Borges, Between History and Eternity by Hernán Díaz

By Hernán Díaz

That Borges is without doubt one of the key figures in twentieth-century literature is past debate. the explanations at the back of this declare, despite the fact that, are an issue of competition. In Latin the USA he's learn as a person who reorganized the canon, puzzled literary hierarchies, and redefined the position of marginal literatures. nevertheless, within the remainder of the realm, such a lot readers (and dictionaries) are inclined to determine the adjective "Borgesian" with problematic metaphysical puzzles and labyrinthine speculations of common achieve, thoroughly indifferent from specific traditions. One studying is context-saturated, whereas the opposite is context-deprived. Oddly adequate, those "institutional" and "transcendental" techniques haven't been pitched opposed to one another in a severe approach. Borges, among historical past and Eternity brings those views jointly by means of contemplating key elements of Borges's work—the reciprocal determinations of politics, philosophy and literature; the at the same time confining and emancipating nature of language; and the incipient software for a literature of the Americas.

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Ni siquiera el tiempo Cargado de batallas, de espadas y de éxodos Y de la lenta población de regiones Que lindan con la aurora y el ocaso, Y de rostros que van envejeciendo En los espejos que se empañan Y de sufridas agonías anónimas Que duran hasta el alba Y de la telaraña de la lluvia Sobre negros jardines. La patria, amigos, es un acto perpetuo Como el perpetuo mundo. ) Nadie es la patria, pero todos debemos 15 16 Borges, Between History and Eternity Ser dignos del antiguo juramento Que prestaron aquellos caballeros De ser lo que ignoraban, argentinos, De ser lo que serían por el hecho De haber jurado en esa vieja casa.

Theologicians are not unaware that if the Lord’s attention were to waver for a single second from my right hand as it writes this, it would instantly lapse into nothingness as if blasted by a lightless 24 Borges, Between History and Eternity fire” (SNF 134) [“El universo requiere la eternidad. 25 As the metaphysical and theological arguments thicken, it may not be futile to pause and remember that “Ode Written in 1966” is about a specific nation, about Argentina. However, by now it should be clear that the patria is conceived not in terms of transient institutions or historical processes.

Abstraído En su larga visión como en un mágico Cristal que a un tiempo encierra las tres caras Del tiempo que es después, antes, ahora, Sarmiento el soñador sigue soñándonos (OC 899)]. Once again, a poem that is obviously about Argentine history (spanning over a century, from Facundo to the Revolución Libertadora); once again, as in the “Ode Written in 1966,” the impossibility of communicating an essence through signs (“marble”); and once again, in the closing verses, history turns into metaphysics.

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