his essays.

De una literatura provincial a una literatura mundial que tuvo resonancias e influencias en escritores de todos los continentes (o de todos los continentes de los que leí escritores): nada más ni nada menos que eso representa Borges para este pobre, pretencioso, olvidado país. Por ejemplo, en un ensayo sobre Quevedo, reproduce una idea que usó para escribir Pierre Menard, autor del Quijote: Quevedo ha sido equiparado, más de una vez, a Luciano de Samosata. Menard, el escritor olvidado que volvió a escribir el Quijote palabra por palabra tres siglos después, y al hacerlo creó un nuevo texto, también se limita a observar una tradición literaria. La comparación me parece que vale desde el momento que vos podés ser un genio, un crack total de la literatura, un laborioso (me encanta este adjetivo borgeano) y dedicado ejecutor de argumentos, pero si no tenés el sello distintivo, si no tenés eso que te vuelva diferente, vas a ser solo bueno, o muy bueno, o excelente, o por qué no, uno de los mejores de la literatura mundial.

Editado cuando Borges había ya perdido por completo la vista, 'Otras inquisiciones' es un testamento de la etapa más creativa del célebre autor argentino, exponiendo en cada uno de los textos que componen al libro miríadas de temas y cuestionamientos, que buscan ahondar en las principales preocupaciones intelectuales de Borges. +++ Algunas notas carentes de interés y únicamente para uso personal sobre los textos más interesantes del libro. Relación entre Coleridge, que plantea el retorno de alguien de la muerte con una rosa, HG Wells, que plantea el retorno con la máquina del tiempo y Henry James, cuyo viaje en el tiempo se da por la compenetración con un retrato. Para comprobar, en contra de los paleontólogos, que la creación divina existió, Gosse plantea la creación como el punto cero del tiempo, como una discontinuidad que sin embargo, al crear todo de la nada, contempla una historia futura infinita pero al mismo tiempo una historia pasada infinita, que no existió, pero que se puede inferir. Del Culto de los libros Estupendo texto sobre la transición de la cultura oral (que desdeñaba a la palabra escrita por ser "dañina" y atrofiar la mente") al culto de la palabra escrita. "Ser una cosa es inexorablemente no ser todas las otras cosas" "Nada debe afirmarse de Dios, todo puede negarse" según Schopenhauer: "esa es la única teología verdadera, pero no tiene contenido" 15. Nota sobre (hacia) Bernard Shaw: "Una literatura difiere de otra, ulterior o anterior, menos por el texto que por la menera de ser leída: si me fuera otorgado leer cualquier página actual -ésta, por ejemplo- como la leerán el año dos mil, yo sabría cómo será la literatura el año dos mil" 16.

Trata-se de uma coletânea de ensaios e textos esparsos de Borges que, com certeza, agradará a todos que se interessam por discutir livros e literatura (o tema principal da grande maioria dos textos).

I love two kinds of authors: a) those that obviously love reading widely and deeply, they just eat books - and b), those that can look at an idea or a concept, doesn't matter how outlandish it is, and think it through to its logical conclusion (in our times, one of those authors is Ted Chiang, who can write stories about a geocentric universe and have it make sense). Borges could do both, while shaking great authors out of his pockets and creating links between disparate literatures and worlds. The themes that Borges was writing about in his more famous stories and novellas appear here as well: the difference between maps and their territory (Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius), eternity in time, infinity in space, infinity in text (think The Library Of Babel). For example, for the concept a a ouynhe cites and quotes the What's even more fun here are all the thought experiments that haven't made it into his fiction (at least not as far as I know), some based on theology, some on physics. One literature differs from another, either before or after it, not so much because of the text as for the manner in which it is read. The literature reviews - shorter than the preceding essays - are interesting because again they show how widely and without Borges would read. Interestingly, even Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles gets a positive review, with the most wonderful sentence: "the new narrative genre which the Americans of the North call 'science-fiction' or 'scientifiction'" - Borges, unlike so many critics of my times, doesn't see SF as a strict genre, but as another form of symbolism.

On his return to Argentina in 1921, Borges began publishing his poems and essays in Surrealist literary journals. Coetzee said of Borges: "He, more than anyone, renovated the language of fiction and thus opened the way to a remarkable generation of Spanish American novelists."