Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Assignment for Borges, Day 1: Option 1

     The Circular Ruins are to the Statements by Herbert Quain as all of humanity is to creators: the same.  More specifically, The Circular Ruins are in comparison with “The Rose of Yesterday”.  Illustratively, Quain would convey, ““There is no European man or woman,” … “that’s not a writer, potentially or in fact.”” (111) Taken from this certain point of view, instead of being frightened, one may be enlightened to think of this perplexing idea as way to ecstasy: here having the meaning of pleasurable creation.  However in detail, for all we can discern, we ourselves may in fact be like the Sorcerer of The Circular Ruins: part of an elaborate dreamt up world by another far greater individual.

     Could Humanity, as we know it at least, actually be part of a grand illusion that which is merely someone else’s imagination?  As in both texts, the idea of Creationism is a prominent theme.  Drawing from other texts, themes like this can be seen in such stories as Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll: particularly in chapter four.  From this chapter, Tweedledee tells Alice, while looking at the Red King, that she herself in fact is just a character in his own dream and imagination.  Contrastingly, in The Circular Ruins the Sorcerer, although not knowledgeable of whom his Creator is, realizes that, "With relief, with humiliation, with terror, he understood that he, too, was but appearance, that another man was dreaming him." (100) From this, the blindness of a man can lead him to become, as in Statements, “…blinded by vanity…” (111) And believe, “…that he himself has come up with them.”  (111) Here, “them” having the meaning of the Sorcerer’s son.

     From the Creation of Humanity to our Creation of God, we gave meaning to that which we did not fully understand.  Perhaps only because, we like in Statements are unable to fully realize our purpose; And in that, we are as Quain would say, the “”…writers manqués…”(111) However true this may be, we still Create like any other person, be it for comfort or conceivably pleasure, possibly everything that we see around us.  For instance, as the Sorcerer prayed to his “…planetary gods…” (98) in The Circular Ruins, for merely pleasure and want to be able to finally dream his son and his “…beating heart.” (98) From this quote, we can compare the correspondence between its meaning and that from Statements when it is said that: “…of the many kinds of pleasure literature can minister, the highest is the pleasure of the imagination.” (111).  Evidently of course not being from the Sorcerer’s literature works, this literature can easily be substituted in for his imagination; And from that, the realization that we ourselves could have in fact and most likely, Created God from our own imaginations and desire – comforting and consoling the unknown.

     Within Statements, Quain “…argued that readers were an extinct species.” (111) From this, one might wonder if the term “readers” may carry along with it a deeper meaning.  By chance, perhaps all of Humanity are the extinct readers; meaning, that we as human beings have become completely desensitized to the idea of Creation and we are now unable to distinguish one from the other.  For illustration, I believe that in The Circular Ruins, the Sorcerer may have also been a dying out “reader” himself: believing that he had created his son without have any question to whom might have created him.  Until later, when the Sorcerer at “The end of his meditations…” (100) had the choice to either continue his blindness to “reading” and jump into the water, saving “his life”; Or, walk into the fire and “… absolve…” (100) himself “…from his labors.” (100) A question may be risen from this scenario; perhaps for most of Humanity, unlike the Sorcerer, most are choosing to jump into the water to save themselves only in turn selectively choosing to continue their blind utopian world – with their imagined God at the middle.  Or perhaps rather a select few, like the Sorcerer, would choose, although hopefully for better reasons, to walk into the fire.  Which in turn, would inevitably allow them to become enlightened and knowledgeable that they themselves are merely a figment of someone’s twisted imagination; And by that, a fully realized “reader”: now open to endless possibilities.

     From these summating ideas of Imagination, Creation, and Realization it is but fact that these two short stories:  The Circular Ruins and Statements, have shown deeply rooted connections to how they define not only how we could have Dreamed our own world, but perhaps more intriguingly – how our world could have Dreamed us.  Allegedly, the Sorcerer created his son as our God created us, but how can Humanity survive when we ourselves created our own Creator? Therefore, Humanity, like the Sorcerer, must have been dreamt by Another – a vastly superior being that we cannot possibly begin fathom.

1 comment:

  1. This is pretty awesome. I wrote on a similar notion and wish mine was nearly this good. I'm trying really hard to find a weakness but I can't even name one. You grasp the religious allegory completely, and draw the connection to Circular Ruins in an extremely effective manner. Sorry if this isn't all that constructive, but I think all you need to do is expand on what you have. Maybe when you describe the choice people face between "reality" and fantasy, consider people who go insane, and question whether or not its actually negative for them, that by living in a world of their creation, they may be experiencing the sort of "ecstasy" you described early in your essay.