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Non-Fictions - De File
Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
cbertsch
cbertsch
Non-Fictions
I've started reading the English-language collection of Jorge Luis Borges' non-fiction work that came out a number of years ago. I'd given it a cursory perusal when I bought it, as a companion to the fiction and poetry collections, but hadn't taken the time to give it much thought. Because it's one of the books that Thing Two marked during his excessively territorial phase, I decided that now would be a good time to pull it off the shelf. Noticing the slightly pockmarked cover and cleaning solution-curled edges of some pages may seem like a strange way of paying tribute to the cat's memory, but I've spent enough time musing on the ways in which mass-produced goods can develop the aura of one-of-a-kindness for this gesture to make sense for me psychologically.

Because I've been reading and loving Borges since high school, I've had the occasion to reflect in some detail on the havoc his work plays with traditional notions of genre. It's no accident that the English-language collection devoted to his poetry has a good deal of what looks like prose inside. This genre-bending also holds true for this non-fiction collection, which periodically turns up a piece that reads exactly like one of his ficciones that purports to present real history. But there are plenty of reviews of a more straightforward nature that do not feel like that sort of deception. I have been repeatedly delighted to find that Borges offers learned but unstuffy opinions that avoid what we now call snark while still managing to see through the Emperor's new clothes. His take on Finnegan's Wake, for example, boldly targets its easy punning as an indication of the author's shortcomings. I'll try to post a few quotes from other pieces in the collection later this week.

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Comments
From: e4q Date: June 29th, 2009 03:32 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
they don't have finnegan's wake, but you might be interested in this
http://librivox.org/ulysses-by-james-joyce/

it's all volunteers, so patchy by nature, but joyce enthusiasts with an obsessive streak, and very appropriate to read aloud, i think. worth taking a chapter at a time, since the whole thing takes so long to download that i totally failed to do it.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: June 30th, 2009 09:57 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Cool. Thanks for pointing that out. Joyce is definitely meant to be read aloud, in a way that most other Modernism isn't.
From: e4q Date: June 30th, 2009 11:17 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
i have just listened to the first chapter, and it's very uncharacteristic of librivox as it has sound effects and is being read by several people. it sounds like they were having a ball.
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