Friday, March 08, 2013

The necessity and pleasure of demiurgic action ...

Regarding three stories by Jorge Luis Borges: "Tlön, Uqbar,Orbis Tertius," & "The Garden of Forking Paths," & "The Zahir."

The necessity and pleasure of demiurgic action outside the hermetic sanctuary of Literature; Or the role of assertion and resistance in the mental construction of a cultural raison d’etre; Or why reality must always yield to the accreted consensus, yet allow and even predict reëxcavation and reinterpretation.


In 1940 Jorge Luis Borges, Adolfo Bioy Casares, and Silvina Ocampo edited and published the Antología de la Literatura Fantástica, a collection of fantastic short stories, but the Anglo-American Cyclopedia may not yet exist, even at some point in the still non-existent future known as 1917, or in the illusory location known as New York.
How can we know New York? Does Des Moines presuppose New York, a constructed antithesis to the extravagant ideation of urbanity at its funky, oppressive, darkened and transitoriness? Or are acts of resistance acts of self-creation? In the beginning there was darkness but now there are only the unknowable acts of the intellect, or is it the romantic, emotional pure love found in acts of faith that offers us leads us to knowledge?

Awful explorations and exposures leaving the reader agape. I could describe multiple blind persons attempting to describe the colors of the dawn but I must assume you know my meaning and see my inferences, as otherwise my citations are merely marks on a page.
That said, or written, the object is artifact and “Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius” is the object, the romantic, emotional, intellectual, yearning object, not dissimilar to the mysterious vibrating compass, with its quivering blue needle, it is the quivering blue needle that validates the Princess’s yearning for meaningful artifacts with which to express and affirm her place in the physical world.

By the by, although it is unlikely that Borges knew this then, Ezra Buckley did exist, 1803-1874, and the Ezra Buckley Foundation, created for the purpose of destroying history, exists, as a game, here and now, although it is impossible Borges would have known that then or now as Borges, a mercurial being, ceased to operate as a participant of the object plane of this planet—the Orbis Primus, i.e. the physical world, if I may—as of the ephemeral temporal location accepted and acknowledged among some of the cognizanti of Orbis Tertius (earth, not mind) as of June of 14, 1986 but located else-whens by other consciousnesses (see Cervante’s death as compared to Shakespeare’s, for example, or the Chinese versus the Jewish calendar for more examples). “Such (is) the … intrusion of this fantastic world into the world of reality” (p 16, 1962, New Directions Publishing).

We all come from the border of somewhere but it is not so much the liminal spaces that are important as the missing, what Louis Althusser posits as the lacuna, which defines the true discourse. Once again Borges both writes and evokes/invokes through assertion and resistance, through appeals directly to the conscious mind while simultaneously whispering indirectly to the unconscious mind questions about Literature (with a majuscule) and the more important questions about our derivation of meaning.

In the same way the author offers fragmented narratives and the missing pieces to illuminate the “true” text, Borges constantly eludes to the creation of meaning by, Ouroboros-like, constantly returning to the text from different, even alien, and always incomplete perspectives. In another tale, Stephan Albert will say everything stated above, using different metaphors and similes to convey similar meaning, a meaning related but one in which the reader/protagonist necessarily will make different choices, or perhaps the same choices, but end up with a different narrative as a result of the abysmal problem of time, which is actually a problem of interpretation as modified through action, even inaction, which inevitably leads to a unique result—one of an infinite number of possibilities, each, like a broken fragment, redefining the same shared experience of what is.

Don’t get lost. We’re already there. Start making sense. They’re all the same narrative…

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