• Borges y Yo, Eiron and Alazon: Irony in "The Library of Babel" and "Pierre Menard"

    Author(s):
    Jonathan Basile (see profile)
    Date:
    2018
    Group(s):
    Digital Humanists, Latin American Literature, Philosophy
    Subject(s):
    20th-century Latin American literature, Rhetorical aesthetics, Literary criticism, Magical realism, 20th-century fantastic literature
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    Jorge Luis Borges, irony
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/chga-3372
    Abstract:
    Borges made a habit of differing from himself. "El otro" and "Borges y yo" are only the most overt examples from a corpus that constantly played with his biography, his beliefs, and his proper name. In his "non-fiction," this Auseinselbstsetzung takes the form of self-contradiction, asserting opposed theses in his own name, celebrating romantico-mystical union with the absolute together with the difference-from-self that makes it impossible. In his fiction, this disseminative impulse takes the form of irony. No difference could be more radical--in the ironic text, not only is every word compromised or crossed-out, but the absent center (what we blithely call the narrator or author) from which the narrative seems to issue is also split. Nor is Borges's irony the relatively simple sort of satire that lampoons a naive view in order to place itself and the canny reader among the enlightened few. He straddled this divide as well, identifying himself with both poles of the ironic text, as though the ignorance he mocked was nonetheless, ineluctably, his own. This even comes across in the relentless humility of his interviews, where he constantly expresses feeling both inferior next to and less vain than--Borges.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    8 months ago
    License:
    Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
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