Posts Tagged: Borges
Writing for The Millions, M.C. Mah turns over all the cards in the deck on structure in storytelling. He gathers words of wisdom—and many metaphors—from luminaries like John McPhee, Borges, Vonnegut, and George Saunders, and then links the contemporary “horoscopic style” of structuring to an “anxiety about a better way to tell a story…” possibly “synonymous with aiming for the cheap seats of genre.”...more
Maybe there are two Borges in the world, existing at the same time. One is the fiction writer we know, the lover of paradox, the trickster, the forger, the artist who describes fantastical events with straight-faced authority, using the syntax and tone of academia; and then there is this other Borges, the critic, who writes reasonably and clearly, companionably and insightfully, about high-brow and esoteric subjects, whose aim is elucidation rather than bewilderment.
My compulsion to write does not occlude the uselessness of filling pages with words. I know that what I do is pointless, one more message in a bottle in a moment when everyone else around me is also casting messages adrift.
A new website called Poetry for Robots seeks to find out whether robots can learn human poetic language. It was inspired by Jorge Luis Borges’s theory that despite humanity’s near-infinite capacity for creating distinct metaphors, we still use the same ones over and over again in literature, like comparing eyes to the stars....more
Here is what I mean by meta-fiction: all these books, stories, and bodies of work contain made-up books and bodies of work. Some are based on real books. Some are making fun of real books, a little bit, gently. Some are invented entirely.
Tim Youd has recently undertaken the task of reproducing Kingsley Amis’s Lucky Jim, but the Guardian says the idea of copying classic novels is not so original; Pierre Menard, a character in a Borges story, did it first:
Although the words themselves were exactly the same, Pierre Menard’s fragmentary Quixote was judged to be “subtler than that of Cervantes”.
In honor of Joseph Conrad’s birthday on December 3, the Paris Review blog posted Conrad’s author’s note to The Shadow Line, which ruminates on marvels and mysteries....more
According to the experimental folk artist Mike Cooper, there is a tree in Almuñécar, in Southern Spain, that used to attract hundreds of birds. It inspired him to write the “avante folk” song “The Singing Tree,” off his recently reissued double album Places I Know/The Machine Gun Co....more
BOMB Magazine’s gotten a hold of Valeria Luiselli, and it’s really a treat to behold; asked about the fluidity of fiction in her essays, her response was more than candid:
Well, that’s the whole point; there are no rules in fiction even if creative writing programs everywhere have tried to make people believe there are.
Turns out that both Jorge Luis Borges and Jean-Paul Sartre reviewed Orson Welles’s masterpiece Citizen Kane, and neither of them particularly cared for the film. Needless to say, the director didn’t take this very well.
Head over to the Paris Review to read both of the writers’ critiques of the movie, and Welles’s response....more
As the World Cup continues, everyone seems to be a soccer fan. One person who wasn’t? Jorge Luis Borges. According to The New Republic, the famed Argentine writer loathed the game, going so far as to purposefully schedule a lecture at the same time as Argentina’s first match in the 1978 World Cup....more