Eric D


Jorge Luis Borges’s short stroy, The Aleph, is entirley about the concept of infinity. In this story The Aleph is a point in space that contains everything else and allows those who see it to witness everything. This is similiar to one the Library of Babel in which the librarians are searching for a manuscript that contains all knowledge. In this story however, Borges is mourning over the death of his former lover Beatriz Viterbo. He stops by her house and meets her cousin Carlos Argentino Daneri and realzies that Daneri is a terrible poet, but under the inane belief that he actually possesses more than a gram a real talent. It becomes clear that Daneri’s goal is to create a massive poem, detailing everything on Earth by using The Aleph. Borges witnesses the Aleph and sees the power that is inside of it, i.e. everything in an infinite sense. Later the building is torn down and Daneri wins an award for literature. Importantly however, I believe that Borges is trying to reinforce his themes on the infinite and the simple fact that as humans, we lack the capacity to understand or remeber the infinite perfectly. As with language our knowledge is imperfect.

Borges’s The Immortal is a short story concerning the idea of immortality and its reality in regards to human beings. Most individuals without thinking on the subject for too long, will always say that the concept of being Immortal would be awesome, or cool. Borges decides to analyse this in his stroy and ultimatley comes to the conclusion that immortality is not all that its cracked up to be. Importantly, to an immortal time loses all meaning. Being 100 or being 1000 is no different because you are never going to die. Your life is eternal and therefore the search for the self is emaningless. This search for the understanding of oneself is given purpose by a mortal’s life, i.e. one whose time on this Earth is not infinite; it has an ending.

Jorges Luis Borges attacks the issue of human understanding in his short story, The Library of Babel. In it, an entire universe is encapuslated in an enormous, pehaps infintie library. The idea of infinity is ubiqutous in this story in that there are an infinite amount of books that reside in hexagonal galleries. People devote their lives to trying to decipher the books as the labuages inside them are incomprehensible. I believe that Borges is saying that our understanding of the world and of ourselves is imperfect. In other words, we think we know a lot more than we actually do. Borges also revelas that there is one book that contains the knowledge to understanding all other books. There is also a hint of a person who has read that book and is therefore comprarable to God, i.e. an all-knowing being. I believe that a life devoted to pursuing knowledge is also something akin to that of Socrates’s philosphy. Borges illustrates these sorts of indivduals as those trying to decipher the texts. I believe that Borges’ integral point here is that knowledge is the most important thing that one can attain.

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