The narrator, a version of Borges himself, meets Ireneo Funes, a teenage boy who lives in Fray Bentos , Uruguay , in Borges's cousin asks the boy for the time, and Funes replies instantly, without the aid of a watch and accurate to the minute. Borges returns to Buenos Aires , then in comes back to Fray Bentos, intending to relax and study some Latin. He learns that Ireneo Funes has meanwhile suffered a horseback riding accident and is now hopelessly crippled. Soon enough, Borges receives a note from Funes, requesting that the visitor lend him some of his Latin books and a dictionary. Borges, disconcerted, sends Funes what he deems the most difficult works "in order fully to undeceive him".
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This paper suggests an alternative interpretation for both texts, suggesting that Eliot and Borges go beyond judgments of futility to draw up roadmaps for renewal amidst the futility. The modern landscape and mindscape are both devoid of hope, or so a solitary reader strolling through T. An alternate reading of the texts, however, suggests that their primary purpose goes beyond dreary declarations to explore dearth in society and in the individual and to propose solutions to this dearth.
The work opens with April, generally a month of new life, painfully growing flowers out of the parched land, and the first speaker running from rain, a fertilizing force, and into a manmade edifice. The text suggests that the chief corrupting and repressing agent hindering intentional, flourishing life is the use of language, or its lack thereof. The absence of honest interpersonal contact, an elementary act of intimacy, thereby renders impossible reproduction, the highest act of intimacy and connection, and resurrection of humanity.
A horseback riding accident cripples Funes, and after the accident, Funes is able to perceive every minute occurrence in detail and remember each of these perceptions. Sospecho, sin embargo, que no era muy capaz de pensar. Pensar es olvidar diferencias, es generalizar, abstraer. I suspect, nevertheless, that he was not very capable of thought. To think is to forget a difference, to generalize, to abstract. In the overly replete world of Funes there were nothing but details, almost contiguous details.
The passage illustrates the curse of an unalterable memory. Funes perceives each occurrence in immaculate detail and retains each of these perceptions. His approach to the world purports that a satisfying fullness can be achieved in an unreduced, precisely sorted progression of details.
Funes, overwhelmed by the increasing fullness of his memory, spends his days classifying observations that inevitably fall into a sterile sequence rather than a series in which each term has relation and meaning in the context of the others—and of the origin. This incapacity prevents any fruit from growing out of a tremendous memory—fruit for personal understanding or for dialectical edification—and torments Funes to the extent that he must reject the world altogether, finding solace only in the homogenous darkness of sleep.
Both works, however, also propose a roadmap for rejuvenating language and communication and begetting potential potency. Indeed, in the final section of the poem, patience proves fruitful. He listens to the primordial voice of nature, resounding lucidly now that the misplaced desire of spring begotten from the desensitizing snow of winter has been dissolved and the true void in its place, wrought by the surprise of summer, reflected upon.
The primordial voice is a return to the beginning: rain promised by dry thunder. Borges, the assumed narrator, writes that his testimony of Funes will likely be poor, impartial and unescapably biased. Moreover, as citizens of the world increasingly take initiative to contemplate their situations and communicate their inferences, humanity narrows in on a fuller truth.
In his essay, Auerbach encourages the individual scholar to combine close reading and obvious connections produced in an increasingly globalized and connected world in order to develop his own body of writing and contribute compellingly to the existing dialogue. The point of departure must be the election of a firmly circumscribed, easily seen, set of phenomena whose interpretation is a radiation out from them and which orders and interprets a greater region that they themselves occupy Their texts painstakingly expose modern-day dearth but go two steps further to attribute the dearth to the absence of fruitful communication and to propose a first step to recovering from this absence that lies in recognition of the dearth and intentional inching forward.
The texts thereby challenge the notion that they are primarily about dearth. Their essence is one of barrenness and aridity, but just as the God of the Bible simultaneously scatters and sows, the creators of these texts sow opportunities for recognition even in seemingly vacuous prospects. The biblical God commands his subjects to be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth; likewise, the primordial recognition to give, sympathize and control—datta, dayadhvam, damyata—and the recognition of manmade constructs to forget differences, generalize and abstract.
The earth is a waste land, not a wasteland. In interaction lie resurrection, reproduction and salvation. The gods, after scattering the seeds, have created a spark, a potential, out of nothingness. Auerbach, Erich. David Damrosch, Natalie melas and Mbongiseni Buthelezi.
Princeton: Princeton University Press, Eliot, T. Program Ph. Yes, bad. Stay with me. Speak to me. Why do you never speak? What are you thinking of? What thinking? I never know what you are thinking. Think lines Borges, Jorge Luis. Ficciones English Translation. Grove Press, Ficciones Spanish Edition. Alianza Editorial, Xenophile Articles. Featured Content.
Ireneo Funes: Superman or Failure? A Husserlian Analysis
This paper suggests an alternative interpretation for both texts, suggesting that Eliot and Borges go beyond judgments of futility to draw up roadmaps for renewal amidst the futility. The modern landscape and mindscape are both devoid of hope, or so a solitary reader strolling through T. An alternate reading of the texts, however, suggests that their primary purpose goes beyond dreary declarations to explore dearth in society and in the individual and to propose solutions to this dearth. The work opens with April, generally a month of new life, painfully growing flowers out of the parched land, and the first speaker running from rain, a fertilizing force, and into a manmade edifice.
Funes the Memorious
“Funes the Memorious" and Other Cases of Extraordinary Memory