Nina A


This story begins with the narrator telling us of the death of the woman he loved. Visiting her family each year on her birthday, the narrator tells us of the closeness he finds with her family, and with a poet, her cousin, whom he despises. After some time he learns that the poet’s house is to be demolished, in which he has been working on an epic poem about the Universe. An Aleph exists in the poet’s basement, and is the inspiration for his poem. After visiting his home, and seeing the Aleph, Borges pretends not to because of his hatred for this fellow writer. In the end we hear that he wins an award for writing, and that his house is eventually torn down.

This story looks at the way language and society affect one another, but also the way in which a writer creates and controls a story. Beginning with Averroes reading Poetics, the story continues with his search to find the meaning behind the words comedy and tragedy. After this failed attempt, Borges explains that he is in fact respresented in Averroes’ character, and that his search is just as meaningless as trying to write a story from few sources. Borges then continues by adding that since Averroes is in fact his fabricated character, once he stops thinking about him he will cease to exist.

In this short story Borges writes of his two personas, the one who writes and to whom things happen to, and the one who is writing this short story. Saying that he lives only so that the other Borges can write, he also tells us of a time where he attempted to free himself of the other, but to no avail. He states that “little by little, [he has] been turning everything over to him, thought [he] know[s] the perverse way he has of distorting and magnifying everything” (324). This tiny work of literature looks at how much you give yourself to writing, as well as how much you are changed by it. Borges claims that “everything winds up being lost to me, and everything falls into oblivion, or into the hands of other man” (324). he then proceeds to end the story by telling us that he is not even sure as to who is even writing it.

Next Page »