Wed 6 Dec 2006
The concept of an “aleph” is very strange and is difficult to wrap one’s mind around. Alephs are, to the best of my knowledge, a letter in the Hebrew alphabet. However, in Borges’ story they are a place where every part of the world exists at the same time, and can be observed from all possible perspectives. In my opinion, the “aleph” is a metaphor for a single person’s mind. Within the mind exists a reality created from memory. In a very small place, a virtually infinite number of places, thoughts, ideas, and people can be present. Borges, through this short story, suggests that reality is perhaps not as concrete as one might suppose and that it is in fact merely a conflation of memories, fueled by language (which is inherently subjective).