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17 avril 2012 2 17 /04 /avril /2012 03:22

Fact, fantasy and non-linearity

Many of Borges's most popular stories concern the nature of time ("The Secret Miracle"), infinity ("The Aleph"), mirrors ("Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius") and Labyrinths ("The Two Kings and the Two Labyrinths", "The House of Asterion", "The Immortal", "The Garden of Forking Paths").HP Pavilion dv3-2350ed Battery

Williamson writes, "His basic contention was that fiction did not depend on the illusion of reality; what mattered ultimately was an author’s ability to generate 'poetic faith' in his reader."[10] His stories often have fantastical themes, such as a library containing every possible 410-page text ("The Library of Babel"), HP Pavilion dv3-2350ee Battery

a man who forgets nothing he experiences ("Funes, the Memorious"), an artifact through which the user can see everything in the universe ("The Aleph"), and a year of still time given to a man standing before a firing squad ("The Secret Miracle"). HP Pavilion dv3-2350el Battery

Borges also told realistic stories of South American life, of folk heroes, streetfighters, soldiers, gauchos, detectives, historical figures. He mixed the real and the fantastic: fact with fiction. His interest in compounding fantasy, philosophy, and the art of translation are evident in articles such as "The Translators of The Book of One Thousand and One Nights".HP Pavilion dv3-2355ee Battery

In the Book of Imaginary Beings, a thoroughly (and obscurely) researched bestiary of mythical creatures, Borges wrote, "There is a kind of lazy pleasure in useless and out-of-the-way erudition."[76]Borges's interest in fantasy was shared by Adolfo Bioy Casares, HP Pavilion dv3-2360ee Battery

with whom he coauthored several collections of tales between 1942 and 1967, often under different pseudonyms including H. Bustos Domecq. Often, especially early in his career, the mixture of fact and fantasy crossed the line into the realm of hoax or literary forgery.[Notes 4]HP Pavilion dv3-2380eg Battery

"The Garden of Forking Paths" (1941) presents the idea of forking paths through networks of time, none of which is the same, all of which are equal. Borges uses the recurring image of "a labyrinth that folds back upon itself in infinite regression" so we "become aware of all the possible choices we might make."[77]HP Pavilion dv3-2390eg Battery

 The forking paths have branches to represent these choices that ultimately lead to different endings. Borges saw man's search for meaning in a seemingly infinite universe as fruitless and instead uses the maze as a riddle for time, not space.[77]HP Pavilion dv3t-2000 Battery

 Borges also examined the themes of universal randomness and madness ("The Lottery in Babylon") and ("The Zahir"). Due to the success of the "Forking Paths" story, the term "Borgesian" came to reflect a quality of narrative non-linearity.[Notes 5]HP Pavilion dv3-2390eo Battery


Along with other young Argentine writers of his generation, Borges initially rallied around the fictional character of Martín Fierro. Martín Fierro, a poem by José Hernández, was a dominant work of 19th century Argentine literature. Its eponymous hero became a symbol of Argentine sensibility, HP Pavilion g4-1010us Battery

 untied from European values – a gaucho, free, poor, pampas-dwelling.[78] The character Fierro is illegally drafted to serve at a border fort to defend against the Indians but ultimately deserts to become a gaucho matrero, the Argentine equivalent of a North American western outlaw. Borges contributed keenly to the avant garde Martín Fierro magazine in the early 1920s. HP Pavilion g4-1011nr Battery

As Borges matured, he came to a more nuanced attitude toward the Hernández poem. In his book of essays on the poem, Borges separates his admiration for the aesthetic virtues of the work from his mixed opinion of the moral virtues of its protagonist.[79] HP Pavilion g4-1013tx Battery

In his essay "The Argentine Writer and Tradition" (1951), Borges celebrates how Hernández expresses the Argentine character. In a key scene in the poem, Martín Fierro and El Moreno compete by improvising songs on universal themes such as time, night, and the sea, reflecting the real-world gaucho tradition of payadas, HP Pavilion g4-1014tx Battery

improvised musical dialogues on philosophical themes.[78][80] Borges points out that Hernández evidently knew the difference between actual gaucho tradition of composing poetry, versus the "gauchesque" fashion among Buenos Aires literati. HP Pavilion g4-1015tx Battery


In his works he refutes the arch-nationalist interpreters of the poem, and disdains others as critic Eleuterio Tiscornia, for their Europeanising approach. Borges denies that Argentine literature should distinguish itself by limiting itself to "local colour", which he equates with cultural nationalism.[80] HP Pavilion g4-1016tx Battery

Racine and Shakespeare's work, he says, looked beyond their countries' borders. Neither, he argues, need the literature be bound to the heritage of old world Spanish or European tradition. Nor should it define itself by the conscious rejection of its colonial past. HP Pavilion g4-1017tu Battery

He asserts that Argentine writers need to be free to define Argentine literature anew, writing about Argentina and the world from the point of view of those who have inherited the whole of world literature.[80] HP Pavilion g4-1018tu Battery

Williamson says "Borges's main argument is that the very fact of writing from the margins provides Argentine writers with a special opportunity to innovate without being bound to the canons of the centre, [...] at once a part of and apart from the centre which gives them much potential freedom".[78]HP Pavilion g4-1020us Battery


Borges focused on universal themes, but also composed a substantial body of literature on themes from Argentine folklore and history. His first book, the poetry collection Fervor de Buenos Aires (Passion for Buenos Aires), appeared in 1923. Borges's writings on things Argentine, include Argentine culture ("History of the Tango"; "Inscriptions on Horse Wagons"), HP Pavilion g4-1021tx Battery

folklore ("Juan Muraña", "Night of the Gifts"), literature ("The Argentine Writer and Tradition", "Almafuerte"; "Evaristo Carriego") and national concerns ("Celebration of The Monster", "Hurry, Hurry", "The Mountebank", "Pedro Salvadores"). Ultranationalists, however, continued to question his Argentine identity.[81]HP Pavilion g4-1022TU Battery

Borges's interest in Argentine themes reflects, in part, the inspiration of his family tree. Borges had an English paternal grandmother who, around 1870, married the criolloFrancisco Borges, a man with a military command and a historic role in the civil wars in what is now Argentina and Uruguay. HP Pavilion g4-1022tx Battery

purred by pride in his family's heritage, Borges often used those civil wars as settings in fiction and quasi-fiction (for example, "The Life of Tadeo Isidoro Cruz," "The Dead Man," "Avelino Arredondo") as well as poetry ("General Quiroga Rides to His Death in a Carriage").HP Pavilion g4-1023TU Battery

Borges's maternal great-grandfather, Manuel Isidoro Suárez, was another military hero, whom Borges immortalized in the poem "A Page to Commemorate Colonel Suárez, Victor at Junín." The city of Coronel Suárez in the south of Buenos Aires Province is named after him. HP Pavilion g4-1026TX Battery

His non-fiction explores many of the themes found in his fiction. Essays such as "The History of the Tango" or his writings on the epic poem Martín Fierro explore Argentine themes, such as the identity of the Argentine people and of various Argentine subcultures. HP Pavilion g4-1027TX Battery

The varying genealogies of characters, settings, and themes in his stories, such as "La muerte y la brújula", used Argentine models without pandering to his readers or framing Argentine culture as 'exotic'.[81] In his essay "El escritor argentino y la tradición", HP Pavilion g4-1038tx Battery

Borges notes that the very absence of camels in the Qur'an was proof enough that it was anArabian work. He suggested that only someone trying to write an "Arab" work would purposefully include a camel.[81] He uses this example to illustrate how his dialogue with universal existential concerns was just as Argentine as writing about gauchos and tangos. HP Pavilion g4-1047tx Battery


At the time of Argentine independence in 1816, the population was predominantly criollo (of Spanish ancestry). The Argentine Declaration of Independence in 1816 led to waves of immigration from Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, and in the following decades and the Argentine national identity diversified.[82][10] HP Pavilion g4-1048tx Battery

Borges therefore was writing in a strongly European literary context, and worked immersed in Spanish, English, French, German, Italian, Anglo-Saxon and Old Norse literature. He also read translations of Near Eastern and Far Eastern works. Borges's writing is also informed by scholarship of Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, and Judaism, including prominent religious figures, heretics, and mystics. [83] HP Pavilion g4-1049tu Battery

Religion and heresy are explored in such stories as "Averroes's Search", "The Writing of the God", "The Theologians" and "Three Versions of Judas". The curious inversion of mainstream Christian concepts of redemption in the latter story is characteristic of Borges's approach to theology in his literature. HP Pavilion g4-1050tx Battery


In describing himself, he said, "I am not sure that I exist, actually. I am all the writers that I have read, all the people that I have met, all the women that I have loved; all the cities that I have visited, all my ancestors."[73] As a young man, he visited the frontier pampas which extend beyond Argentina into Uruguay and Brazil. HP Pavilion g4-1051xx Battery

Borges said that his father wished him "to become a citizen of the world, a great cosmopolitan," in the way of Henry and William James.[84] Borges lived and studied in Switzerland and Spain as a young student. As Borges matured, he traveled through Argentina as a lecturer and, HP Pavilion g4-1052TX Battery

internationally, as a visiting professor; he continued to tour the world as he grew older, finally settling in Genevawhere he had spent some of his youth. Drawing on the influence of many times and places, Borges's work belittled nationalism and racism.[81] HP Pavilion g4-1053TX Battery

Portraits of diverse coexisting cultures characteristic of Argentina are especially pronounced in the book Six Problems for don Isidoro Parodi (co-authored with Adolfo Bioy Casares) and the story "Death and the Compass", which may or may not be set in Buenos Aires. Borges wrote that he considered Mexican essayist Alfonso Reyes "the best prose-writer in the Spanish language of any time."[85]HP Pavilion G42 Battery


Borges was also an admirer of some Oriental culture, e.g. the ancient Chinese board game of Go, about which he penned some verses. [86]HP Pavilion g4 Battery


Borges lived through most of the 20th century, and was rooted in the Modernismpredominant in its early years. He was especially influenced by Symbolism.[87] Like contemporary novelist Vladimir Nabokov and the older James Joyce, he combined an interest in his native culture with broader perspectives. HP Pavilion g4t-1000 CTO Battery

He also shared their multilingualism and their inventiveness with language. However, while Nabokov and Joyce tended toward progressively larger works as they grew older, Borges remained a miniaturist. Borges's work progressed away from what he referred to as "the baroque",HP Pavilion g6-1000 Battery

while Joyce's and Nabokov's moved towards it: his later style is far more transparent and naturalistic than his earlier works. Borges represented the humanist view of media that stressed the social aspect of art driven by emotion. If art represented the tool, then Borges was more interested in how the tool could be used to relate to people.[58]HP Pavilion g6-1005tu Battery


Existentialism saw its apogee during the years of Borges's greatest artistic production. It has been argued that his choice of topics largely ignored existentialism's central tenets. Critic Paul de Man notes, "Whatever Borges's existential anxieties may be, HP Pavilion g6-1006tu Battery

they have little in common with Sartre's robustly prosaic view of literature, with the earnestness of Camus' moralism, or with the weighty profundity of German existential thought. Rather, they are the consistent expansion of a purely poetic consciousness to its furthest limits."[88]HP Pavilion g6-1008tx Battery



As a political conservative, Borges "was repulsed by Marxism in theory and practice. Abhorring sentimentality, he rejected the politics and poetics of cultural identity that held sway in Latin America for so long."[89] As a universalist, HP Pavilion g6-1009tx Battery

his interest in world literature reflected an attitude that was also incongruent with the Perónist Populist nationalism. That government's confiscation of Borges's job at the Miguel Cané Library fueled his skepticism of government. He labeled himself a Spencerian anarchist, following his father.[90][91]HP Pavilion g6-1010tx Battery


The essay collection Borges y la Matemática (Borges and Mathematics, 2003) by Argentine mathematician and writer Guillermo Martínez, outlines how Borges used concepts from mathematics in his work. Martínez states that Borges had, for example, at least a superficial knowledge of set theory, which he handles with elegance in stories such as "The Book of Sand".[92] HP Pavilion g6-1011tx Battery

Other books such as The Unimaginable Mathematics of Borges' Library of Babel by William Goldbloom Bloch (2008) and Unthinking Thinking: Jorge Luis Borges, Mathematics, and the New Physics by Floyd Merrell (1991) also explore this relationship. HP Pavilion g6-1012tx Battery


Coppola's next film, The Conversation, further cemented his position as one of the most talented auteurs of Hollywood.[25] The movie was partly influenced by Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blowup (1966).[26] HP Pavilion g6-1013tu Battery

The film generated a lot of speculation and interest when news leaked that the film utilized the very same surveillance and wire-tapping equipment that members of the Nixon administration used to spy on political opponents prior toWatergate. HP Pavilion g6-1013tx Battery

Although Coppola insisted that this was purely coincidental, for not only was the script for The Conversation completed in the mid-1960s (before the election of Richard Nixon) but the spying equipment used in the film was discovered through research and the use of technical advisers and not, as many believed, HP Pavilion g6-1014tu Battery

by revelatory newspaper stories about the Watergate break-in. However, the audience interpreted the film to be a reaction to both the Watergate scandal and its fall-out. The movie was a critical success, and won Coppola his first Palme d'Or at the 1974 Cannes Film Festival. HP Pavilion g6-1014tx Battery


Following the success of You're a Big Boy Now, Coppola was offered the reins of the movie version of the Broadway musical Finian's Rainbow, starring Petula Clark, in her first American film, and veteran Fred Astaire. Producer Jack Warner was nonplussed by Coppola's shaggy-haired, HP Pavilion g6-1015tu Battery

bearded, "hippie" appearance and generally left him to his own devices. He took his cast to the Napa Valley for much of the outdoor shooting, but these scenes were in sharp contrast to those obviously filmed on a Hollywood soundstage, resulting in a disjointed look to the film. HP Pavilion g6-1016tu Battery

Dealing with outdated material at a time when the popularity of film musicals was already on the downslide, Coppola's result was only semi-successful, but his work with Clark no doubt contributed to her Golden Globe Best Actress nomination. HP Pavilion g6-1022tx Battery

The film introduced George Lucas to him, who became his life-long friend as well as production assistant in his next film The Rain People in 1969. It was written, directed and initially produced by Coppola himself, though as the movie advanced, he fell short of his budget and the studio had to underwrite the remainder of the movie.[2] The film won the Golden Shell at the 1969 San Sebastian Film Festival. HP Pavilion g6-1023tx Battery

In 1969, Coppola took it upon himself to subvert the studio system which he felt had stifled his visions, intending to produce mainstream pictures to finance off-beat projects and give first-time directors their chance to direct. HP Pavilion g6-1024tx Battery

He decided he would name his future studio "Zoetrope" after receiving a gift of zoetropes from Mogens Scot-Hansen, founder of a studio called Lanterna Film and owner of a famous collection of early motion picture making equipment. While touring Europe, Coppola was introduced to alternative filmmaking equipment and inspired by the bohemian spirit of Lanterna Film. HP Pavilion g6-1025sf Battery

He decided he would build a deviant studio that would conceive and implement creative, unconventional approaches to filmmaking. Upon his return home, Coppola and George Lucas searched for a mansion in Marin to house the studio. HP Pavilion g6-1025tx Battery

However, with equipment flowing in and no mansion found yet, the first home for Zoetrope Studio became a warehouse in San Francisco on Folsom Street in 1969.[18] The studio went on to become an early adopter of digital filmmaking, including some of the earliest uses of HDTV. HP Pavilion g6-1026tx Battery


Even after the director was persuaded to keep the scene intact, George C. Scott refused to do it, as he believed it would overshadow the rest of his performance. The director lied and assured him that it would be shown at the end. HP Pavilion g6-1027tx Battery

The movie opens with Scott's rendering of Patton's famous military "Pep Talk" to members of the Third Army, set against a huge American flag. Coppola and North had to tone down Patton's actual language to avoid an R rating; in the opening monologue, HP Pavilion g6-1030ef Battery

the word "fornicating" replaced "fucking" when criticizing the The Saturday Evening Post. Over the years, this opening monologue has become an iconic scene, and has spawned parodies in numerous films, political cartoons and television shows。HP Pavilion g6-1030tx Battery

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