Thoughts about Borges
I have been taking a look back at Borges' fictions over the last few days -- very quickly I am again remembering what I love about them, and also seeing some problems with them that I was not conscious of in college. Jorge López' objection that they are "lacking in the emotional area" is particularly on my mind; I must say that the stories in part II, "Artifices," seem more emotionally developed than the stories in part I, "The Garden of Forking Paths." The last line of "The Form of the Sword" really cuts deep on an emotional level. (And yes, I seem to remember liking part I better than part II when I was in college. Make of that what you will.)
I have been reading Ficciones in the 1962 Grove edition, with translations by Anthony Kerrigan, Aleister Reed, Anthony Bonner, and a few others. I'm seeing some issues with the translations and thinking this could probably be a lot better done -- then I see over at Orbis Tertius today, there is a more recent translation by Andrew Hurley, published in 1998. So, I should check that out sometime.
I've also been happy about catching references that I did not get in college -- for instance, in "The Approach to Al-Mu'tasim" I recognized the title character's name from the op-ed piece I linked on Friday, and knew about "The Colloquy of the Birds" from references to it in Pamuk.
Well, all I read about Borges is most of part I of Ficciones. I
guess I should give part II a try!
Cool, well I will be interested to read what you think about part