“Cross, lasso, and arrow—former tools of man, debased or exalted now to the status of symbols. Why should I marvel at them, when there is not a single thing in earth that oblivion does not erase or memory change, and when no on knows into what images he himself will be transmuted by the future.”
– excerpted from “Mutations”, a prose piece by Jorges Luis Borges
For today’s Monday sharing, I want to share a favorite author and a wonderful little long form article about him. Although Borges is not my favorite Argentinian author, he is pretty great and definitely inspired my favorite one.
Borges wrote about a wide range of topics from “Dreamtigers,” “Never can my dreams engender the wild beast I long for. The tiger indeed appears, but stuffed or flimsy, or with impure variations of shape, or of an implausible size, or all too fleeting, or with a touch of the dog or bird,” to “Mutations” to his own self in “Borges and I,” in which he writes, “It’s the other one, it’s Borges, that things happen to.” His prose poems are sparse but incredibly dense,intricate little puzzles to ponder and sift through. No topic is too minuscule or mundane for his strange strings of words, he even wrote a tiny prose piece entitled, “Toenails.” Somehow he managed to broaden the simple and distasteful discussion of ever-growing toenails to death, characterized by the hair follicles and skin cells that continue to thrive after we pass.
There is something magical and weird about Borges and I loved learning more about his legacy in “Forgotten but not Gone” by Eric Benson. This Guernica Magazine piece showed up on a Flavorwire post cataloguing long form pieces past. It’s an older feature, but it was a part of my reading today which lead me to revisit my copies of Dreamtigers and Ficciones.
I hope you enjoy and that maybe you will check out Borges. For those of you who are unfamiliar, check out the Floating Library’s online version of Dreamtigers to get your feet wet, and for those of you who are, I hope you will enjoy the feature!