Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Borges Day 1 Option 1

I believe that the most significant aspect of The Circular Ruins and A Survey of the Works of Herbert Quain being a part of Herbert Quain’s works is the fact that he is a fictional character. The fact that Jorge Luis Borges decided to use a fictional character to write one of his stories is very interesting to me. Could this simply be another interesting writing style of Borges, or could this mean something more in-depth?

I believe that throughout his work, Jorge Luis Borges uses many different writing styles. Sometimes he writes about personal experiences, other times he makes up a fictional character to tell a story with a deeper meaning about the days of his time. In this instance Borges has used a fictional character to be the author of one of his own stories. Could this mean that he does not want to allow people to know that he was the writer? It could also simply be that he wanted to try another different writing technique.

This technique has been used by other writers in the past in different ways. many writers used fictional names when they were writing in order to not reveal their identities. This is a very confusing style of writing. Borges is in effect writing a critique of a fictional author which he created, associating work with him, and then evaluating it. In effect Borges is critiquing his own writing as if it were someone else’s.

Throughout the story The Circular Ruins, Borges writes about a wizard who believes that he is creating his son through his dreams. In actuality he is the one who has been created through someone else’s dream. This brings to question could this be a never ending line of creations and creators? Could there be someone creating the creator of the wizard and so on?

I’m not sure how to even go about finding a solution to this question.

In the story A Survey of the Works of Herbert Quain, Borges has created a fictional character named Herbert Quain who is a deceased Irish writer. Throughout the story Borges talks about Quain’s works which in actuality are his own. Why would an author associate his works with a fictional character? This is a very confusing style of writing. I have come to several conclusions but they all get too complicated to even continue thinking about.

I have thought about The Circular Ruins and have come to one possible conclusion. Could Borges simply be telling us that life is simply an illusion? Could our existence here be just a dream created by some higher being or are we actually here? Do we have the ability to make choices which will impact our final outcome depending on the path that we take? This is all brought into question in this story. Although we think that we are actually here it may just be a dream that has been made up by someone else. This higher being may simply be manipulating us into the idea that we are real when in actuality we are only a dream.

It has confusing to try to sort through all of the possibilities that could exist from this story. I was also confusing myself when trying to draw a connection between The Circular Ruins and the existence of Herbert Quain. Could Quain be Borges wizard? Did he create him like the dreamer created the wizard? What reason did he have to create him? Was it for entertainment or is there an underlying meaning behind his existence?

In conclusion there are many similarities between these two stories in that the main character has been created by someone else. It does create some interesting but very confusing possibilities. I have been unable to draw any conclusions from these possibilities but I do understand that they exist.

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