Ludmila P


In Borges’ story The Aleph, he goes to the basement of Beatriz’s house to see everything in the universe in one brief experience. At first he is synical and doesn’t believe it to be possible, but when he finally lays down on the floor and sees the unbelievable images that no one man would be able to remember all at once, he instantly understands it to be true. Borges writes about the problem of the Aleph, or possible other Alephs that might exist. He says that first our language would not allow us to transfer the information to anyone else because it would already be a second hand version. Even if we do experience the Aleph, we cannot remember it because human minds do not have the capacity to keep so much information. In the end of the story he says his memory is dwindling and soon he will not even remember whether or not he saw the Aleph.

In Borges’ short story Averroe’s Search, he writes about the control a writer may have over his characters. He demonstrated the power of language and words, how over time it constantly changes, making it more difficult to get the desired message or meaning across. The story that abu-al-Hasan tells about the men imitating scenes of death, aging, and fighting confuses the listening guests, who ask what purpose could possibly be derived from so many men when only one man can use language to describe all of it. Describing something exactly as it would be using lanuage, leaves all the power to the writer or speaker. Just as Borges wrote the story and once he stops thinking about Averroe, he disapears.

In The Other, Borges writes a story about meeting his younger self. Both the older version of him and the younger one have trouble believing it is possible, yet they share knowledge from thier times to try to confirm the reality of the situation. This story allows readers to image what we would do if we could recive knowledge from the future. Borges proposes the challenge of not believing the information to be true and the problem of understanding one another. He shows that mabey there would be too great a difference between our younger and older selves, like in the story. Even if we were provided with solid evidence, like a coin from the future, it is possible that we would not wish to believe it real. Even if it did happen, Borges proposes that we might think that everything we experienced was just a dream, one again changing the facts into mere possibilities and uncertainties in the future.

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