Wed 6 Dec 2006
For the last Borges reading of the semester, “The Aleph” seems to present us with the most abstract and difficult imagery as yet to come from one of Borges’ stories. In the story, The Aleph represents everything in the world that we imagine to exist, yet cannot ever physically experience. The Aleph is infinity, a concept impossible for the human mind to comprehend, yet Borges seems to believe that is is possible for one to experience everything possible. Though Borges may have experienced the Aleph in the story, it is impossible for one to even retain a single portion of what one saw. The flaw i see with the concept of such a ‘device’ is that the human mind is not equipped to actually understand a complete view of such things as “sunset” and “sunrise” at the same time. The idea of such a possibility brings to mind the idea that maybe every “real” thing we experience at one point in time in the world is simply imaginary. We may see one or two ants on the ground and admit to their existence, but to imagine that there are millions more living simultaneously all around the world makes one wonder how it is possible that one could even “see” them all at once. How does the mind comprehend every combination everything possible both on earth and metaphysically? What i take away from the story is that, though we may claim to have seen everything on earth, what proof is there to support its “tangibility”? The Aleph is a simple metaphor for the fact that we will never be able to define “reality” with any certainty.