Wed 6 Dec 2006
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.