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Whatever your needs, and however you use it, Flor y Canto, Tercera Edicion is sure to infuse your services with the Latin-sound your bilingual assembly loves. Not sure this is the hymnal you're looking for? It corresponds to the third type of labyrinths as opposed to Theseus' linear Greek one and the Germanic Irrgarten or maze. It is a. A net is an unlimited territory Strangely reminiscent of "a sphere whose center is I have underlined the phrases which directly apply.
Jorge, as we know, is blind. He is thus the master of this "universe of semiosis" that is "the universe of culture which must be conceived as structured like a labyrinth This universe of semiosis is, then, an endless network of forking paths where the interpreter must choose his future direction at every node. This is why the indeally "open work" would be a novel containing all possibilities of development as developed. To write such a novel is synonymous with building a labyrinth — which is precisely the endeavor of Ts'ui Pen, governor of Yunan in "El jardin de senderos que bifurcan" Ficciones, Speculum doctrinale.
Borges being "The God of the Labyrinth" according to Jean Ricardou L'Herne, , the passages about labyrinths are key points unking Eco's semiotic theories to his novel. But beware : fabula is one of the translations of Aristotle's enigma, and Baskerville repeatedly insists that precisely the als ob as if faculty of fiction is necessary to the detective interpreting signs ; that imagination, grafted on skeptically ventured hypotheses guarantees him against the danger of ideological bias.
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William refuses to take the "local" view available at a single node of the "net" for the absolute truth. With his bend of mind, William reads signs and their combinations as "opera aperta", rejecting dogma, the closed, circumscribed intellectual or religious region established auctoritate as universally and absolutely binding : the totalitarianism of a "Great Inquisitor" or a Jorge de Burgos.
To William's skeptical mind the direct equivalence assumed by the liber mundi is acceptable at best at a very indirect metaphorical level, i. To him truth lies not in signs alone, but in the relation between them When he has finally found the code of Venantius' cryptogram the notes on the forbidden book he still possesses only signs of signs. The following Greek text consists of mysterious references. Yet, "this page is the only possible starting point in recreating the nature of the mysterious book, and it's only from the nature of that book that we will be able to infer the nature of the murderer" But even if he remembers, he will not be able, without an idea of the contextual frame, to re-create that unknown book only from other ones he did read.
And that context here being the very reason for hiding the book, the "contextual selection" is most. It is most likely to be of a doctrinal nature, since in the abbey Life nature and the teachings of the books coincide. Starting the argument the other way round, this assumption may in turn yield an insight into the nature of the book. The conjecture — books as origin of the crime — is more to William's taste anyhow than a banal explanation based on empirical facts that would be :. I will say that reality is not obliged to be interesting, but hypotheses are.
In the one you improvised, mere coincidence accounts for almost everything. Here we are faced with a dead rabbi ; I would prefer a purely rabbinical explanation, not the imaginary mischiefs of a banal imaginary criminal Ficcio- nes, The newly deciphered zodiacal cryptogram and the fragments of Greek having as yet not yielded an "interesting" hypothesis, and being heterogeneous in relation to his tentatively adopted code, the Apocalypse interesting , William goes on expecting things to happen in accordance with the sequence of St.
John's book "The first angel sounded the first trumpet Unfortunately for them, so do their respective counterplayers who have understood the schemes imputed to them, the imaginary code. They post factum cloak their actions that were prompted by sheer contingencies of reality into the bookish logic imagined ante factum by the interpreters. This is strictly speaking an agrammatical statement, a semantic paradox, yet it is the "truth". This is characteristic of Borges' and Eco's flawless juddling ontology.
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I devoted myself to the justification of your conjecture" Ficciones, Actually, Scharlach and Jorge are super-"Model Readers" of opera aperta open texts which Eco defines as "a syntactico-semantic-pragmatic device whose foreseen interpretation is a part of its generative process" The Role, 3. But both in "La muerte More exactly, they are writing "glosses on imaginary texts".
Their adversaries subsequently re-create the "text" from these fragments. Baskerville in contrast is saved by his discovery in extremis that he must switch codes. From now on he has to recreate the text by "overcoding" it cf. The Role, 22 by taking Jorge's psychological and, above all, doctrinal attitudes into account, his hatred of philosophy, his fear of laughter. The "correlational code" such as the Morse code or a cryptogram is, in its simplest form, a system of equivalences.
There is an encoded message, and the decoder's competence consists in the knowledge of the transcriptional rule. An example of transposition would be the anagram. For instance, Le nom de la rose is a partial anagram of Le roman de la rose, the quint-essential French novel. Thus the correlational code by far exceeds the possibilities of simple equivalence, considering all the intertextual mechanisms, all the connotations, interpretative possibilities, and psychological effects unleashed by association, both in the encoder his Bedeutungsintention and the reader his reception , since both are determined by all possible conditioning and contexts.
Here, we are already in the domain of overcoding : psychological and ideological determinants of interpretation that, by their very nature, are uncoded call for "overcoding", usually a supplementary practice to the three basic codes, just like "undercoding", the "rough" application of an insufficiently understood code cf. A Theory, In the ordinary mystery story correlational codes prevail in the interpretation of signs as indices.
And yet, the most simple mystery, pushed a bit in Borgesian fashion, may lead to a vertigo of codes and "diabolic" inversion. It is the degree of complexity of the interaction or rather mirroring between the three types of codes, their subcodes, and their kaleidoscopic combinations that distinguish Borges' and Eco's stories as ontological, quasi-metaphysical prestidigitations, relegating the criminal mystery to the rank of a pre-text in both the chronological acceptation and the moral one of "mauvaise foi". The mystery is a pretext, just as the Middle Ages can be.
Each of these "ten little Middle Ages" can be unearthed in The Name All such semiotic considerations lead William to finally seek the possible motivations of the crimes in the clashing doctrines concerning the Book of Books. The very first words pronounced by Jorge at the first encounter form the doctrinal key sentence : Verba vana out risu apta non loqui These are the words of austere St. Benedict of Nursia, founder of the order, "that senile youth", as Gregory. His "rule" an "institutional code" was for the monks "not to pronounce words that are vain or susceptible to produce laughter".
In the "game of chess" against William, Jorge's quote of Benedict's rule is the opening move. He plays "white", the purely dogmatic. For Jorge the world has but one order, so coming from another order is belonging to the Antichrist. As it is the rule, totalitarian fanatics destroy even the faint sympathy or admiration one might possibly feel for their "sacred fire" by the inevitable use of blackmail. Jorge reminds Adso of another Adso, author of a Libellum deAntichristo, a warning which, according to him had not been sufficiently heeded, and he menaces : "He [the Antichrist] is coming!
Don't waste your last days laughing Not only from the diabolically inverted "blind seer", but from others have William and Adso heard this prophesy. One of them was the inverted image of the Savior, Salvatore, with his Babelish "Penitenziagite! They perceive the same prophesy later in the distorted mirror of senile Alinardo's mutterings. With all these fragments supporting Jorge's prophesy the psychological atmosphere — an unstructured code — becomes compelling. While among the other Benedictine monks and their Franciscan and Dominican visitors the doctrinal conflict arises mainly around the question whether Jesus could have owned property the Lord's poverty reported by the apostles singularly contrasts with the opulence of His servants in the abbey , Jorge's violent concern is with laughter as an emanation of the Antichirst.
William, his tolerance taking into account all "possible worlds", points to Christ as. But blind Jorge's ultra-lucidity made him always identify his enemy ; he knows he has an infinitely more dangerous one than Baskerville. Like any master player, he has studied the other's techniques, learned by heart the history of all his moves. So he is prepared to ward off the blow : "Quomodo ergo eo uti non potuit?
Forte potuit, sed non legitur eo usus fuisse" Curtius, Characteristically valuing the letter over the possibility of interpretation, he replies that "the Son of Man could laugh, very possibly so, but is not written that he did" The 12th century "compilator" Petrus Cantor whom he quotes could not have listed in his Verbum abbreviatum a sentence more ideally exploitable be semioticians of "possible worlds" than precisely that "forte potuit Jorge's linking of laughter to the imminence of the apocalypse and the already felt "presence of the Antichrist" within the community constitutes one panel of the Speculum doctrinale.
The other one is William's prehumanistic trust in the freedom. Beauvais, De eruditione, XV , but for its own sake, animi curiositate. In Jorge's universe, in contrast, doubts do not exist. His harangue to the respectfully assembled hosts and visitors, the papal delegation, is the apotheosis of dogma :. In this community the serpent of pride has coiled Our work is the preservation of knowledge.
Preservation, I say, not search for, because the property of knowledge as a divine thing is that it is complete and has been defined since the beginning There is no progress There is only to gloss, preserve So where would there be a place for laughter? Who feels like laughing when "the cycle of the universe is about to be fulfilled" ?
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But what is that "beast" Jorge is after? Is it intellectual "pride", i. Or is it laughter? In fact, it comes to the same. Not for the "simple", of course, whose laughter is the result of a full stomach and a lot of wine.
But intellectual pride and laughter are linked, and that combination will be allowed only over Jorge's dead body — literally. Laughter is either vulgar or pervert, a nervous spasm of the diaphragm.
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It cannot be good, that is, put to the service of God. And if it is possible that some auctoritas has presented laughter as something positive — something helping us to understand Truth - it is not written that any real auctoritas has ever done so. Some fools may have, or infidels. If there were written proofs of a work on laughter by a serious auctoritas, they would have to be hidden, if necessary destroyed, including all clues leading to them. Someone like Jorge is bound to perceive laughter as an emanation of the Antichrist : it is uncanny, because it not only cannot be coded into any equivalence, but it dissolves all codes, codexes, laws.
Here is the link between laughter and intellectual "pride", the self-confidence of the searcher : he may suddenly find himself confronted with something incongruous — two semiotic systems that are incommensurable but are partly superposed what Julia Kristeva calls "position en catastrophe" , the overlapping part being unaccountable for in either system. This produces comic, such as the comic of certain incongruous enumerations relished by Borges and Eco, or the effect of Adeline's illuminations of marginalia representing humans with animal heads and vice-versa, i.
Did Adso not feel that these marginalia "naturally inspire merriment, though they were commenting on holy pages" 86? But since there can be only one system — the one given by the prophets and commented by the church fathers — there can be no "position en catastrophe".
Verbum unum et sanctum. William, however, perceives that "it is through the excess of virtue itself that the forces of hell prevail" :. I have seen his [the Antichrist's] face tonight : Jorge's face. In that face deformed by the hatred of philosophy I saw for the first time the portrait of the Antichrist The Antichrist can be born from piety itself, from the excessive love of God or the truth, as the heretic is born from the saint Fear prophets, Adso, and those prepared to die for the truth, for as a rule they make others die with them, before them, at times instead of them One cannot help thinking of all those terrorist suicide squads that have been sent out to the world by the great warlords of Holy Wars who usually manage themselves to survive the Holy War, to become as old as Khomeini in any old or "New Middle Ages".
Is the "systematic doubt" inherent in unlimited semiosis the answer, then?
It may lead away from bloody sanctity and toward a bloodless, spineless secular relativism. But that is moral question, and writers and philosophers throughout the ages have rather well accommodated themselves to the absence of morals. What they are unable to bear is the absence of form. A form that can be apperceived, reduced to a scheme, mirrored by some speculum, translated into signs : recuperated, in order to satisfy the instinct of the semiotic animal.
That is the melancholy resignation of somebody who, nevertheless, goes on in his quixotic pursuit of signs of truth — caballero de la Triste Figura — the figure who is loved by more people than any other, because he made people laugh more than any other. Perhaps the mission of those who love man kind is to make people laugh, to make truth laugh, because the only truth lies in learning to free ourselves from the insane passion for the truth 5. I tried before to show the functional homologies between detective and semiotic practices and suggested a link between their common characteristics and theology.
That link is the presupposition of an order, of one single "absolute signified", to use Husserl's term, from which to derive signifiers and to devise codes for the relations between them. Semioticians and detectives, even if accepting "unlimlited semiosis",. But, in addition to the "as if-element, which is an element of fiction, what the semiotic instinct leads to is the eternal, basic dilemma of faith :.
It is hard to accept the idea that there cannot be an order in the universe, because it would offend the free will of God and His omnipotence. So the freedom of God is our condemnation, or at best, the condemnation of our pride But how, asks Adso, can a necessary being exist that is totally a texture of possibles 6?
What difference is there, then, between God's absolute omnipotence and primal chaos? It is not demonstrating that God does not exist ? To which William reacts with an expressionless blind look — across his optical prostheses same category as the mirror, according to Eco and answers with an aporia. He knows only so much : we must go on acting as if, in aenigmate. Facie ad faciem. In the final showdown between the two grand antagonists the forbidden name has at last been pronounced. Never before has Jorge condescended to the revelation of his secret : not to those he manipulated with contempt like pawns on a chessboard.
Having at last found in Baskerville an adversary worthy of himself — William has "re-created" the unknown book on comedy by the same technique by which he before "re-created" the unknown horse — Jorge makes his confession : not one of humility, but one of pride. Such is, indeed, the power of the Antichrist that human vanity almost makes the two men forget the tragic series of deaths and the divine Word itself, object of their gigantic fight, over their mutual quest for admiration of their strategies, i. The most startling diabolic inversion in this deadly face-to-face of the two sworn enemies is that there arises something like affection, a mutual identification born from the interprenetration of their beings in their finally true confessions — something almost suggesting love.
This is not the banal "love of the. And it certainly is, and on both sides, pride. Pride brings us close to those we deem of equal rank. Intertextual "competence" and the interpretation of signs based on it, in other words, semiotics, reveals itself at the end as the criterion of their self-assessment and token of the pride. The Name Around this time, Borges also began writing screenplays. In , and after the initiative of Ocampo, the new anti-Peronist military government appointed him head of the National Library. By that time, he had become completely blind, like one of his best known predecessors, Paul Groussac for whom Borges wrote an obituary.
Neither coincidence nor the irony escaped Borges and he commented on them in his work:. Let neither tear nor reproach besmirch this declaration of the mastery of God who, with magnificent irony, granted me both the gift of books and the night. The following year he received the National Prize for Literature from the University of Cuyo, the first of many honorary doctorates.
From to , Borges also held a position as a professor of literature at the University of Buenos Aires, while frequently holding temporary appointments at other universities. When he was not able to read and write anymore he never learned the Braille system , his mother, to whom he had always been devoted, became his personal secretary. Though several other Borges translations appeared in literary magazines and anthologies during the s, his international fame dates from the early s.
While Beckett was well-known and respected in the English-speaking world, and Borges at this time remained unknown and untranslated, English-speaking readers became curious about the other recipient of the prize. The Italian government named Borges Commendatore; and the University of Texas at Austin appointed him for one year to the Tinker chair.
This led to his first lecture tour in the United States. The first translations of his work into English followed in , with lecture tours in Europe, and in subsequent years the Andean region of South America. In , Borges began a five-year period of collaboration with the American translator Norman Thomas di Giovanni, thanks to whom he became better known in the English-speaking world. He also lectured prolifically. Many of these lectures were anthologized in volumes such as Siete noches Seven Nights and Nueve ensayos dantescos Nine Dantesque Essays.
It was commonly believed that his mother, who was 90, and anticipating her own death, wanted to find someone to care for her blind son. The marriage lasted less than three years. After a legal separation, Borges moved back in with his mother, with whom he lived until her death at age Thereafter, he lived alone in the small flat he had shared with her, cared for by Fanny, their housekeeper of many decades. After , the year his mother died, Borges began to travel all over the world, up to the time of his death. A few months before his death, via an attorney in Paraguay, he married Kodama. After years of legal wrangling about the legality of the marriage, Kodama, as sole inheritor of a significant annual income, has control over his works.
Though reputed to be a perennial contender, Borges was never awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. Especially in the s, when he was clearly growing old and infirm, this became a glaring omission. It was speculated that he was considered unfit to receive the award for his political views. He did, however, receive the Jerusalem Prize in , awarded to writers who deal with themes of human freedom and society. In addition to his short stories for which he is most famous, Borges also wrote poetry, essays, several screenplays, and a considerable volume of literary criticism, prologues, and reviews, edited numerous anthologies, and was a prominent translator of English-, French- and German-language literature into Spanish and of Old English and Norse works as well.
Since Borges lived through most of the 20th century, he was rooted in the Modernist period of culture and literature, especially Symbolism. Like his contemporary Vladimir Nabokov and the older James Joyce, he combined an interest in his native land with far broader perspectives. He also shared their multilingualism and their playfulness with language, but while Nabokov and Joyce tended—as their lives went on—toward progressively larger works, Borges remained a miniaturist.
Many of his most popular stories concern the nature of time, infinity, mirrors, labyrinths, reality, philosophy, and identity. The same Borges told more and less realistic stories of South American life, stories of folk heroes, streetfighters, soldiers, gauchos, detectives, historical figures.
He mixed the real and the fantastic: fact with fiction. On several occasions, especially early in his career, these mixtures sometimes crossed the line into the realm of hoax or literary forgery. His non-fiction also explores many of the themes found in his fiction. Bustos Domecq. Borges composed poetry throughout his life. As his eyesight waned it came and went, with a struggle between advancing age and advances in eye surgery , he increasingly focused on writing poetry, since he could memorize an entire work in progress.
His poems embrace the same wide range of interests as his fiction, along with issues that emerge in his critical works and translations, and from more personal musings. This breadth of interest can be found in his fiction, nonfiction, and poems. As already mentioned, Borges was notable as a translator. At the end of his life he produced a Spanish-language version of the Prose Edda. In a number of essays and lectures, Borges assessed the art of translation, and articulated his own view at the same time.
He held the view that a translation may improve upon the original, may even be unfaithful to it, and that alternative and potentially contradictory renderings of the same work can be equally valid. Borges also employed two very unusual literary forms: the literary forgery and the review of an imaginary work.
Both constitute a form of modern pseudo-epigrapha. Along with publishing numerous legitimate translations, he also published original works after the style of the likes of Emanuel Swedenborg or The Book of One Thousand and One Nights, originally passing them off as translations of things he had come upon in his reading. Several of these are gathered in the Universal History of Infamy.
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He continued this pattern of literary forgery at several points in his career, for example sneaking three short, falsely attributed pieces into his otherwise legitimate and carefully researched anthology El matrero. At times , confronted with an idea for a work that bordered on the conceptual, rather than write a piece that fulfilled the concept, he wrote a review of a nonexistent work, as if it had already been created by some other person. Initially he tries to immerse himself in sixteenth-century Spain, but dismisses the method as too easy, instead trying to reach Don Quixote through his own experiences.
While Borges was certainly the great popularizer of the review of an imaginary work, it was not his own invention.