Thursday, September 22, 2011

Assignment 2: Borges Articles

The Garden of Forking Paths:

-A link to the story discussed in the previous post.

The Garden of Forking Paths Wiki:

-This article seems to focus mostly on Borges' work as hypertextual, and how arguably, it has paved the way for most other hypertext to come, including modern examples such as the Choose your own adventure books, and the novel Hopscotch. Reading about both of these brought to mind some personal examples, including the Fable videogame series (among quite a few others) that offers the player more than one way to play the game, where it allows the player to make various moral choices, which ultimately affect the ending. Mark Danielewski's House of Leaves also comes to mind (coincidentally enough, it happens to be by the same publishing company as Hopscotch, Pantheon), where there are essentially two stories being told at the same time (they're related for the most part), with tons of footnotes. -while the two alternate throughout the novel, it is ultimately up to the reader to decide if they want to follow one and then the other, or if they want to try and make sense of everything simultaneously. I personally need two bookmarks..

Borges Wiki:

-Born in Argentina in 1899, Borges was a writer, essayist, librarian, concerning himself with the themes of dreams, labyrinths, time, all of which are evident throughout Garden of Forking paths, among a lot of his other work apparently.

-Opposed communism, believed in the strength and significance of the individual self. Interesting to see how this might connect to his concerning himself so much with people being able to see as many various outcomes as possible for themselves.

Borges Biographical Sketch:

-This article goes more into detail regarding his childhood, emphasizing how he (along with his family felt like outsiders) starting from when he'd moved to Palermo, perpetuated by his "bookish" tendencies. It is pointed out that this class difference would influence his later writings.

-Very much into writing and even critical thinking from a young age, making observations such the ones mentioned above. Seems due in part to his parents being educated.

Modern word - Borges:

-This site seems to be the product of all that is J.L. Borges, including everything from references pertaining to "Books he never wrote" to sources to purchase his works, etc.

-One thing I found particularly interesting here was the one-liner heading the criticisms page, as it reads: "to refute him is to become contaminated with unreality". -Suggesting that there really isn't much that could go wrong by just taking the time to even think or consider any sort of alternative, when it comes to the now, what it will be, and what else it could be.

-Interestingly enough, the aforementioned House of Leaves is cited as being influenced by Borges:


- For one thing, this seems like great tribute to Borges, with a handful of authors paying their utmost respects to him, saying things like even his "driest paragraph is somehow compelling."

- His concise yet ever-meaningful prose is praised for the ways in which it engages its readers and provokes thought.

Borges and the Foreseeable Future/ Borges and the Web:

-Here, the idea is proposed that Borges played a great role in "preconfiguring the world wide web" as we know it, with his notions of infinite libraries and and never-ending encyclopedias, and overall endless streams of information. using examples such as wikipedia, where anyone can contribute, have their facts checked, check others' facts, and just constantly document things.

Borge's Buenos Aires:

- A travel article that explores Buenos Aires within the scope of Borges and his life there, pointing out places/areas he used to frequent as well as things like exhibits and other sites in his honor. The article also goes out of its way to quote Borges in talking about how he'd established his own sort of phantasmal presence in the city throughout the years, pointing out certain areas where he's experienced certain emotions, happenings, etc.

On Exactitude in Science:

-When first reading through this story, I thought I had somehow made the silly mistake of interpreting it as the cartographers having made a map literally the same size as the empire. Then I realized that this idea being silly seemed to have been part of the point of the story itself. Here, Borges pretty much comments on how there may be no point to trying to replicate or represent something with complete accuracy, detail for detail, because at that point, why not just experience the original?

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