In a message dated 12/5/2015 11:49:53 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
firstname.lastname@example.org_ (mailto:lawrencehelm@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx) in "Borges
Macdonio Fernandez" quotes from Wikipedia:
Recent studies by Ana Camblong, Julio Prieto, Daniel Attala and Todd S.
Garth, among others, indicate that Macedonio's literary impact on Borges was
far more profound and enduring than Borges ever admitted, and that Borges
went to great pains to hide this influence."
-- or muse, as it were!
I would not be surprised, Borgesiana being what it is, that Ana Campblong,
Julio Prieto, Daniel Attala and Todd S. Garth had provided minutes to the
proceeings of the J. L. Borges Lectures held by the Anglo-Argentine Society
at Canning House, Belgravia on this fascinating interface beween Borges
senior's best friend and Borges junior.
I loved the Wikipedia expansion on the thematic similarities:
"Many of the most fundamental concepts underpinning Borges's fiction come
directly from Macedonio. These include the questioning of space and time and
their continuity; the confusion of dreaming and wakefulness; the
unreliability of memory and the importance of forgetfulness; the slipperiness
nonexistence) of personal identity; the denial of originality and the
emphasis on texts as being recyclings and translations of prior texts; and the
questioning and commingling of the roles of author, reader, editor and
commentator. These influences extend to thematic material. Such themes include
the conceit of an alternative, fictional dimension, elaborated anonymously in
collaboration, that invades the known, tangible world (Borges's "Tlön,
Uqbar, Orbis Tertius" and Macedonio's campaign to transform Buenos Aires by
turning it into a novel, a component of his Museo de la Novela de la Eterna);
and the hermetic world of immigrant working girls who must negotiate the
city on their own, secret terms based purely on instinct and passion
(Borges's "Emma Zunz" and Macedonio's Adriana Buenos Aires). While it is
both men were inspired by ideas they read in the works of late-nineteenth and
early-twentieth century philosophers (specifically Schopenhauer and
Bergson), there is little question that the two Argentines developed some of
their most characteristic and enduring ideas together, in conversation,
throughout the 1920s. Macedonio appears explicitly in Borges's "Dialogue about
Dialogue," in which the two discuss the immortality of the soul."
It may be woth analysing each item of influence one by one! There may be a
convroversy as to the 'external factor' that caused Borges's separation
from his 'teacher', though, as 'ultraism' seems like a mere excuse for
something somewhat deeper?
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