Welcome to Bookmarker!

This is a personal project by @dellsystem. I built this to help me retain information from the books I'm reading. Currently can only be used by a single user (myself), but I plan to extend it to support multiple users eventually.

Source code on GitHub (MIT license).

285

Borges on the Couch

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terms
1
notes

a book review of Borges: A Life by Edwin Williamson, but really an excuse to talk about the genius of Jorge Luis Borges and how it's silly to try and relate everything in his work to his life story (as Williamson does in the biography)

Foster Wallace, D. (None). Borges on the Couch. In Foster Wallace, D. Both Flesh and Not: Essays. , pp. 285-298

(adjective) marked by transparency; pellucid / (adjective) clear and simple in style / (adjective) absolutely serene and untroubled

286

the limpid, witty, pansophical, profoundly adult writer we know from his stories

on Borges

—p.286 default author
confirm
1 year, 5 months ago

the limpid, witty, pansophical, profoundly adult writer we know from his stories

on Borges

—p.286 default author
confirm
1 year, 5 months ago

(noun) a highly nervous, excited, or agitated state; excitement confusion

286

given for much of his life to dithery romantic obsessions

—p.286 default author
notable
1 year, 5 months ago

given for much of his life to dithery romantic obsessions

—p.286 default author
notable
1 year, 5 months ago

universal wisdom or knowledge; omniscience; also known as "pansophy"

286

the limpid, witty, pansophical, profoundly adult writer we know from his stories

on Borges

—p.286 default author
confirm
1 year, 5 months ago

the limpid, witty, pansophical, profoundly adult writer we know from his stories

on Borges

—p.286 default author
confirm
1 year, 5 months ago

(noun) divination from auspices or omens / noun) omen, portent

290

an inquisition into dreams, reality, guilt, augury, and mortal terror

on Borges' distintive interrogative ending

—p.290 default author
notable
1 year, 5 months ago

an inquisition into dreams, reality, guilt, augury, and mortal terror

on Borges' distintive interrogative ending

—p.290 default author
notable
1 year, 5 months ago

by that very act or quality; thereby

292

was the Flaubert who wrote Madame Bovary eo ipso suicidal?

—p.292 default author
confirm
1 year, 5 months ago

was the Flaubert who wrote Madame Bovary eo ipso suicidal?

—p.292 default author
confirm
1 year, 5 months ago
293

The truth, briefly stated, is that Borges is arguably the great bridge between modernism and postmodernism in world literature. He is a modernist in that his fiction shows a first-rate human mind stripped of all foundations in religious or ideological certainty--a mind turned thus wholly in on itself. His stories are inbent and hermetic, with the oblique terror of a game whose rules are unknown and its stakes everything.

And the mind of those stories is nearly always a mind that lives in and through books. This is because Borges the writer is, fundamentally, a reader. The dense, obscure allusiveness of his fiction is not a tic, or even really a style; and it is no accident that his best stories are often fake essays, or reviews of fictitious books, or have texts at their plots' centers, or have as protagonists Homer or Dante or Averroës. Whether for seminal artistic reasons or neurotic personal ones or both, Borges collapses reader and writer into a new kind of aesthetic agent, one who makes stories out of stories, one for whom reading is essentually--consciously--a creative act. This is not, however, because Borges is a metafictionist or cleverly disguised critic. It is because he knows that there's finally no difference--that murderer and victim, detective and futigive, performer and audience are the same. Obviously, this has postmodern implications (hence the pontine claim above), but Borges's is really a mystical insight, and a profound one. It's also frightening, since the line between monism and solipsism is thin and porous, more to do with spirit than with mind per se. And, as an artistic program, this kind of collapse/transcendence of individual identity is also paradoxical, requiring a grotesque self-obsession combined with an almost total effacement of self and personality. Tics and obsessions aside, what makes a Borges story Borgesian is the odd, ineluctable sense you get that no one and everyone did it. [...]

beautifully written

—p.293 by David Foster Wallace 1 year, 5 months ago

The truth, briefly stated, is that Borges is arguably the great bridge between modernism and postmodernism in world literature. He is a modernist in that his fiction shows a first-rate human mind stripped of all foundations in religious or ideological certainty--a mind turned thus wholly in on itself. His stories are inbent and hermetic, with the oblique terror of a game whose rules are unknown and its stakes everything.

And the mind of those stories is nearly always a mind that lives in and through books. This is because Borges the writer is, fundamentally, a reader. The dense, obscure allusiveness of his fiction is not a tic, or even really a style; and it is no accident that his best stories are often fake essays, or reviews of fictitious books, or have texts at their plots' centers, or have as protagonists Homer or Dante or Averroës. Whether for seminal artistic reasons or neurotic personal ones or both, Borges collapses reader and writer into a new kind of aesthetic agent, one who makes stories out of stories, one for whom reading is essentually--consciously--a creative act. This is not, however, because Borges is a metafictionist or cleverly disguised critic. It is because he knows that there's finally no difference--that murderer and victim, detective and futigive, performer and audience are the same. Obviously, this has postmodern implications (hence the pontine claim above), but Borges's is really a mystical insight, and a profound one. It's also frightening, since the line between monism and solipsism is thin and porous, more to do with spirit than with mind per se. And, as an artistic program, this kind of collapse/transcendence of individual identity is also paradoxical, requiring a grotesque self-obsession combined with an almost total effacement of self and personality. Tics and obsessions aside, what makes a Borges story Borgesian is the odd, ineluctable sense you get that no one and everyone did it. [...]

beautifully written

—p.293 by David Foster Wallace 1 year, 5 months ago

(adjective) deficient in color; wan / (adjective) lacking sparkle or liveliness; dull

294

next to which the epiphanies of Joyce or redemptions of O'Connor seem pallid or crude

referring to Borges' best works, The Immortal and The Writing of the God

—p.294 default author
confirm
1 year, 5 months ago

next to which the epiphanies of Joyce or redemptions of O'Connor seem pallid or crude

referring to Borges' best works, The Immortal and The Writing of the God

—p.294 default author
confirm
1 year, 5 months ago

(adjective) of or relating to bridges

294

hence the pontine claim above

referring to the claim that Borges is the bridge between modernism and postmodernism

—p.294 default author
notable
1 year, 5 months ago

hence the pontine claim above

referring to the claim that Borges is the bridge between modernism and postmodernism

—p.294 default author
notable
1 year, 5 months ago