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Old 05-31-2005   #11
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Re: Is he an influence or just a (very) good read?

A little thought about why Borges didn't write horror stories in spite of his admiration for Poe and Stevenson.
Borges is a philosophical and fantasy writer; in fact he considered metaphysics a branch of fantastic literature, pointing out an essential impossibility to understand the world. The feeling he wants mostly to convey is one of disoriented awe and confused wonder. And he is a master at that, the best I know. Any other mood in his writing is somehow buried by that deep feeling of life as an impossible occurrence. Also, he favoured ellipsis and understatement in his concise style. (A fine example we found in “Deustches Requiem”, where the torture inflicted on the Jew, has become, by the means of literary trickery, into a foot note). So, even when he tells us the awful fate of a character (like in “El Zahir”) fear is not the prevalent feeling, but awe and a kind of metaphysical giddiness. If you maintain this credo, it is not possible to be a horror writer. Either an erotic one, by the way. In his only love story, “Ulrika”, Borges gets through the intercourse with the sentence “amĂ© por primera y Ăşltima vez la imagen de Ulrika” (I loved for the first and last time Ulrika’s image). I think the essential Borges is here: the intrinsic pain and emptiness of so many “one night stand” is kind of diluted in the hope of the woman not being real, as well as Borges himself and probably the Universe.
This is, I believe, the key to why Borges is not such a dark, pessimistic writer even if he was personally a pessimistic and skeptical individual who longed for death since he was young, as confessed once in Spanish television. If everything might be a dream, the image at the bottom of the mirror, then, everything is possible, including the sweet relief of dissolution and even a kind of dreamy redemption by a literary god (provided that god is not adamant on His Own Existence, of course).
All might explains why his most “scary” story, “El Zahir”, ends in a high note of unlikely hope.
Apologies (or may be it is just a relief for everyone) I cannot elaborate on how all this compare with Ligotti, since I'm just an initiate in the ligottian universe. I am still waiting from a parcel from the States containing some of his books.

"...what pleasures and improvements do such deny themselves who scorn and avoid all opportunity of intercourse with souls separate and the spirits, glad and sorrowful, which inhabit the unseen world!"
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Old 06-03-2005   #12
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Re: Is he an influence or just a (very) good read?

Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Muñoz";p=&quot View Post
This is, I believe, the key to why Borges is not such a dark, pessimistic writer even if he was personally a pessimistic and skeptical individual who longed for death since he was young, as confessed once in Spanish television.
This is new to me, I didn’t know that.

There are a few other stories by him that I consider a little dark, like the story (I JUST forgot its name) about the young man who, after an accident, is capable of remembering each and every single detail of his life and the world around him.

Ligotti is very different to Borges in the devices both men use, one being openly pessimistic (Ligotti) and the other more subtle (Borges) even if both hint at the uselessness of a shadowy Universe.

Por cierto, Muñoz, żquĂ© libros de Ligotti te van a llegar? Yo solamente tengo “The Nightmare Factory” y “My Work is not yet done”, aunque ya tengo separado el nuevo libro de Ligotti...

Anyway, people die...
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Old 06-03-2005   #13
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Re: Is he an influence or just a (very) good read?

Karnos, the story you're refering to if Funes ou la mémoire (well that's the french title anyway...) and that's a dark, sad and frightening story indeed.

"How he made them laugh... sometimes"
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Old 06-03-2005   #14
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Re: Is he an influence or just a (very) good read?

Quote Originally Posted by ElHI";p=&quot View Post
Karnos, the story you're refering to if Funes ou la mémoire (well that's the french title anyway...) and that's a dark, sad and frightening story indeed.
Thanks a lot ElHI, now the original title comes back to mind, it's "Funes el Memorioso".

Anyway, people die...
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Old 12-21-2008   #15
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Re: Is he an influence or just a (very) good read?

http://nyrb.typepad.com/classics/200...to-borges.html
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