Part One: Abstract is due May 7 at 10PM EST Part Two: 5 page (minimum) paper isn’t due until May 13 at 11:00PM EST. So this part does not have to be sent back to me by the due date set on this website

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Part One: Abstract is due May 7 at 10PM EST

Part Two: 5 page (minimum) paper isn’t due until May 13 at 11:00PM EST. So this part does not have to be sent back to me by the due date set on this website. But I will not mark as complete until I get both parts

Part One: Abstract is due May 7 at 10PM EST Part Two: 5 page (minimum) paper isn’t due until May 13 at 11:00PM EST. So this part does not have to be sent back to me by the due date set on this website
THE CONCEPT OF TIME OF JORGE LUIS BORGES Author(s): Albert I. Bagby, II Source: Romance Notes , Spring, 1965 , Vol. 6, No. 2 (Spring, 1965), pp. 99-105 Published by: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for its Department of Romance Studies Stable URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/43802398 JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact [email protected]. Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at https://about.jstor.org/terms is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Romance Notes This content downloaded from 128.228.0.67 on Sun, 08 Jan 2023 04:27:30 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms THE CONCEPT OF TIME OF JORGE LUIS BORGES By Albert I. Bagby, II the reader who is well acquainted with the works of the contemporary essayist Jorge Luis Borges, will already have become aware of the fact that in the discourse of practically all this philosopher’s writings there is a question as to his ideas about time and eternity. Even Borges himself must have been aware of this because when he wrote his book Otras inquisiciones (1952yf K H D W W H P S W H G L Q L W V O D V W F K D S W H r entitled “Nueva refutación del tiempo”, to clarify his ideas about these questions. Borges seems to realize that in his allusions to time he has created a certain confusion about what he thinks and attempts to justify his position. The reader derives frequently from the works of Borges the impression that he is denying time ; nevertheless, what I am attempting to show is that Borges is not refuting time “per se”, but time in its empirical sense as the philosophers of idealism, Ber- keley and Hume, conceive of it. It is certain that a reader who loses himself in the profound lines of a writer like Borges, probably will not consciously have his attention directed to this secondary element which moves in a ghostly manner, perhaps in an almost unnoticed fashion through the philosopher’s narratives. Borges – by means of his temporal allusions – would cause a superficial reader to believe that he actually does not know what the thinks about eternity. In the last paragraph of Otras inquisiciones he concludes: Negar la sucesión temporal, negar el yo, negar el universo astronómico, son desesperaciones aparentes y consuelos secretos. Nuestro destino (a diferencia del infierno de la mitología tibetanayf Q R H V H V S D Q W R V R S R U L U U H D O H V H V S D Q W R V R S R U T X e es ¿reversible y de hierro. El tiempo es un río que me arrebata, pero yo soy el río; es un tigre que me destroza, pero yo soy el tigre; es un fuego que me This content downloaded from 128.228.0.67 on Sun, 08 Jan 2023 04:27:30 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms 100 ROMANCE NOTES consume, pero yo soy el fuego. £1 mundo, desgraciadamente, es real; yo, desgra- ciadamente soy Borges. 1 The author finishes without saying explicitly what time and eter- nity represent to him; he nevertheless leaves fragments of material which enable us to draw some inferences of the ideas he has. The reference to the tiger which destroys him might well remind one of his parable entitled Inferno where he describes a leopard which is created by a powerful entity which tells the animal in a dream what it is to be and how it is to behave. It is but a lowly beast in a complex and chaotic world which will then in turn present it to a particular man at a particular given time who will know it is a savage, hungry, treacherous animal. That is, a man can dream himself into the reality that he wishes while the animal does not posses this protective consciousness and must be conceived in whatever form a superior mind may will. 2 Another example of the reality of “el yo” with time and destiny as substantiating factors is Borges’ parable on Cervantes and the Quixote. Supposedly Cervantes in mockery of himself invented a man who through his reading of glorious tales sought adventure and happiness in prosaic places. Disillusioned by the reality that faced him, this man, Quixote, died in Spain in about 1614, just a short time before Miguel de Cervantes. Both the dreamer and the dreamed one were realities. One is a product of the books of chi- valry; the other of the ordinary averyday world of the seventeenth century. 3 The same question thus persists : Am I who I am, or who I conceive myself to be? Persisting in the illustration of the very same idea, the book Ficciones which appeared in 1944 contains a chapter entitled “Las ruinas circulares” ( The Circular Ruins yf L Q Z K L F K % R U J H V S X V K H V W o its last consequences the hypothesis of Berkeley’s idealism – accord- ing to which the Consciousness is what creates reality. Here we have a man who through the architecture of his dreams invents another 1 Jorge Luis Borges, Otras inquisiciones (Buenos Aires: Emecé Editores, S. A.> 25 junio de 1952yf S . 2 Jorge Luis Borges, Labyrinths, «Selected Stories and other writings». ( A new Directions Book , Copywrited 1962yf S . a Ibid., p. 236. This content downloaded from 128.228.0.67 on Sun, 08 Jan 2023 04:27:30 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms THE CONCEPT OF TIME OF JORGE LUÍS BORGES 101 man, only to find that the new man in turn is not real either. A more powerful consciousness is dreaming (creatingyf K L P 4 In another section of Ficciones entitled The South there is a place where the protagonist Dahlman is in a café pensively caressing a cat. He rationalizes as he smoothes the cat’s black coat – that the contact is an illusion, and that the two beings, man and cat, are as good as separated by a glass – for man lives in time, in succession, 5 while the magical animal lives in the present, in the eternity of the instant. 6 Such ideas as these may be further seen in El truco where Borges expands his favorite belief that all men are really only one man. Furthermore, El jardín de senderos que se bifurcan contains a note relative to the same ideas of Borges. In essence, in The Garden of Forking Paths we find the theory that “The future exists now”. 7 The story supplies a picture, though not complete – of how the uni- verse should be. Here time is thought of not as absolute and uniform, but rather as an infinite series of times in a dizzily growing, ever- spreading network of diverging converging and parallel lines. This web of time intertwines through the passing of centuries, embracing every circumstance and possibility of reality. We exist in some ins- tances and not in others. In some both “you” and “I” exist but all in all we do not exist in most of them. This story is a guessing game in which the subject is time. The word itself, however, is never mentioned. 8 Let us now observe Borges’ reaction to the concepts of those whom he really considers his opponents : The pure idealist Berkeley says that “time is the succession of ideas that flow uniformly and 4 Jorge Luis Borges, Ficciones (Grove Press Inc., New York, copywrited 1962yf S S . 5 It has been pointed out that Borges has created confusion about his beliefs on time; he has perhaps even contradicted himself at times. The fact is, time has meant different things to him in different essays. At any rate, while the reader may choose to interpret the use of the word «succession» here as a contradiction of his supposed ideas, I should hold the point that «succession» as used by him merely means the «moving present» which I subsequently illustrate. 6 See note 4, pp. 169, 170. 7 See note 4, p. 170. 8 See note 4, pp. 99, 100. This content downloaded from 128.228.0.67 on Sun, 08 Jan 2023 04:27:30 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms 102 ROMANCE NOTES of which all beings participate”. 9 While Berkeley is affirming the continuous existence of objects, Hume denies it. Hume also refutes personal identity and makes of each man “a collection of links or awarenesses which succeed each other with inconceivable speed”. 10 According to Hume time is a succession of indivisible moments. 11 Borges criticizes these two idealists from the standpoint that they have created an uncertain, vague, unstable and mental world. For Borges, the world – whatever it is made of – must possess matter and spirit, and subjectivity as well as objectivity. Borges refuses to accept a world made up of pure absolute time, and of evanescing impres- sions. His world is also made of time but is of a different type of time. It is a world based on the ideal architecture of space, an infinite world revolving around e supreme being. A world and time made of spirit – made of God. To Borges the universe is “un infinito multiplicándose en el infinito, y los hombres andamos perdidos, com- plicando el caos con nuestros propios laberintos mentales”. 12 If Borges affirms that Berkeley and Hume are idealistic in their ideas, I would suggest that the temporal allusions he has made mark him as more idealistic than those whom he accuses of being idealis- tic. Borges believes that there is no secret god behind the scenes who governs the acts and receives the impressions. His god is openly and precisely the totality of these things. According to him, we are only the series of these imaginary acts and of these errant impres- sions. What series is Borges talking about? He says: Negados el espíritu y la materia que son continuidades, negado también el espacio, no sé qué derecho tenemos a esa continuidad que es el tiempo. 13 Borges denies – with arguments of idealism itself – the vast tem- poral series which idealism permits. While Hume has denied the existence of an absolute space, in which each thing has its place, 9 Alexander Campbell Fraser, The Works of George Berkeley, «A treatise concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge» (Oxford, The Clarendon Press, 1901yf S . 10 David Hume, A Treatise of Human Nature, Vol. I, (London. J. M. Dert & Sons Lmtd. New York, E. P. Dutton & Co., Inc., 1956yf S S . 11 Ibid., pp. 69-80. 12 See note 1, pp. 205, 206. 13 See note 1, p. 207. This content downloaded from 128.228.0.67 on Sun, 08 Jan 2023 04:27:30 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms THE CONCEPT OF TIME OF JORGE LUÍS BORGES 103 Borges denies that of one only instant in which all occurences are perpetuated. For him the idea of negating coexistence is no less diffi- cult than denying succession. Borges further adds: Niego lo contemporáneo también. El amante que piensa ‘Mientras yo estaba tan feliz pensando en la fidelidad de mi amor, ella me engañaba’ se engaña; si cada instante que vivimos es absoluto, esa felicidad no fue contemporánea de esa traición; el descubrimiento de esa traición es un estado más, inepto para modificar a los ‘anteriores’ aunque no a su recuerdo. La desventura de hoy no es más que la dicha pretérita. 14 Borges thinks of every instant as autonomous. Nothing can alter the past. According to him, etch moment that we live exists, not its imaginary aggregate. Borges continues: Si el tiempo es un proeso mental ¿cómo pueden compartir de él millares de hombres, o aún dos hombres distintos?» 15 Borges indicates to us – with reason – that time in the form of a succession becomes easily disrupted at the exact moment in which any element of the succession is repeated. Thus, Borges is correct in pointing out that if outside of each awareness (actual or con- jecturalyf P D W W H U G R H V Q R W H [ L V W D Q G L I D O V R R X W V L G H R I H D F K P H Q W D l awareness the spirit does not exist, neither will time exist outside of each present moment! What is Borges really saying? Doubtless he is not refuting time because he himself assures us that denying time involves two negations: (1yf 1 H J D W L Q J W K H V X F F H V V L R Q R I W K H F R Q V W L – tuents of one series, 16 and (2yf Q H J D W L Q J W K H V Q F K U R Q L V P R I W K H S D U W s of two series. 17 Borges therefore criticizes the formulators of an ill-conceived temporal concept and confronts us with a concept which alienates itself further from the representatives of idealism, Berkeley and Hume. Borges gives us three concrete examples of the time-eternity rela- tionship. In his Historia de la eternidad , Borges formulates that the 14 Jorge Luis Borges, Inquisiciones (Buenos Aires: Emecé Editores, S. A., 1925yf S . 15 See note 1, p. 208. 16 See note 1, p. 209. 17 See note 1, p. 209. This content downloaded from 128.228.0.67 on Sun, 08 Jan 2023 04:27:30 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms 104 ROMANCE NOTES universe in which we live requires “eternity”, and adds that to live is to lose time and that we cannot recover or retain anything except under structure of “eternity”. 18 In his presentation of Sentirse en muerte , he tells us of an experi- ence he had while paying e visit to the city of Barracas where he spent his childhood. Borges says that having walked down the same streets, seen the same houses, the same sidewalks, the same turbid and chaotic earth – he came to the conclusion that it was not as if he had surmounted the presumptive waters of time nor returned to the past. What had happened is that he felt himself possessor of the absent or withholding sense of the inconceivable word “eternity”. His experience was a pure representation of homogeneous happen- ings, not only identical to those which transpired or that corner so many years before, but without similarities or repetitions – the very same. 19 In his book El aleph Borges relates an experience which he had in the basement of a rather crazy friend of his called Carlos Argen- tino. He tells us that in the mysterious darkness of the basement he found himself in a certain particular position on one of the steps that were descending, a position from which he could detect a little spot of light or illumination in the midst of the blackness. That small light supposedly represented simultaneously everything one could imagine in the world. That little mystical spot represented the beginn- ing and the end ; the alpha and omega ; all and nothing ; the infinite concept “eternity”. 20 Time and eternity are therefore interlinked. One complements the other. Borges denies the existence of a past and future and con- sequently of time if such an entity really depends on a preterite and on a future. Borges renounces “totality” in order to exalt each one of the parts – and through Berkeley’s and Hume’s dialectic he is able to arrive at a “Schopenhauer”, which consists more or less of the following: The form of the appearance of the will is only the 18 Jorge Luis Borge«, Historia de la eternidad (Buenos Aires: Emecé Edito- res, S. A., 1936yf S . 19 Jorge Luis Borges, El aleph (Buenos Aires: Translated by P. Verdevoye y N. Ibarra, Ligny- Sur-Marne, 1951yf S . 20 Ibid., pp. 136-139. This content downloaded from 128.228.0.67 on Sun, 08 Jan 2023 04:27:30 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms THE CONCEPT OF TIME OF JORGE LUÍS BORGES 105 present, not the past nor the future. No one has lived in the past and no one will live in the future; the present is the form of all life. 21 CONCLUSION: Here, therefore, are formulated Borges’ temporal ideas, and his concept of time of present duration is even better illustrated by a carriage wheel which, while turning, touches the ground at only one spot and at only one instant. So our life is the temporal present and lasts the same as an idea. Thus: According to Borges, time as such does not exist – outside of a limited framework. Things remain the same; we are the ones that change. What really matters is not mental perceptions but attitudes. We make time and by consequence it is a subjective projection of our will, of our very being. Time is an intellectual reaction of our subconscious and all we are able to project is the “right now” (the presentyf , I W L P H L V D P D Q L I H V W D W L R Q R I R X U E H L Q J Z K L F K R Q O H [ L V W V L n the instantaneous “now”, it is neither more nor less than the moving present , and let us bear in mind that the present can suffer a state of movement without necessarily being in succession. Eternity, on the other hand, being limitless time, is the present stopped. Winthrop College. 21 See note 1, p. 209. This content downloaded from 128.228.0.67 on Sun, 08 Jan 2023 04:27:30 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms
Part One: Abstract is due May 7 at 10PM EST Part Two: 5 page (minimum) paper isn’t due until May 13 at 11:00PM EST. So this part does not have to be sent back to me by the due date set on this website
T h e W a ll a n d th e B o o k s H e, w hose long w all the w and’ring T artar bounds. . . — D unciad, II, 76 I read, som e days past, that the m an w ho ordered the erection of the alm ost in finite w all of C hina w as that first E m peror, S hih H uang T i, w ho also decreed that all books prior to him be burned. T hat these tw o vast operations― the five to six hundred leagues of stone opposing the barbarians, th e rigorous abolition of history, that is, of the past― should originate in one person and be in som e w ay his attributes inexplicably satisfied and, at the sam e tim e, d isturbed m e. T o investigate the reasons for that em otion is the purpose of this note. H istorically speaking, there is no m ystery in the tw o m easures. A contem porary of the w ars of H annibal, S hih H uang T i, king of T sin, brought th e S ix K ingdom s under his rule and abolished the feudal system ; he erected th e w all, because w alls w ere defenses; he burned the books, because his opposition invoked them to praise the em perors of olden tim es. B urning books and erecting fortifications is a com m on task of princes; the only thing singular in S hih H uang T i w as the scale on w hich he operated. S uch is suggested by certain S inologists, but I feel that the facts I have related are som ething m ore than an exaggeration or hyperbole of trivial dispositions. W alling in an orchard or a garden is ordinary, but not w alling in an em pire. N or is it banal to pretend that the m ost traditional of races renounce the m em ory of its past, m ythical or real. T he C hinese had three thou sand years of chronology (and during those years, the Y ellow E m peror and C huang T su and C onfucius and L ao T zu) w hen S hih H uang T i ordered that history begin w ith him . S hih H uang T i had banished his m other for being a libertine; in his stern ju stice the o rthodox saw nothing but an im piety; S hih H uang T i, perhaps, w anted to obliterate the canonical books because they accused him ; S hih H uang T i, perhaps, tried to abolish the entire past in order to abolish one single m em ory: his m other’s infam y. (N ot in an unlike m anner did a king of Judea have all m ale children killed in order to kill one.) T his conjecture is w orthy of attention, but tells us nothing about the w all, the second part of the m y th . S hih H uang T i, according to the historians, forbade that death be m entioned and sought the elixir of im m ortality and secluded him self in a figurative palace containing as m any room s as there are days in the year; these facts suggest that the w all in space an d the fire in tim e w ere m agic barriers designed to halt death. A ll things long to persist in their being, B aruch S pinoza has w ritten; perhaps the E m peror and his sorcerers believed that im m ortality is intrinsic and that decay cannot enter a closed orb. P erhaps the E m peror tried to recreate the beginning of tim e and called him self T he F irst, so as to be really first, and called him self H uang T i, so as to be in som e w ay H uang T i, the legendary em peror w ho inv ented w riting and the com pass. T he latter, according to the B ook of R ites, gave things their true nam e; in a parallel fashion, S hih H uang T i boasted, in inscriptions w hich endure, that all things in his reign w ould have the nam e w hich w as proper to them . H e dream t of founding an im m ortal dynasty; he ordered that his heirs be called S econd E m peror, T hird E m peror, F ourth E m peror, and so on to infinity. . . I have spoken of a m agical purpose; it w ould also be fitting to suppose that erecting the w all and burning the books w ere not sim ultaneous acts. T his (depending on the order w e select) w ould give us the im age of a king w ho began by destroying and then resigned him self to preserving, or that of a disillusioned king w ho destroyed w hat he had previously defended. B oth conjectures are dram atic, but they lack, as far as I know , any basis in history. H erbert A llen G iles tells that those w ho hid books w ere branded w ith a red-hot iron and sentenced to labor until the day of their death on the construction of the outrageous w all. T his inform ation favors or tolerates another interpretation. P erhaps the w all w as a m etaphor, perhaps S hih H uang T i sentenced those w ho w orshiped the past to a task as im m ense, as g ross and as useless as the past itself. P erhaps the w all w as a challenge and S hih H uang T i thought: “M en love the past and neither I nor m y executioners can do anything against that love, but som eday there w ill be a m an w ho feels as I do and he w ill efface m y m em ory and be m y shadow and m y m irror and not know it.” P erhaps S hih H uang T i w alled in his em pire because he knew that it w as perishable and destroyed the books because he understood th at they w ere sacred books, in other w ords, books that teach w hat the entire un iverse or the m ind of every m an teaches. P erhaps the burning of the libraries and the erection of the w all are operations w hich in som e secret w ay cancel each other. T he tenacious w all w hich at this m om ent, and at all m om ents, casts its system of shadow s over lands I shall never see, is the shadow of a C aesar w ho ordered the m ost reverent of nations to burn its past; it is plausible that this idea m oves us in itself, aside from the conjectu res it allow s. (Its virtue m ay lie in the opposition of constructing and destroying on an enorm ous scale.) G eneralizing from the preceding case, w e could infer that all form s have their virtue in them selves and not in any conjectural “content.” T his w ould concord w ith the thesis of B enedetto C roce; already P ater in 1877 had affirm ed that all arts aspire to the state of m usic, w hich is pure form . M usic, states of happiness, m ythology, faces belabored by tim e, certain tw ilights and certain places try to tell us som ething, or have said som ething w e should not have m issed, or are about to say som ething; this im m inence of a revelation w hich does not occur is, perhaps, the aesthetic phenom enon. — Translated by Jam es E . Irby
Part One: Abstract is due May 7 at 10PM EST Part Two: 5 page (minimum) paper isn’t due until May 13 at 11:00PM EST. So this part does not have to be sent back to me by the due date set on this website
Borges, Averroes, Aristotle: The Poetics of Poetics Author(s): Daniel Balderston Source: Hispania , May, 1996 , Vol. 79, No. 2 (May, 1996), pp. 201-207 Published by: American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese Stable URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/344881 JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact [email protected]. Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at https://about.jstor.org/terms American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Hispania This content downloaded from 128.228.0.67 on Sat, 07 Jan 2023 22:11:53 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms 201 Borges, Averroes, Aristotle: The Poetics of Poetics Daniel Balderston Tulane University Abstract: Borges’s appropriations of literary theory are mischievous, undermining the grand, universalizing claims of theory. His strategies are clearly exemplified in “La busca de Averroes,” which shows not only Averroes’s difficulties in explicating Aristotle’s Poetics but also Borges’s own difficulties in depicting Averroes in his otherness in twelfth-century Islamic Spain. Ultimately the story is a parable of the impossibility of theory, a swerve from the general to the particular. Key Words: Borges (Jorge Luisyf $ Y H U U R H V % X V F D G H $ Y H U U R H V $ U L V W R W O H S R H W L F V O L W H U D U W K H R U 2 U L H Q W D O L V m La palabra corsarias corre el albur de despertar un recuerdo vagamente inc6modo: el de una descolorida zarzuela, con sus teorias de evidentes mucamas, que hacian de piratas coreogrificas en mares de notable cart6n. Borges, Obras completas (306yf 1 As Borges reminds us in the open- ing sentence of “La viuda Ching, kpirata” (in Historia universal de la infamia, 1935yf W K H R U L Q * U H H N P H D Q W I H V – tival” or “procession.” Dario uses the word “teoria” in the same unusual sense in “El reino interior” (1896yf 3 R U H O O D G R G H U H F K o del camino adelante, / el paso leve, una adorable teoria / virginal. Siete blancas doncellas, semejantes / a siete blancas rosas de gracia y de armonia / que el alba constelara de perlas y diamantes” (67yf . Borges’s use of the word is considerably more transgressive than Dario’s in that he shoves the word from a “high” cultural con- text to a “low” one. By carnivalizing this solemn philosophical word, by turning the Greek word from religious procession to can-can, Borges, as is often his wont, deflates the notion of high seriousness or pure abstraction, here with a grotesque, even a pathetic image: the “evidentes mucamas” are domestic servants who as- pire to be vaudeville dancers but do not quite succeed. But if “La viuda Ching, pirata” ends up as a vindication of the life of a female pirate, moving from the ridicu- lous to the sublime, so Borges is-at least for our time-one of the world authors most frequented by “theory,” high and low, pure and applied. In what follows I will be mostly concerned with the presence of the found- ing text of literary theory, Aristotle’s Poet- ics, in the 1947 story “La busca de Averroes,” hoping to suggest new ways to read the re- lation between “Borges” and “theory.” From Genette and Foucault to de Man and Bloom, from Pierre Macherey to John Frow, Borges is invoked at any number of key moments in the theoretical discussions of the last thirty years. Borges has been subjected to all types of readings: structur- alist, Bakhtinian, Derridean, Marxist, Lacanian, feminist and queer, philosophical, scientific, new historicist and cultural stud- ies, postcolonial, religious, etc. etc. In fact, the MLA bibliography lists “applications of the theories of’ the following to Borges: Barthes, Lacan, Derrida, Spitzer, Girard, Bakhtin, Peirce, Eco, Robbe-Grillet, Genette, Amado Alonso, Jung, de Man, Eliade, Mario Valdes, Ricoeur, Berkeley, Carlyle, Propp, Greimas, Benjamin, Said, Cassirer, Steiner, and others, as well as the applications of such other kinds of theory as chaos theory, game theory, semiotics, quantum theory, translation theory and so forth. It seems from this astonishing cata- This content downloaded from 128.228.0.67 on Sat, 07 Jan 2023 22:11:53 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms 202 HISPANIA 79 MAY 1996 logue that we are only lacking a Buddhist- Leninist reading of El libro de arena with applications of the theories of Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick and Joseph Campbell, but no doubt someone, somewhere is writing a dissertation or an article along those lines. Borges’s writings show his great famil- iarity with literary criticism: John Livingston Lowes’s The Road to Xanadu, Dante criti- cism, Old Norse and Old English criticism, Valery, Eliot, Stuart Gilbert’s book on Ulysses (praised as being worth reading in- stead of the Joyce novel itself [232]yf F U L W L – cism of gauchesque poetry, etc. He seems less interested in literary theory per se. There are two key references to Aristotle’s Poetics-in “La busca de Averroes” and in “El pudor de la historia” (583, 754yf W K H O D W – ter to remark that Aeschylus increased the number of actors from one to two-and a few scattered references to Croce, Coleridge, Arnold, Eliot, and the James/ Stevenson debates on narrative theory. Borges makes no direct reference to the Russian formalists, Burke, the New Critics, even to Forster’s Aspects of the Novel, or- perhaps because of blindness, perhaps from disinterest-to more recent schools of theory. But the theory/criticism distinction is undermined in Borges because “theoreti- cal” arguments may be embedded in fic- tional plots, in critical essays, even in the short prose pieces of El hacedor. For in- stance, the central theoretical insight in “Pierre Menard, autor del Quijote”-that a text comes to be when read and rewritten- first appears in an essay, “La fruici6n literaria,” in El idioma de los argentinos (1928yf D Q G S U H G D W H V W K H . R Q V W D Q ] V F K R R l of the “aesthetics of reception” and Stanley Fish’s “reader response theory” by some forty years. In “La fruici6n literaria,” Borges proposes a conundrum: that the meaning of a text varies greatly depending on its attri- bution. Working with a phrase “El incendio, con feroces mandibula[s], devora el campo,” he inquires what this would mean if written by a fire survivor, by a Chinese poet, by an avant garde poet (of the kind he had been himself at the beginning of the same de- cadeyf R Q O W R U H Y H D O D W W K H H Q G W K D W W K e phrase is by Aeschylus, and as such is as- sociated with remote antiquity and its se- vere beauty (El idioma de los argentinos 90- 91yf 7 K L V V W X Q W R I L Q W H U S U H W D W L R Q L V J U H D W O y extended in “Pierre Menard,” apropos of Menard’s rewriting, under the influence of William James, of the phrase from Cervantes “La verdad, cuya madre es la historia, emula del tiempo, dep6sito de las acciones, testigo de lo pasado, ejemplo y aviso de lo presente, advertencia de lo por venir” (449yf . It is not easy to accomodate Borges’s dis- parate ideas into a system or coherent theory, as Shumway and Sant have pointed out. Some have argued, for instance, that Otras inquisiciones advocates a literary his- tory without authors’ names, but the essays on Wilde and Valkry undercut this idea by arguing that these authors can be valued for their sincerity (a word seldom associated with Wildeyf R U S H U V R Q D O L W Q R W Y L H Z H G D V a virtue by Valkryyf % R U J H V X V H V S D U D G R x throughout his critical writings as a way of resisting generalizations; this can be seen in “Pierre Menard” itself. Carla Cordua’s insight into Borges’s uses of metaphysics is germane here: Borges does not “do” phi- losophy-or theory-but does not just re- fer to it either. By “doing” theory differ- ently-by resisting the impulse to general- ize, by contradicting himself from one text to another, by thinking through paradox in much of his work-Borges proves exem- plary as a critic attentive to the particulars of the text he comments, and can be used productively at almost every turn of contem- porary theoretical work, although one would have to say that he is in but not ofthat textual universe. Cordua notes: Los frutos de la teoria [de la metafisica] son tratados por Borges, antes que nada, como productos de la fan- tasia y a los cultivadores hist6ricos de la filosofia los tiene por amables ilusos encandilados por la quimera de la verdad. Para Borges la teoria fue siempre una actividad de otros que trae al mundo ciertos objetos en extremo raros y sugerentes. Esta perspectiva, completamente inusual, si lo pensamos bien, puede ser ilamada, creo, una interpretaci6n est6tica de la filosofia. (630yf This content downloaded from 128.228.0.67 on Sat, 07 Jan 2023 22:11:53 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms BORGES, AVERROES, ARISTOTLE: THE POETICS OF POETICS 203 If Borges chooses (in “La viuda Ching” and elsewhereyf W R U H W X U Q W R W K H * U H H N R X t of an interest in etymology, calling in his essay “El idioma infinito” for a return to the “primordial meaning” of a word (El tamahio de mi esperanza 41yf V R K L V V W R U / D E X V F a de Averroes” is shaped by another kind of desire for return: a return to the very origins of literary theory, Aristotle’s Poetics.3 Borges’s story opens with an epigraph from Renan’s Averroes et l’averroisme and ends with an evocation of the same author, thus suggesting that Renan is Borges’s primary or perhaps only source. Borges’s Averroes, or ibn Rushd, as he is known in Arabic, is disturbed by a “philological” doubt related to his commentary on the Poetics at the moment he is penning the eleventh chapter of his TahafutAl-Tahafut (Incoherence of the Incoherenceyf K L V D W W D F N R Q D O * K D ] D O L s Tahafut Al-Filasifa (Incoherence of the Phi- losophersyf L Q L W V W X U Q D Q D W W D F N R Q S K L O R V R – phy as an illegitimate branch of theology. (It should be noted that Averroes was exiled near the end of his life and some of his books burnt in a similar battle between the- ology and philosophy; Borges does not say so, but the stakes in this dispute were high.yf Averroes’s “philological” doubt, that serves to interrupt his philosophy for an afternoon and an evening, has to do with two unknown words, “tragedy” and “comedy.” Now, any reader of Aristotle’s Poetics will concur that an inability to decipher these words will gravely impede an understanding of Aristotle’s text, and Averroes shares that preoccupation: “Esas dos palabras arcanas pululaban en el texto de la Poetica; impo- sible eludirlas” (583yf . Much of the Borges story is a discussion with Abulc asim al-Ashari (the name is based on that of one of Averroes’s biogra- phersyf D E R X W Z K H W K H U L W L V E H W W H U W R V K R Z R r to tell. Al-Ashari tells of his experience of having attended a theater in China- “Imaginemos que alguien muestra una historia en vez de referirla” (585yf D Q G E H – cause he does not tell of the experience in a way that is clearly understandable (even to Averroes, who is hungry for information about precisely this art, though he may not know ityf W K H F R Q V H Q V X V D P R Q J K L V O L V W H Q – ers is that it is unnecessary to use numer- ous people to tell a story when one would suffice. The issue arises in the Poetics, in the passage cited by Borges in “El pudor de la historia,” when Aristotle recalls that Aeschylus increased the number of actors from one to two (Janko 6yf % R U J H V F R P – ments on this passage in that essay at some length, finally noting: …nunca sabremos si [Esquilo] presinti6, siquiera de un modo imperfecto, lo significativo de aquel pasaje del uno al dos, de la unidad a la pluralidad y asi a lo infinito. Con el segundo actor entraron el didlogo y las indefinidas posibilidades de la reacci6n de unos carac- teres sobre otros. (754-55yf The same issue-showing vs. telling-, now wholly transposed into the art of nar- rative, preoccupied Henry James and his followers, notably Percy Lubbock; in the story, Farach, the scholar of the Koran, says of the Chinese theater that has been de- scribed by his guest Albucasim: “En tal caso … no se requerian veinte personas. Un solo hablista puede referir cualquier cosa, por complejo que sea” (586yf – R K Q 6 W X U U R F k rightly calls attention to the unusual word “hablista” instead of “hablante” or “narra- dor” [284].yf But the central point of the story is, as the narrator states at the end, “el proceso de una derrota[,] … el caso de un hombre que se propone un fin que no esta’ vedado a los otros, pero si a 1” (587-88yf ) R U W K H Q D U U D – tor, and presumably for the reader, a read- ing of Aristotle’s Poetics by someone with- out knowledge and experience of the the- ater is unthinkable, but such is the case of Averroes in twelfth-century Al-Andalus. Ironically, of course, the narrator calls atten- tion to boys in the street pretending to be muezzin and congregation (playing, that is, at the theateryf D Q G W K H F R Q Y H U V D W L R Q D t Farach’s house, as we have seen, turns on Abulcisim’s account of a visit to a theater in China.4 A reading of the Poetics by some- one who thinks that tragedy is panegyric or eulogy and comedy is satire seems ludi- crous, as Renan remarks in his Averroes et l’averroisme (in the same passage from This content downloaded from 128.228.0.67 on Sat, 07 Jan 2023 22:11:53 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms 204 HISPANIA 79 MAY 1996 which Borges took the epigraph to the story, “S’imagininant que la trag6die n’est autre chose que l’art de louer”yf & H W W H S D U D – phrase accuse … l’ignorance la plus com- plkte de la litt6rature grecque” (He imag- ines that tragedy is nothing if not the art of praising. This paraphrase reveals … the most complete ignorance of Greek litera- ture. 48yf 5 Let me confess now to having read Averroes’s Middle Commentary on Aristotle’s Poetics, translated into English in 1986 by Charles E. Butterworth.6 This work, as Butterworth notes, is almost unknown in the Arabic-speaking world, having only been published in the last 125 years and in scholarly editions that have apparently cir- culated little; the two Arabic manuscripts are preserved in libraries in Florence and Leiden. Renan knew the work through translations of translations of the original, remarking at one point that the works of Averroes that were available to him were Latin translations of Hebrew translations of a commentary made upon Arabic transla- tions of Syriac translations of Greek origi- nals (52yf $ Y H U U R H V V L Q D E L O L W W R U H D d Aristotle directly is more than compensated by his readers’ inability (from Thomas Aquinas to Borgesyf W R U H D G K L P G L U H F W O , f it were not for Butterworth’s notes, Averroes’s quotations from and reflections on Arabic poetry and poetics would be nearly incomprehensible for the Western non-Arabist reader (as they were for one of his medieval translators, Hermann Alemannyf M X V W D V $ Y H U U R H V F R X O G Q R W P D N e much sense of Aristotle’s references to Greek poetry. But this is not entirely the point. Averroes acknowledges at the outset that Aristotle comments on aspects of Greek poetry that do not have ready analo- gies in Arabic poetry, or in the poetry of “most or all nations,” to use his frequent phrase; he sets as his task the adaptation of Aristotle’s argument to Arabic poetry, a di- mension Stavans does not explore in this article on the story. Thus, he argues through his commentary that Aristotle did not set out the rules for all poetry and that he will not do so either; the Poetics and the Middle Commentary are particular rather than general in scope. As Averroes argues in his Tahafut Al- Tahafut [or Incoherence of the Incoherence]: The theory of the philosophers that universals exist only in the mind, not in the external world, only means that the universals exist actually only in the mind, and not in the external world, not that they do not exist at all in the external world, for the meaning is that they exist potentially, not actually in the external world; indeed, if they did not exist at all in the outside world they would be false. (65yf So here with the poetics. Borges’s sum- mary of the eleventh chapter of Tahafut is exact in the story: “se mantiene, contra el asceta persa Ghazali, autor del Tahafut-ul- falasifa (Destrucci6n de fil6sofosyf T X H O a divinidad s61o conoce las leyes generales del universo, lo concerniente alas especies, no al individuo” (582yf $ Y H U U R H V K L P V H O f writes at the end of the chapter in question: And concerning both universals and individuals it is true of Him that He knows them and does not know them. This is the conclusion to which the principles of the ancient philosophers led; but those who make a distinction, and say that God knows universals but does not know particulars, have not fully grasped their theory, and this is not a consequence of their prin- ciples. For all human sciences are passivities and im- pressions from the existents, and the existents operate on them. But the knowledge of the Creator operates on existents, and the existents receive the activities of His knowledge. (269yf Knowing and not knowing: in this paradox resides one of Averroes’s fundamental in- sights. In one of his essays on Dante, Borges writes: “La precisi6n que acabo de indicar no es un artificio ret6rico; es afirmaci6n de la probidad, de la plenitud, con que cada incidente del poema ha sido imaginado” (Nueve ensayos dantescos 88yf , Q W K H F D V H R f Borges’s Averroes, what is at stake in argu- ing for “precisi6n” is not the minimal refer- ences to the local color of Moslem Spain- the fountain, the harem, and so forth-but the intellectual rigor with which Averroes’s mental world has been recreated: the right chapter of the Tahafut is mentioned, the names of the Arabic translators of Aristotle are correctly cited, the Hellenistic commen- tator on Aristotle (Alexander of Aphrodisiasyf This content downloaded from 128.228.0.67 on Sat, 07 Jan 2023 22:11:53 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms BORGES, AVERROES, ARISTOTLE: THE POETICS OF POETICS 205 is consulted at the right moment. John Sturrock gets it profoundly wrong when he calls Borges’s erudition into question here, doubting the existence of Alexander of Aphrodisias (279yf D Q G V W D W L Q J R I W K H * K D ] D O i Tahafut and of Averroes’s reply: “Whether these are real works of early Arabic thought, or whether Borges has made them up, I do not know. Their existence is, so to speak, immaterial” (280yf 2 Q W K H F R Q W U D U : Borges may not have known how to read Arabic or Hebrew but he made excellent use of the Latin and modern material (not, as the ineffable Mr. Sturrock would have it, “immaterial”yf D Y D L O D E O H W R K L P . As already noted, “Pierre Menard,” like “La fruici6n literaria” before it, complicates the matter of literary interpretation by in- sisting that the meaning of a text depends not only on the conditions of its production (who wrote it, when, and under what cir- cumstancesyf E X W D O V R R I L W V U H F H S W L R Q , Q W K L s story the same idea is broached in the dis- cussion of whether a metaphor in a classic Arabic poem (destiny seen as a blind camelyf has become a mere cliche; Averroes argues to the contrary that an image penned in the Arabian desert acquires new layers of mean- ing centuries later in Al-Andalus: “Dos terminos tenia la figura y hoy tiene cuatro” (587yf 7 K H W Z R Q H Z W H U P V D G G H G W R W K e figure (which initially consisted of “camel” and “destiny”yf D U H = X K D L U W K H $ U D E L F S R H t who composed the image, and “nuestros pesares,” the sufferings and sorrows of Zuhair’s Spanish readers, so distant from the Arabian desert. By the same token, Aristotle’s text is enriched on being read by Averroes, and Averroes’s on being read by Borges, although the “difference” between one and another may be as invisible as that between Menard’s and Cervantes’s ver- sions of “la verdad, cuya madre es la historia” (449yf . “La busca de Averroes,” then, is the story of the founding text of literary theory, as misunderstood-or better still, as reimag- ined-in a different cultural context. The story is cast as a tragedy in Aristotle’s terms: the philosopher’s quest is undone by his ignorance, and by his masking of his igno- rance with a sense of superiority. (One problem with the casting of this story as tragedy is its genre: the short story is a nar- ration, without the independent existence of characters, or their presence on the stage.yf For undertaking a translation of the Poetics without a sense of what theater is (much less the distinction between tragedy and comedyyf L V V X U H O D Q D F W R I K X E U L V 0 Averroes’s failure (“quise narrar el proceso de una derrota” [587]yf L V P L U U R U H G L Q W K e narrator’s failure, Averroes’s disappearance before the mirror signalling the failure of the narrator’s imagination. Van der Bergh states in his introduction to the Tahafut: “Averroes was the last great philosopher in Islam in the twelfth century, and is the most scholarly and scrupulous commentator of Aristotle. He is far better known in Europe than in the Orient [sic], where few of his works are still in existence and where he had no influence, he being the last great philosopher of his culture” (xiiyf . Yet he is knowable here only through his otherness. As Floyd Merrell has argued in his brief discussion of the story: The concepts of tragedy and comedy exist within the cultural milieu of the West, and hence the pair is for Borges adequately intelligible, but not for Averroes. Borges, on the other hand, endeavors to construct a narrative that lies within Averroes’s Islamic form of life, a task equally as impossible as that of Averroes. The self-reflective injunction both men give them- selves is tantamount to the paradoxical Socratic knowledge paradox [sic], which pragmatically puts one in an untenable situation, for to know that one knows, one must already know, and if one already knows, then one cannot conscientiously set out to obey the injunction. Yet, in a manner of speaking, both tasks are possible, for Borges does complete his nar- rative, however inadequate he may claim it to be, and Averroes did somehow solve his problem, for his an- swer vaguely corresponds to Aristotle’s Poetics. … In this manner, the paradox has in a sense been resolved, yet it has not been truly resolved, since both Averroes and the narrator apparently merely muddled their way through to an answer; there is no way of their know- ing absolutely how they stumbled upon it or whether or not it was correct. (75-76yf Knowing and not knowing again: in Merrell’s formulation, an insight into the particular, gained by “mere muddling through,” by “vague correspondences,” is This content downloaded from 128.228.0.67 on Sat, 07 Jan 2023 22:11:53 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms 206 HISPANIA 79 MAY 1996 not sufficient knowledge of the whole, but it is knowledge of some sort. Corbin notes that Averroes (like Dante after him, in the letter to Can Grande discussed by Borges and so many othersyf D U J X H V I R U W K H F R H [ L V W H Q F H R f exoteric (zahiryf P H D Q L Q J V D Q G R Q H R U P R U e esoteric (batinyf P H D Q L Q J V f; the next story in ElAleph is precisely “El Zahir.” The subtle discussion of metaphor in Averroes’s Middle Commentary (fuller than the corre- sponding discussion in Aristotleyf V X J J H V W s the importance for him of suggestion and connotation, a refusal of hermeneutic clo- sure, as does the succession of commentar- ies that he wrote to Aristotle, from the short initial ones to the later “middle” and “great” commentaries (see Fakhry 273 and Peters 95 on the various kinds of commentariesyf . He might have approved Borges’s definition of esthetics (and beauty, and poeticsyf H V W a inminencia de una revelaci6n, que no se produce, es, quiza, el hecho estetico” (635yf . In placing a resistance to closure and to system at the end of “La muralla y los libros,” the first essay of Otras inquisiciones, his primary book of essays, Borges mocks (in advanceyf W K H I R O O R I W K R V H Z K R Z R X O d try to box him in to one or another theoreti- cal approach, and by stressing the “immi- nence” of an (endlessly postponedyf U H Y H O D – tion, he leaves open the possibility of differ- ent, and endlessly renewable, readings. He makes the same point in the final essay of (later editions ofyf 2 W U D V L Q T X L V L F L R Q H V , “Sobre los clhasicos.” Revelation itself is somewhat suspect, as faith requires clo- sure; the liminal is the space of poetics.”n * NOTES ‘Unless otherwise noted all quotations from Borges are from the 1974 edition of the so-called Obras completas. 2Cf. “Sobre los cldsicos”: “Escasas disciplinas ha- brd de mayor interns que la etimologia; ello se debe a las imprevisibles transformaciones del sentido primi- tivo de las palabras, a lo largo del tiempo. Dadas tales transformaciones, que pueden lindar con lo parad6ji- co, de nada o de muy poco nos servirai para la aclara- ci6n de un concepto el origen de una palabra” (772yf . 3Nicolds Alvarez discusses the presence of Aristotle and Plato in Borges, though without discuss- ing “La busca de Averroes”: he focuses his discussion (less productively, in my viewyf R Q / D H V F U L W X U D G H l dios,” a story that is set in post-Conquest Guatemala, as I have argued in Out of Context (69-80yf . 4Cf. Aristotle: “what is possible is believable; we do not believe that what has never happened is possible, but things which have happened are obviously pos- sible-they would not have happened, if they were impossible” (Janko trans., 12yf . 5Surprisingly Julia Kushigian does not discuss the “Orientalist” tendencies in this story, which she men- tions in passing in her chapter on Borges in Orientalism in the Hispanic Literary Tradition (24yf . 6Oddly, Ilan Stavans calls the Middle Commentary “ahora extraviado” (17yf D O W K R X J K % X W W H U Z R U W K V W U D Q V – lation of it was published two years before his article. 7See Butterworth’s introduction to his translation of the Middle Commentary (xiiyf D Q G 5 H Q D Q f. 8Stavans argues that Borges could not have known the Tahafut because he could not read Arabic or He- brew (16yf I R U J H W W L Q J W K D W % R U J H V Z D V D Q H [ F H O O H Q t Latinist and could have read the book in Latin. It is worth remembering that Averroes, as Butterworth and others have remarked, is more widely published in Latin than in Arabic. 90n Zohair, see Butterworth’s introduction, Averroes, Middle Commentary (61yf . 100f course critics who do have knowledge and experience of the theater have had myriad other prob- lems of interpretation of the Poetics, e.g. Else, Davis, Janko, and the essays in the Rorty collection. “I am grateful to Gwen Kirkpatrick for her care- ful reading and critique of a draft of this article. N WORKS CITED Alvarez, Nicolas E. “Arist6teles y Plat6n en ‘La escri- tura del dios’ (Borgesyf ( [ S O L F D F L Q G H 7 H [ W R V / L – terarios 9.2 (1981yf . Aristotle. Poetics. Trans. with notes and intro. Richard Janko. Indianapolis: Hackett, 1987. Averroes. Averroes’ Three Short Commentaries on Aristotle’s “Topics,” “Rhetorics” and ‘Poetics. “Trans. Charles E. Butterworth. Albany: State U of New York P, 1977. . Middle Commentary on Aristotle’s Poetics. Trans., intro. and notes Charles E. Butterworth. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1986. -. Tahafut Al-Tahafut (The Incoherence of the Inco- herenceyf 7 U D Q V L Q W U R D Q G Q R W H V 6 L P R Q 9 D Q ‘ H r Bergh. Cambridge: Trustees of the E. J. W. Gibb Memorial, 1954. Rpt. in one volume, 1987. Balderston, Daniel. Out ofContext: Historical Reference and the Representation of Reality in Borges. Durham: Duke UP, 1993. Borges, Jorge Luis. El idioma de los argentinos. Bue- nos Aires: Espasa-Calpe Argentina: Seix Barral, 1994. -.Nueve ensayos dantescos. Madrid: Espasa-Calpe, 1982. -. Obras completas. Buenos Aires: Emece, 1974. -. El tamai~o de mi esperanza. Buenos Aires: Proa, This content downloaded from 128.228.0.67 on Sat, 07 Jan 2023 22:11:53 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms BORGES, AVERROES, ARISTOTLE: THE POETICS OF POETICS 207 1926. Corbin, Henry. History of Islamic Philosophy. Trans. Liadain Sherrard and Philip Sherrard. London: Kegan Paul and Islamic Publications, 1993. Cordua, Carla. “Borges y la metafisica.” La Torre [nue- va epoca] 2.8 (1988yf . Dario, Ruben. “El reino interior.” Antologia poetica. Ed. and intro. Guillermo de Torre. Buenos Aires: Losada, 1966. 67-69. Davis, Michael. Aristotle’s Poetics: The Poetry of Phi- losophy. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield, 1992. Else, Gerald F.Aristotle’s Poetics: The Argument. Cam- bridge: Harvard UP, 1963. Fakhry, Majid. A History oflslamic Philosophy. 2nd ed. New York: Columbia UP, 1983. Kushigian, Julia. Orientalism in the Hispanic Literary Tradition: In Dialogue with Borges, Paz, and Sarduy. Albuquerque: U of New Mexico P, 1991. Merrell, Floyd. Unthinking Thinking: Jorge Luis Borges, Mathematics, and the New Physics. West Lafayette, Indiana: Purdue UP, 1991. Peters, F. E. Aristotle and the Arabs: The Aristotelian Tradition in Islam. New York: New York UP, 1968. Renan, Ernest. Averroes et l’averroisme. Paris: Calmann-ULvy, n. d. Rorty, Amelie Oksenberg, ed. Essays on Aristotle’s Poetics. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1992. Shumway, Nicolas, and Thomas Sant. ‘The Hedonic Reader: Literary Theory in Jorge Luis Borges.” Latin American Literary Review 9.17 (1980yf – 55. Stavans, Ilan. “Borges, Averroes y la imposibilidad del teatro.” Latin American Theater Review 22.1 (1988yf . Sturrock, John. “Between Commentary and Comedy: The Satirical Side of Borges.” English Satire and the Satiric Tradition. Ed. Claude Rawson. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1984. 276-86. This content downloaded from 128.228.0.67 on Sat, 07 Jan 2023 22:11:53 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms
Part One: Abstract is due May 7 at 10PM EST Part Two: 5 page (minimum) paper isn’t due until May 13 at 11:00PM EST. So this part does not have to be sent back to me by the due date set on this website
Av erroes’ Search S ‘ i m a g i n a n t q u e t r a g e d i e n ‘ e s t a u t r e c h o s e q u e l ‘ a d e l o u e r . . . . Ernest Renan, Averroes, 48 (1861) A b u – a l – W a l i d M u a m m a d i b n – A m a d i b n – R u s h d ( i t w o u l d t a k e t h a t l o n g n a m e , p a s s i n g t h r o u g h ” B e n r a i s t ” a n d ” A v e n r i s ” a n d e v e n ” A b e n R a s s a d ” a n d ” F i l i u s R o s a d i s : ‘ a h u n d r e d y e a r s t o b e c o m e ‘ v e r r o e s ” ) w a s a t w o r k o n t h e e l e v e n t h c h a p t e r o f h i s w o r k T a h tob a l – T a h tob ( ” D e s t r u c t i o n o f t h e J ) e s t r u c t i o n ” ) , w h i c h m a L t a L s , c o n t r a r y t o t h e P e r s i a n a s c e t i c a l – G h z , a u t h o r o f t h e T a h tob a l – F a l a hob ( ” D e s t r u c t i o n o f P h i l o s o p h e r s ” ) , t h a t t h e d e i t y k n o w s o n l y t h e g e n e r a l l a w s o f t h e u n i v e r s e , t h o s e t h a t a p p l y n o t t o t h e i n d i v i d u b u t t o t h e s p e c i e s . H e w r o t e w i t h s l o w a s s u r a n c e , : o m r i g h t t o l e J ; t h e s h a p i n g o f s y l l o g i s m s a n d l g t o g e t h e r o f v a s t p a r a g r a p h s d i d n o t k e e p h i m : o m f e e l i n g , l i k e a s e n s e o f w o n d e r [ l w e l l – b e i n g , t h e c o o l , d e e p h o u s e a r o u n d h i m . I n t h e d e p t h s o f t h e s i e s t a , l o v i n g t u r t l e d o v e s p u r r e d t h r o a t i l y , o n e t o a n o t h e r ; : o m s o m e i n v i s i b l e c o u r t y a r d c a m e t h e m u r m u r o f a f o u n t a i n ; s o m e t h i n g i n t h e I e s h o f A v e r r o e s , w h o s e a n c e s t o r s h a d c o m e : o m t h e d e s e r t s o f A r a b i a , w a s g r a t e [ l f o r t h e s t e a d f a s t p r e s e n c e o f t h e w a t e r . B e l o w l a y t h e g a r d e n s o f I o w e r s a n d o f f o o d s t u s ; b e l o w t h a t r a n t h e b u s t l i n g G u a d a l q u i r ; b e y o n d t h e r i v e r s p r e a d t h e b e l o v e d c i t y o f C 6 r d o b a , a s b r i g h t a s B a g h d a d o r C a i r o , l i k e a c o m p l e x a n d d e l i c a t e i n s t r u ­ m e n t ; a n d , e n c i r c l i n g C 6 r d o b a ( t h i s , A v e r r o e s c o u l d f e e l t o o ) , e x t e n d i n g t o t h e v e r y : o n t i e r , s t r e t c h e d t h e l a n d o f S p a i n , w h e r e t h e r e w e r e n o t a e a t m a n y t h i n g s , y e t w h e r e e a c h t h i n g s e e m e d t o e x i s t m a t e r i a l l y a n d e t e y a l l y . H i s q u i l l r a n a c r o s s t h e p a g e , t h e a r g u m e n t s , i r r e [ t a b l e , k n i t t e d t o ­ g e t h e r , a n d y e t a s m a l l w o r r y c l o u d e d A v e o e s ‘ h a p p i n e s s . N o t t h e s o r t o f w o r r y b r o u g h t o n b y t h e T a h sob w h i c h w a s a f o r t u i t o u s e n t e r p r i s e , b u t r a t h e r a p o l o g i c a l p r o b l e m c o n n e c t e d w i t h t h e m o n u m e n t a l w o r k t h a t w o { d j u s t i h i m t o a l l p e o p l h i s c o m m e n t a r y o n A r i s t o t l e . T h a t G r e e k s a g e , t h e f o u n t a i n h e a d o f a l l p h o s o p h y , h a d b e e n s e n t d o w n t o m e n t o 236 JOR GE LUIS BOR GE S t e a v t h e m e l x n g s t h a t b e k n o w n ; i n t e r p r e t i n g A r i s t o t l e ‘ s w o r k s , i n t h e s M e w a y t h e u u m ob i n t e r p r e t t h e Q u r ‘ , w a s t h e h a r d t a s k t h a t A v e ­ r r o e s h a d s e t h 9 s e l f . H i s t o r y l r e c o r d f e w t h i n g s l o v e R e r a n d m o r e m o v ­ i n g t h , t h i s A r a b p h y s i c i a n ‘ s d e v o t i o n t o t h e t h o u g h t s o f a m , s e p a r a t e d – o m h i m b y a g u l f o f f o u r t e e n c e n t u r i e s . T o t h e i n t r i n s i c d i c u l t i e s o f t h e e n t e r p r i s e w e m i g h t a d d t h a t A v e r r o e s , w h o k n e w n e i t h e r S y r i a c n o r G r e e k , w a s w o r n g – o m a t r a n s l a t i o n o f a V , s l a o n . T h e n i g h t b e f o r e , t w o d o u b l w o r h a d h a l t e d h i m a t t h e v e r y p o r t a l s o f t h e P o e t i c s . T h o s e w o r d s w e r e ” V a g e d y ” a n d ” c o m e d y . ” H e h a d c o m e a c r o s s t h e m y e a r s e a r R e r , i n t h e t h i r d b o o k o f t h e R h e t o r i c ; n o o n e i n e l x o f I s l a m c o u l d h a z a r d a g u e s s a s t o t h e i r m e a n i n g . H e h a d p o r e d t h r o u g h t h e p a g e s o f A l a n d e r o f A p h r o ­ d i s i a s , c o m p a r e d t h e t r a n s l a t i o n s o f t h e N e s t o r i a n u n a i b n – I s q a n d A b u – B a s r t a – a n d h e h a d f o u n d n o t h } g . Y e t t h e t w o a r c a n e w o r d s w e r e e v e r y w h e r e i n t h e t o f t h e P o e c – i t w a s i m p o s s i b l e t o a v o i d t h e m . A v e r r o e s l a i d d o w n q u i l l . H e t o l d h i m s e l f ( w i t h o u t c o n v i N i o n ) t h a t w h a t w e s e e k i s o w e n n e a r a t h a n d , p u t a w a y t h e m a n u s c r i p t o f t h e T a h t sob a n d w e n t t o t h e s h e o n w h i c h t h e m a n y v o l u m e s o f b l i n d i b n – S i n a ‘ s M o q q t ob c o p i e d b y P e r s i a n c o p y i s t s , s t o o d n e a t l y a l i g n e d . O f c o u r s e h e h a d a l r e a d y c o n s u l t e d t h e m , b u t h e w a s t e m p t e d b y t h e i d l e p l e a s u r e o f t u r n i n g t h e i r p a g e s . H e w a s O s t r a N e d – o m t h a t s c h o l a r l y d i s t r a c t i o n b y a k i n d o f s o n g . H e l o o k e d o u t t h r o u g h t h e b a r s o f e b a l c o n y ; t h e r e b e l o w , i n t h e n a r r o w e a r t h e n c o u r t y a r d , h a – n a k e d c h i l d r e n w e r e a t p l a y . O n e o f t h e m , s t a n d i n g o n t h e s h o u l d e r s o f a n o t h e r , w a s c l e a r l y p l a y i n g a t b e i n g a m u e z z i n : h i s e y e s t i g h t l y c l o s e d , h e w a s c h , g t h e m u e z z = ‘ s m o n o t o ­ n o u s k ( k eob :ob n oob G o dob b u tob A l l a h .ob T h e b o y s t a n d i n g m o t i o n l e s s a n d h o l d ­ i n g h 9 o n h i s s h o u l d e r s w a s t h e t u r r e t – o m w h i c h h e s a n g ; a n o t h e r , k n e e l = g , b o w } g l o w i n t h e d i r t , w a s t h e c o n g r e g a t i o n o f t h e f a i t h l . T h e g a m e O d n o t l a s t l o n g – t h e y e l x w a n t e d t o b e t h e m u e z z i n , n o o n e w a n t e d t o b e t h e w o r s h i p p e r s o r e m i n a r e t . A v e o e s l i s t e n e d t o t h e m a r g u i n g i n t h e ” v u l g a r ” d i a l e c t ( t h a t i s , t h e i n c i p i e n t S p a n i s h ) o f t h e M u s l i m m a s s e s o f t h e P e n i n s u l a . H e o p e n e d a ‘ s K i t t bob a l – y nob , d t h o u g h t p r o u d l y t h a t = e l x o f C 6 r d o b a ( p e r h a p s i n e l x o f A l – A n d a l u s ) t h e r e w a s n o o t h e r c o p y o f t h e p e r f e c t w o r k – o n l y % o n e , s e n t h 9 b y E m i r Y a ‘ b a l – M , � – o m T a n g i e r . T h e n a m e o f t h a t p o r t r e m i n d e d h i m t h a t t h e t r a v e l e r a b u ­ a l – a s a n a l – A s h ‘ a r i , w h o h a d r e t u r n e d – o m M o r o c c o , w a s t o d i n e w i t h h 9 t h a t e v e n i n g a t t h e h o m e o f t h e Q u r ‘ a n i s t F a r a j . A b u – a l – a s a n c l a 9 e d t o h a v e r e a c h e d t h e k = g d o m s o f t h e S i n E m p i r e [ C h i n a ] ; w i t h t h a t p e c u l i a r l o g i c y o f h a V e d , 3 d e V a N o r s s w o r e t h a t h e h a d n e v e r s e t f o o t i n C h = a a n d t h a t h e h a d b l a s p h e m e d l i n t h e t e m p l e s o f t h a t l a n d . T h e .. . AV ERROES SEAR CH 237 g a t h e r i n geA w o u l deA i n e v i t a b l yeA l a s teA f o reA h o u r s ;eA A v e r r o e seA h u r r i e d l yeA w e n teA b a c keA t oeA h i seA w o r keA o neA t h eeA T a h ” t .ob H eeA w o r k e deA u n t jeA d u s k .eA A teA F a r a j ‘ seA h o u s e ,eA t h eeA c o n v e r s a t i o neA m o v e deA L o meA t h eeA i n c o m p a r a b l eeA e& i r t u e seA o feA t h eeA g o v e r n o reA t oeA t h o s eeA o feA h i seA b r o t h e reA t h eeA e m i r ;eA t h e n ,eA o u teA i neA t h eeA g a r ­ d e n ,eA t h eeA t a l keA w a seA o feA r o s e s .eA A b u – a l – r a s a neA ( h a v i n geA n e v e reA s e e neA t h e m )eA s a i deA t h e r eeA w e r eeA n oeA r o s e seA l i k eeA t h o s eeA w h i c heA b e d e c keA t h eeA v i l l a seA o feA A n d a l u s i a .eA F a r a jeA w a seA n o teA t oeA b eeA s u b o r n e deA b yeA y a t t e r y ;eA h eeA o b s e r v e deA t h a teA t h eeA l e a r n e deA i b n ­ Q u t a y b a heA h a deA d e s c r i b e deA aeA s u p e r beA v a r i e t yeA o feA s e K e t u a lob r o s eeA w h i c heA g r o w seA i neA t h eeA g a r d e n seA o feA H i n d u s t a neA a n deA w h o s eeA p e t a l s ,eA o feA aeA d e e peA c r i m s o neA r e d ,eA e x ­ h i b i teA c h a r a c t e r seA r e a d i n geA T h e r eob i sob n oob G o dob b u tob A l l a h ,ob a n dob M u og a m m a dob i sob H i sob J r o s h e t .ob H eeA a d d e deA t h a teA a b u – a l – r a s a neA m u s teA s u r e l yeA b eeA a c q u a i n t e deA w i t heA t h o s eeA ef o s e s .eA A b u – a l – a s a neA l o o k e deA a teA h i meA i neA a l a r m .eA I feA h eeA s a i deA y e s ,eA h eeA w o m deA b eeA e e” d g e deA b yeA a l l ,eA q u i t eeA r i g h t l y ,eA t oeA b eeA t h eeA m o s teA p l i a b l eeA a n deA s e r v i c e a b l eeA o feA i m p o s ­ ev o r s ;eA i feA h eeA s a i deA n o ,eA h eeA w o u l deA b eeA j u d g e deA a neA i n C d e l .eA H eeA o p t e deA t oeA b r e a t h eeA t h a teA A l l a heA h e l deA t h eeA k e y seA t h a teA u n l o c keA h i d d e neA t h i n g s ,eA a n deA t h a teA t h e r eeA w a seA n oeA g r e e neA o reA w j t e deA t h i n geA o neA e a r t heA t h a teA w a seA n o teA r e c o r d e deA i neA H i seA B o o k .eA T h o s eeA w o r d seA b e l o n geA t oeA o n eeA o feA t h eeA C r s teA se r a seA o feA t h eeA Q u r ‘ a n ;eA t h e yeA w e r eeA r e c e i v e deA w i t heA aeA r e v ­ e r e n t i a leA m u r m u r .eA P u e deA u peA b yeA t h a teA v i c t o r yeA o feA d i a l e c t i c s ,eA a b u – a l – r a s a neA w a seA a b o u teA t oeA d e c l a r eeA t h a teA A l l a heA i seA p e r f e c teA i neA H i seA w o r k s ,eA a n deA i n s c r u t a b l e .eA B u teA A v e r r o e s ,eA p r e C g u r i n geA t h eeA d i s t a n teA a r g u m e n t seA o feA aeA s tetes – p r o b l e m a t i ceA H u m e ,eA i n t e r r u p t e d .eA .eA ” IeA C n deA i teA l e s seA d i c u l teA t oeA a c c e p teA a neA e r r o reA i neA t h eeA l e a r n e deA i b n – Q u t a y b ,eA o reA i neA t h eeA c o p y i s t s ; ‘eA h eeA s a i d ,eA ” t h a neA t oeA a c c e p teA t h a teA t h eeA e a r t heA b r i n g seA f o r t heA r o s e seA w i t heA t h eeA p r o f e s s i o neA o feA o u reA f a i t h : ‘eA ” P r e c i s e l y .eA G r e a teA w o r d seA a n deA t r u e ; ‘eA s a i deA a b u – a l – r a s a n .eA ” S o m eeA t r a v e l e r ,eA IeA r e c a l l ; ‘eA m u s e deA t h eeA p o e teA A b d – a l – M a l i k ,eA ” s p e eA o feA aeA t r e eeA w h o s eeA b r a n c h e seA p u teA f o r t heA g r e e neA b i r d s .eA IeA a meA p a i n e deA l e s seA b yeA b e l i ee’ n geA i neA t h a teA t r e eeA t h a neA i neA r o s e seA a d o r n e deA w i t heA l e t t e r s . “eA ” T h eeA b i r d s ‘eA c o l o r ; ‘eA s a i deA A v e r r o e s ,eA ” d o e seA s e e meA t oeA m a k eeA t h a teA w o n d e reA e a s i e reA t oeA b e a r .eA I neA a d d i t i o n ,eA b o t heA b i r d seA a n deA t h eeA L u i teA o feA t r e e seA b e l o n geA t oeA t h eeA n a t u r a leA w o r l d ,eA w h i l eeA w r i t i n geA i seA a neA a r t .eA T oeA m o v eeA L o meA l e a v e seA t oeA b i r d seA i seA e a s i e reA t h a neA t oeA m o v eeA L o meA r o s e seA t oeA l e t t e r s . “eA A n o t h e reA g u e s teA i n d i g n a n t l yeA d e n i e deA t h a teA w r i t i n geA w a seA a neA a r t ,eA s i n c eeA t h eeA o r i g i n eA B o o keA o feA t h eeA Q u r ‘ a n – t h eob m o t h e rob o fob t h eob B o o k – p r e d a t e seA t h eeA C r e ­ a t i o n ,eA a n deA r e s i d e seA i neA h e a v e n .eA A n o t h e reA s p o k eeA o feA A l – Jet ieTeA o feA B a s r a ,eA w h oeA h a deA ew t a t e deA t h a teA t h eeA Q u r ‘ a neA i seA aeA s u b s t a n c eeA t h a teA c a neA t a k eeA t h eeA f o r meA o feA m a neA o reA a n i m a l – a neA o p i n i o neA w h i c heA a p p e a r seA t oeA a g r e eeA w i t heA t h a teA o feA t h eeA p e o p l eeA w h oeA a t ­ t r i b u t eeA t oeA t h eeA Q u r ‘ a neA t w oeA f a c e s .eA F a r a jeA d i s c o u r s e deA l o n geA o neA o r t h o d o xeA d o c ­ t r i n e .eA T h eeA Q u r ‘ a n ,eA h eeA s a i d ,eA i seA o n eeA o feA t h eeA a t t r i b u t e seA o feA A z a h ,eA e v e neA a seA H i seA 238 JOR GE LUIS BOR GE S M e r c ye+ i s ;e+ i te+ m a ye+ b ee+ _ c o p i e de+ i ne+ ae+ b o o k ,e+ p r o n o u n c e de+ eI i t he+ t h ee+ t o n g u e ,e+ o re+ r e ­ m e m b e r e de+ i ne+ t h ee+ h e a r t ,e+ b u te+ w h i l ee+ l a n g u a g ee+ a n de+ s i g n se+ a n de+ w r i t H ge+ a r ee+ t h ee+ w o r ke+ o fe+ m e n ,e+ t h ee+ Q u r ‘ a ne+ i t s e l fe+ i se+ i r r e v o c a b l ee+ a n de+ e t e r n a l .e+ A v e r r o e s ,e+ w h oe+ h a de+ w r i t t e ne+ h i se+ c o meo e n t a r ye+ o ne+ t h ee+ R u b l i Nob m i g h te+ h a v ee+ s a i de+ t h a te+ t h ee+ m o t h e re+ o fe+ t h ee+ B o o ke+ i se+ s i m a r ,e+ i ne+ ae+ w a y ,e+ t oe+ t h ee+ P l a t o n i ce+ I d e a ,e+ b u te+ h ee+ c o u l de+ s e ee+ Y a te+ t h e ­ o l o g ye+ w a se+ o n ee+ s u b j e c te+ u t t e r l ye+ b e y o n de+ t h ee+ g r a s pe+ o fe+ a b u – a l – D a s a n .e+ O Y e r s ,e+ w h oe+ h a de+ c o m ee+ t oe+ t h ee+ s a m ee+ r e a l i z a t i o n ,e+ u r g e de+ a b u – a l – D a s a ne+ t oe+ t e l le+ ae+ t a l ee+ o fe+ w o n d e r .e+ T h e n ,e+ l i k ee+ n o w ,e+ Y ee+ w o r l de+ w a se+ h o r r i b l e ;e+ d a r i n ge+ m e ne+ m i g h te+ w a n d e re+ t h r o u g he+ i t ,e+ b u te+ s oe+ m i g h te+ w r e t c h e s ,e+ t h o s ee+ w h oe+ f a l le+ d o w ne+ i ne+ t h ee+ d u s te+ b e f o r ee+ a l le+ t h i n g s .e+ A b u – a l – D a s a n ‘ se+ m e m o r ye+ w a se+ ae+ m i r r o re+ o fe+ s e c r e te+ a c t se+ o fe+ c o w a r d i c e .e+ W h a te+ s t o r ye+ c o u l de+ h ee+ t eeee+ B e s i d e s ,e+ t h ee+ g u e s t se+ d e m a n d e de+ m a r v e l s ,e+ w h i l ee+ t h ee+ m a r v e l o u se+ w a se+ p e r h a p se+ i n c o m m u n i c a b l e :e+ t h ee+ m o o ne+ o fe+ B e n g a le+ i se+ n o te+ t h ee+ s a m ee+ a se+ t h ee+ m o o ne+ o fe+ Y e m e n ,e+ b u te+ i te+ d e i g n se+ t oe+ b ee+ d e s c r i b e de+ w i t he+ t h ee+ s a m ee+ w o r d s .e+ A b u – a l – D a s Re+ p o n d e r e d ;e+ t h e n ,e+ h ee+ s p o k e :e+ ” H ee+ w h oe+ w a n d e r se+ t h r o u g he+ c l i m e se+ a n de+ c i t i e s : ‘e+ h i se+ u n c t u o u se+ v o i c ee+ b e g a n ,e+ ” s e e se+ m a n ye+ t h i n g se+ w o r t h ye+ o fe+ b e l i e f .e+ T h i s ,e+ f o re+ i n s t a n c e ,e+ w h i c he+ Ie+ h a v ee+ t o l de+ b u te+ o n c ee+ b e f o r e ,e+ t oe+ t h ee+ k i n ge+ o fe+ t h ee+ T u r k s .e+ I te+ t o o ke+ p l a c ee+ i ne+ S i n – ie+ K a l a le+ [ C a n t o n ] ,e+ w h e r ee+ t h ee+ R i v e re+ o fe+ t h ee+ W a t e re+ o fe+ L , ee+ s p i l l se+ i n t oe+ t h ee+ s e a . “e+ F a r a je+ a s k e de+ w h e t h e re+ t h ee+ c i t ye+ l a ye+ m a n ye+ l e a g u e se+ d o me+ t h a te+ w le+ e r e c t e de+ b ye+ I s k a n d a re+ d h u – a l – Q u a y ne+ [ A l ee- a n d e re+ o fe+ M a c e d o n i a ]e+ t oe+ h a l te+ t h ee+ a d v a n c ee+ o fe+ G o ge+ a n de+ M a g o g .e+ ” T h e r ee+ a r ee+ v a s te+ d e s e r t se+ b e t w e e ne+ t h e m : ‘e+ a b u – a l – D a s a ne+ s a i d ,e+ w i t he+ i n a d ­ v e r t e n te+ h a u g h t i n e s s .e+ ” F o r t ye+ d a y se+ m u s te+ ae+ k a H l aob [ c a r a v a n ]e+ t r a v e le+ b e f o r ee+ c a t c he$ i n ge+ s i g h te+ o fe+ i t se+ t o w e r s ,e+ a n de+ a n o t h e re+ f o r t y ,e+ m e ne+ s a y ,e+ b e f o r ee+ t h ee+ k a H l aob s t a n d se+ b e f o r ee+ t h e m .e+ I ne+ S i n – ie+ K a l a le+ Ie+ k n o we+ o fe+ n oe+ m Re+ w h oe+ h a se+ s e e ne+ i te+ o re+ s e e ne+ t h ee+ m Re+ w h oe+ h a se+ s e e ne+ i t : ‘e+ F o re+ o n ee+ m o m e n te+ t h ee+ f e a re+ o fe+ t h ee+ g r o s s l ye+ i n V n i t e ,e+ o fe+ m e r ee+ s p a c e ,e+ m e r ee+ m a t t e r ,e+ l a i de+ i t se+ h a n de+ o ne+ A v e r r o e s .e+ H ee+ l o o k e de+ a te+ t h ee+ s y m m e t r i c a le+ g a r d e n ;e+ h ee+ r e a l i z e de+ t h a te+ h ee+ w e+ o l d ,e+ u s e l e s s ,e+ ek r e a l .e+ T h e ne+ a b u – a l – D a s a ne+ s p o k ee+ a g a i n :e+ ” O n ee+ e v e n i n g ,e+ t h ee+ M u s l i me+ m e r c h a n t se+ o fe+ S i n – ie+ K a l a le+ c o n d u c t e de+ m ee+ t oe+ ae+ h o u s ee+ o fe+ p a i n t e de+ w o o de+ i ne+ w h i c he+ m a n ye+ p e r s o n se+ l i v e d .e+ I te+ i se+ n o te+ p o s s i b l ee+ t oe+ d e s c r i b ee+ t h a te+ h o u s e ,e+ w h i c he+ w a se+ m o r ee+ l i k ee+ ae+ s i n g l ee+ r o o m ,e+ w i t he+ r o w se+ o fe+ b i n e t – ee+ c o ney i v a n c e s ,e+ o re+ b a l c o n i e s ,e+ o n ee+ a t o pe+ a n o t h e r .e+ I ne+ t h e s ee+ n i c h e se+ t h e r ee+ w e r ee+ p e o p l ee+ e a t i n ge+ a n de+ d r i n k i n g ;e+ t h e r ee+ w e r ee+ p e o p l ee+ s i t t i n ge+ o ne+ t h ee+ c o o re+ a se+ w e l l ,e+ a n de+ a l s oe+ o ne+ ae+ r a i s e de+ t e r r a c e .e+ T h ee+ p e o p l ee+ o ne+ t h i se+ t e r r a c ee+ w e r ee+ p l ae; ge+ t h ee+ t a m b o u re+ a n de+ t h ee+ l u t e – a l l ,e+ t h a te+ i s ,e+ s a v ee+ s o m ee+ e e ne+ o re+ t w e n t ye+ w h oe+ w o r ee+ c r i m s o ne+ m a s k se+ a n de+ p r a y e de+ a n de+ s a n ge+ a n de+ c o n v e r s e de+ a m o n ge+ Y e m ­ s e l v e s .e+ T h e s ee+ m a s k e de+ o n e se+ s u U e r e de+ i m p r i s o n m e n t ,e+ b u te+ n oe+ o n ee+ c o u l de+ s e ee+ t h ee+ j l ;e+ Y e ye+ r o d ee+ u p o ne+ h o r s e s ,e+ b u te+ t h ee+ h o r s ee+ w a se+ n o te+ t oe+ b ee+ s e e n ;e+ t h e ye+ w a g e de+ AV ERR OES1 SE ARCH 239 h n t t l e , b u t t h e s w o r d s w e r e o f b a m b o o ; t h e y d i e d , a n d t h e n t h e y w a l k e d g n i n . ” ” T h e a c t s o f m a d m e n ; • s a i d F a r a j , ” a r e b e y o n d t h a t w h i c h a s a n e m a n . . » ( ! + l e n V I S I O n . ” T h e y w e r e n o t m a d m e n , ” a b u – a l – j a s a n h a d t o e l a i n . ” T h e y w e r e , a m e r c h a n t t o l d m e , p r e s e n t i n g a s t o r y . ” N o o n e u n d e r s t o o d , n o o n e s e e m e d t o w a n t t o u n d e r s t a n d . A b u – a l ­ l _ l a s a n , i n s o m e c o n s s i o n , s w e e d U o m t h e t a l e h e h a d b e e n t e l l i n g t h e m i n t o i n e p t e l a n a t i o n . A i n g h i m s e l f w i t h h i s h a n d s , h e s a i d : ” L e t u s i m a g i n e t h a t s o m e o n e s h o w sob a s t o r y i n s t e a d o f t e l l i n g i t – t h e o f t h e s e v e n s l e e p e r s o f E p h e s u s , s a y . * W e s e e t h e m r e t i r e i n t o t h e c a v ­ r n , w e s e e t h e m p r a y a n d s l e e p , w e s e e t h e m s l e e p w i t h t h e i r e y e s o p e n , w e s e e t h e m o w w h i l e t h e y a r e a s l e e p , w e s e e t h e m a w a k e n a B e r t h r e e h ­ d r e d n i n e y e a r s , w e s e e t h e m h a n d t h e m e r c h a n t a n a n c i e n t c o 7 , w e s e e t h e m a w e n i n p a r a d i s e , w e s e e t h e m a w a k e n w i t h t h e d o g . I t w a s s o m e ­ t h i n g l i k e t h a t t h a t t h e p e r s o n s o n t h e t e r r a c e s h o w e d u s t h a t e v e n i n g : ‘ ” D i d t h e s e p e r s o n s s p e a k ? ” a s k e d F a r a j . ” O f c o s e t h e y d i d ; ‘ s a i d a b u – a l – j a s a n , n o w b e c o m e t h e a p o l o g i s t b B a p e r f o r m a n c e t h a t h e o n l y b a r e l y r e c a l l e d a n d t h a t h a d i r r i t a t e d h i m ( o n s i d e r a b l y a t t h e t i m e . ” T h e y s p o k e a n d s a n g a n d g a v e l o n g b o r i n g s p e e c h e s ! ” ” I n t h a t c a s e , ” s a i d F a r a j , ” t h e r e w a s n o n e e d f o r , e n Zob p e r s o n s . A s i n ­ g l e s p e a k e r c o u l d t e ob a n y t h i n g , n o m a t t e r h o w c o m p l i t m i g h t b e . ” T o t h a t v e r d i c t , t h e y a l l g a v e t h e i r n o d . T h e y e x t o l l e d t h e v v t u e s o f A r a b i c – t h e l a n g u a g e u s e d b y A l l a h , t h e y r e c a l l e d , w h e n H e i n s t r u c t s t h e a n g e l a n d t h e n t h e p o e t r y o f t h e A r a b s . A B e r a c c o r d i n g t h a t p o e t r y i t s d u e p r a i s e , a b u – a l – k a s a n d i s m i s s e d t h o s e o t h e r p o e t s w h o , w r i t i n g i n C 6 r ­ d o b a o r D a m a s c u s , d u n g t o p a s t o r a l i m a g e s a n d B e d o v o c a b u l a r y ­ o u t m o d e d , h e c a l l e d t h e m . H e s a i d 3 w a s a b s u r d f o r a m a n w h o s e e y e s b e h e l d t h e w i d e G u a d q u i t o c o m p o s e o d e s u p o n t h e w a t e r o f a w e l l . I t w a s t i m e , h e a r g u e d , t h a t t h e o l d m e t a p h o r s b e r e n e w e d ; b a c k w h e n Z u h a y r w m p a r e d f a t e t o a b l i n d c a m e l , h e s a i d , t h e q g u r e w a s a r r e s t i n g – b u t q v e h u n d r e d y e s o f a d m i r a t i o n h a d w o r n i t v e r y t h i n . T o t h a t v e r d i c t , w h i c h 1 h e y h a d a l l h e a r d m a n y t i m e s b e f o r e , U o m m a n y m o u t h s , t h e y l l i k e w i s e g a v e t h e i r n o d . A v e r r o e s , h o w e v e r , k e p t s i l e n t . A t l a s t h e s p o k e , n o t s o m u c h t o t h e o t h e r s a s t o h i m s e l f . ” L e s s e l o q u e n t l y ; ‘ h e s a i d , ” 6 d y e t w i t h s i m i l a r a r g u m e n t s , Ie+ m y s e h a v e s o m e e s d e f e n d e d t h e p r o p o s i | o n a r g u e d n o w b y a b u – a l – k a s a n . Lob A l e x a n i a t h e r e i s a s a y 7 g t h a t o n l y t h e m a n w h o h S e a d y c o m m i e d a JORGE LUIS BOR GES c r i m e a n d r e p e n t e d o f i t i s i n c a p a b l e o f t h a t c r i m e ; t o b e ; e e o f a n e r r o ­ n e o u s o p i n i o n , I m y s e l f m i g h t a d d , o n e m u s t a t s o m e t i m e h a v e p r o f e s s e d i t . I n h i s m u a a q a ,ob Z u h a c s a y s t h a t i n t h e c o u r s e o f h i s e i g h t y y e a r s o f p a i n . d g l o r y m a n y i s t h e t i m e h e h a s s e e n d e s t i n y t r a m p l e m e n , l i k e a n o l d b l i n d c a m e l ; a b u – a l – $ a s a n s a y s t h a t t h a t 7 g u r e n o l o n g e r m a k e s u s m a T e l . O n e m i g h t r e p l y t o t h a t o b j e c t i o n i n m a n y w a y s . F i r s t , t h a t i f t h e p u r p o s e o f t h e p o e m w e r e t o a s t o u n d , i t s l i f e w o u l d b e n o t m e a s u r e d i n c e n t u r i e s b u t i n d a y s , o r h o u r s , o r p e r h a p s e v e n m i n u t e s . S e c o n d , t h a t a f a m o u s p o e t i s l e s s a n i n v e n t o r t h a n a d i s c o v e r e r . I n p r a i s e o f i b n – S h a r a f o f B e r k h a , i t h a s m . y t i m e s b e e n s a i d t h a t o n l y h e w a s c a p a b l e o f i m a g i n i n g t h a t t h e s t a r s o f t h e m o r n i n g s k y f a l l g e n t l y , l i k e l e a v e s f a l l i n g < o m t h e t r e e s ; i f t h a t w e r e t r u e , i t w o u l d p r o v e o n l y t h a t t h e i m a g e i s t r i v i a l . T h e i m a g e t h a t o n l y a s i n ­ g l e m a n c a n s h a p e i s a n i m a g e t h a t i n t e r e s t s n o m a n . T h e r e a r e i n 7 n i t e t h i n g s u p o n t h e e a r t h ; . y o n e o f t h e m b e c o m p a r e d t o a n y o t h e r . C o m p a r i n g s t a r s t o l e a v e s i s n o l e s s a r b i Y a r y t h a n c o m p a r i n g t h e m t o 7 s h , o r b i r d s . O n t h e o t h e r h a n d , e v e r y m a n h a s s u r e l y f e l t a t s o m e m o m e n t i n h i s l i f e t h a t d e s t i n y i s p o w e r > l y e t 1 u m s y , i n n o c e n t y e t i n h u m a n . I t w a s i n o r d e r t o r e c o r d t h a t f e e l i n g , w h i c h m a y b e : e e t i n g o r c o n s t a n t b u t w h i c h n o m a n m a y e s c a p e e x p e r i e n c i n g , t h a t Z [ a c ‘ s l i n e w a s w r i t t e n . N o o n e l e v e r s a y b e t t e r w h a t Z u h a y r s a i d t h e r e . F u r t h e r m o r e ( a n d t h i s i s p e r h a p s t h e e s s e n t i a l p o i n t o f m y r e : e c t i o n s ) , t i m e , w h i c h r a v a g e s f o r t r e s s e s a n d g r e a t c i t i e s , o n l y e n c h e sob p o e t r y . A t t h e t i m e i t w a s c o m p o s e d b y h i m i n A r a b i a , Z u h a c ‘ s p o e t r y s e T e d t o b r i n g t o g e t h e r t w o i m a g e V t h a t o f t h e o l d c a m e l a n d t h a t o f d e s t i n y ; r e p e a t e d t o d a y , i t s e r v e s t o r e c a l l Z u h a y r a n d t o c o n : a t e o u r o w n t r i b u l a t i o n s w i t h t h o s e o f t h a t d e a d A r a b . T h e 7 g u r e h a dob t w o t e r m s ; t o d a y , 3 h a sob f o u r . T i m e w i d e n s t h e c i r c l e o f t h e v e r s e s , a n d I m y s e l f k n o w s o m e v e r s e s t h a t a r e , l i k e m u s i c , a I t h i n g s t o a l l m e n . T h u s i t w a s t h a t m a n y y e a r s a g o , i n M a r r a k e s h , t o r t u r e d b y m e m o r i e s o f C 6 r d o b a , I s o o t h e d m y s e l f b y r e p e a t i n g t h e a p o s t r o p h e w h i c h b d – a l – R � s p o k e i n t h e g a r ­ d e n s o f a l – R u s a y f a h t o a n i c a n p a l m : T h o u t o o a r t , o h p a J ! , O n t h i s f o r e i @ e jeA . . .eA ” A r e m a r k a b l e g i = , t h e g i = b e s t o w e d b y p o e t r y – w o r d s _ i t t e n b y a k i n g h o m e s i c k f o r t h e O r i e n t s e r v e d t o c o m f o r t m e w h e n I w a s f a r a w a y i n A ; i c a , h o m e s i c k f o r S p a i n . ” T h e n A v e r r o e s s p o k e o f t h e 8 r s t p o e t s , t h o s e w h o i n t h e T i m e o f I @ o ­ r a n c e , b e f o r e I s l a m , h a d a l r e a d y s a i d a l l t h i n g s i n t h e i n 7 n i t e l a n g u a g e o f t h e d e s e r t s . A l a r m e d ( a n d n o t w i t h o u t r e a s o n ) b y t h e i n a n e v e r s i 9 c a t i o n s o f AV ERR OES’ SEAR CH i h n – S h a r a f ,ev h eev s a i dev t h a tev i nev t h eev a n c i e n t sev a n dev t h eev Q u r ‘ a nev c o dev a Nev p o e t r yev b eev nek a d ,ev a n dev h eev c o n d e m n e dev }ev i l t e r a t eev + dev v a i nev a l lev d e s eev t oev i n n o v a t e .ev y eev o t h e r sev l i s t e n e dev w i t hev p l e a s u r e ,ev f o rev h eev w a sev v i n d i c a t i n gev t h a tev w h i c hev w a sev o l d .ev M u e z z i n sev w e r eev c a l l i n gev t h eev f a i t h lev t oev t h eev p r a y e rev o fev , r s tev l i g h tev w h e nev A v eep r r o e sev e n t e r e dev h i sev l i b r | yev a g a i n .ev ( I nev t h eev h a r e m ,ev t h eev b l a c k – h a i r e dev s l a v eev g i r l sev h a dev t o r t u r e dev aev r e d – h a i r e dev s l a v eev g i r l ,ev b u t A v e r r o e sev w a sev n o tev t oev k n o wev t h a tev u n t ev V e n i n g . )ev S o m e t h i n gev h a dev r e v e a l e dev t oev h i mev t h eev m e a n i n gev o fev t h eev oev o b s c u r eev w o r d s .ev W i t hev , r m ,ev p a i n s t a k i n gev c a g r a p h y ,ev h eev a d d e dev t h e s eev 6 n e sev t oev t h eev m a n u s c r i p t :ev A r i s t uob [ A r i s t o t l e ]ev g i v e sob t h eob n a m eob ” t r a g e d y “ob t oob p a n e g r i c sob a n dob t h eob o n – w eob c o m e d y “ob t oob s a t i r e sob a n dob a n a t h e m a s .ob ( e r eob a r eob m a n yob a d m i r a b l eob t r a g e d i e sob – 9ob c o m e d i e sob i nob t h eob Q u r ‘ = nob a n dob t h eob m u ‘ a l l a q a tev o fob t h eob m o s q u e .ob H eev f e l tev s l e e pev c o m i n gev u p o nev h i m ,ev h eev f e l tev aev c h i l l .ev sev t u r b a nev u n w o u n d ,ev h eev l o o k e dev a tev h i m s e l fev i nev aev m e t a lev m i r r o r .ev Iev d oev n o tev k n o wev w h a tev e sev ^ b e h e l d ,ev f o rev n oev h i s t o r i a nev h a sev d e s c r i b e dev t h eev f o r m sev o fev e sev f a c e .ev Iev k n o wev t h a tev h eev s u d d e n l yev d i s a p p e a r e d ,ev a sev t h o u g hev a n n i l a t e dev b yev aev , r eev w i t h o u tev l i g h t ,ev + dev t h a tev w i t hev h i mev d i s a p p e a r e dev t h eev h o u s eev a n dev t h eev u n s e e nev f o u n t a i nev a n dev t h eev b o o k sev a n dev t h eev m a n u s c r i p t sev a n dev t h eev t u r t l e d o v e sev a n dev t h eev m a n yev b l a c k – h a i r e dev s l a v eev g i r l sev a n dev t h eev t r e m b l i n gev r e d – h a i r e dev s l a v eev g i r lev a n dev F a r a jev a n dev a b u – a l – a s a nev a n dev t h eev r o s e b u s h e sev a n dev p e r h a p sev e v e nev t h eev G u a d a l q u ien .ev I nev t h eev p r e c e d i n gev t a l e ,ev Iev h a v eev t r i e dev t oev n a r r a t eev t helev p r o c e s sev o fev f a i l u r e ,ev t h eev p r o c e s sev o fev d e f e a t .ev Iev t h o u g h tev , r s tev o fev t h a tev a r c h b i s h o pev o fev C a n t e r b u r yev w h oev s e tev h i m s e l fev t h eev t a s kev o fev p r oes i n gev t h a tev G o dev e x i s t s ;ev t h e nev Iev t h o u g h tev o fev t h eev a l c h e m i s t sev w h oev s o u g h tev t h eev p h i l o s o p h e r ‘ sev s t o n e ;ev t h e n ,ev o fev t h eev v a i nev t r i s e c t o r sev o fev t h eev a n g l eev u n dev s q u a r e r sev o fev t h eev c i r c l e .ev T h e nev Iev r e e c t e dev t h a tev aev m o r eev p o e t i cev c a s eev t h +ev 1 h e s eev w o u l dev b eev aev m +ev w h oev s e t sev h L s e l fev aev g o a lev t h a tev i sev n o tev f o r b i d d e nev t oev o t h e rev m e n ,ev b u tev i sev f o r b i d d e nev t oev h i m .ev Iev r e c a N e dev A v e r r o e s ,ev w h o ,ev b o u n d e dev w i t nev t h eev d r c l eev o fev I s l a m ,ev c o dev n e v e rev k n o wev t h eev m e a n i n gev o fev t h eev w o r d sev t r a g e d yob a n dev L w e d y .ob Iev t o l dev h i sev s t o r y ;ev a sev Iev w e n tev o n ,ev Iev f e l tev w h a tev t h a tev g o dev m e n t i o n e dev b yev B u rey t o nev m u s tev h a v eev f e l t – t h eev g o dev w h oev s e tev h i m s e l fev t h eev t a s kev o fev c r e a t i n gev aev b u l lev b u tev t u r n e dev o u tev aev beoeh J o .ev Iev f e l tev t h a tev t h eev w o r kev m o c k e dev m e ,ev f o i l e dev m e ,ev t h w a e dev m S I f e l tev t h a tev A v e r r o e s ,ev t r y i n gev t oev L a g i n eev w h a tev aev p l a yev w i t h o u tev e v e rev h a v f gev N u s p e c t e dev w h a tev aev t h e a t e rev i s ,ev w a sev n oev m o r eev a b s u r dev t h +ev I ,ev t reg gev t oev L a g f eev Aer c r r o e sev y e tev t hev n oev m o r eev m a t e r i a lev t h a nev aev f e wev s n a t e sev o mev R e n a n ,ev L a n e ,ev u n dev P a l a c i o s .ev Iev f e l t ,ev o nev t h eev l a s tev p a g e ,ev t h a tev m yev s t o r yev w a sev aev b o lev o fev t h eev m & n I h a dev b e e nev a sev Iev w a sev w r i t i n gev i t ,ev a n dev t h a tev i nev o r d e rev t oev w r i t eev t h a tev s t o r yev Iev h a dev h a dev t oev b eev t h a tev m a n ,ev a n dev t h a tev i nev o r d e rev t oev b eev t h a tev m a nev Iev h a dev h a dev t oev el i t eev t h a tev e, t o rew ,ev a n dev s oev o n ,ev a dob i n H n i t u m .ob ( A n dev j u s tev w h e nev Iev s t o pev b e 6 eei n gev i nev ,ev ” Aed e r r o e s “ev d i s a p p e a r s . )ev

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