Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Borges Week 2 Prompt 1

      “Time is the Tiger that devours me, but I am that Tiger.” – Jorge Luis Borges.  Jorge identifies himself as Time, in order to have a way of controlling his own future.  In a deeper sense, here having the meaning of Blind:  he is free from restraint, able to create or destroy his own life when he pleases – Choice.  Blind to rules and Blind to labyrinths – he himself is able to “see” and therefore – is unbound by Time.  Be it for frightened or Aware and enlightened ones, his line of reasoning identifies himself as a strong and powerful being: devouring himself is a Choice that he made.  Contrastingly, if this idea of being Time were to be unknown to another: the un-blind and unenlightened one, they would acquire a false belief that they themselves control their own destiny.  Meaning, that from this misunderstanding – their belief of possessing a Choice to alter or knowingly guide their lives is merely just an illusion.  It will lead them through endless circular labyrinths through space and time:  Unknowingly unable to Chose – infinitely self-devoured.  Oh, the incompetence of the un-blind: Lonnrot.

      From the existence of this un-blind man, one may understand that he may only be allowed to falsely dream, create, and imagine his own Choices: choices that resemble his own fate – regrettably a false perception.   Unaware that he will never be able to come by Chance, unless truly blinded, an idea of escapism is unimaginable.  Moreover, the reason that the un-blind have become so entrenched and trapped in this falsehood of reality is because of their disability to see: a myopic vision of imagination.  An example of this can be seen in one of Borges’ original works, “Death and the Compass”.  In this tale, Lonnrot, a detective, is unable to see as Borges might see: Blind and enlightened.  Also, although Lonnrot may have some acute “awareness” of his entrapment, he believes himself unable to ever escape his endless cyclical pattern: a pattern of death.  And from this, he will sadly never be able to become fully Aware like Borges: a Blind Creator of his own destiny.

      From this, it can be implied that when and only when one has become truly Blind, can one then become truthfully Aware: seeing, creating, and Choosing as preferred.  Unlike Borges, detective Lonnrot does not Choose to die: he simply does as mechanically as possible.  With out a lessoned learned, he, no matter where or in what universe, will always be drawn in and killed by his own failing weakness: following clues to a timely planned death.  Also, one might reason that when Lonnrot is Perceived in the beginning of the story as being a, “… reasoning machine…” (147) That this in itself can be seen as a bit of ironic.  Implying, that with these alleged gifts of reason he is also said to be mechanical:  But as one knows, only a true Blind and Aware man could possibly obtain these blessed traits.  Machines, like in other stories we have read, are knowingly unable to become purely Aware and therefore reasoning.  On a random, but germane fact, Lonnrot’s fate could be coupled with that of the creature Grendel: Although slightly aware of an existence – they are both forever damned.  From this mechanical association, possibilities are instantly shut down and any chance of perhaps understanding or becoming one with Time is completely demolished. By becoming defined as a machine, he is now unable to tap into the empire that which is dreams and therefore – Choices.

      Harnessing this flaw, Scharlach, in his newfound Blindness, is now able to see into the Labyrinth that Lonnrot is eternally trapped by.  Trapped by time and unable to become one with it, Lonnrot will continue, no matter in what life or universe, this endless cyclical pattern.  Moreover, no matter when the un-blind may attempt a striation off the “path” – even with, meticulous care and alleged intelligence, they will never be able to escape their fate and in that – death.  For most of the un-blind, by believing the “false perception” of being able to control time, they believe that they have a Choice when in fact they don’t.  They are neither lost nor blind, so therefore they cannot begin to imagine how to understand, navigate, or create Choices through time.  This is why the contrary impresses me so, because ones like Borges, who are truly lost and Blind, have a God given ability to Choose and Create as they desire:  Perhaps at this level of enlightenment, even their own God.

      From all this, an intellectual might say in summation that in order to be “found” like Borges, one must truly become lost: or in this case – Blind to all that is binding.  Labyrinths.  However, if like Borges, one is blessed with the chance and circumstance to become an Aware individual: and in that sense – truly Blind.  One may then and only then, understand the statement that they themselves are the Time-Tiger.  Conversely, for those unlike Borges, and in that – non-enlightened:  they will endlessly be stuck on the merry-go-round of undesirable fate.  For Lonnrot, and ones like him, only certain death waits behind each door:  no matter ones perception of freedom – Choice or striation will never be conceivable.  When there are no Choices, there cannot be life:  One is bound by the mechanics of time.


  1. I thought that this was a very interesting piece. I thought that the concept of the Choice and Blindness was an interesting one. I did think that a good bit of the paper was a summation of the class that we just had so maybe kind of try to avoid that. But I really liked the mention of Grendel and how you tied it in with borges and I think that maybe if you revise this that you put a bit more details into that aspect and it would be really good. But it is really good. I liked it.

  2. There's lots of clever material here, and I have a number of good things to say. I like (like Brandi) the connection you draw to your work on Grendel; I like the notion of the un-Blind a lot, and your analysis of Lonnrot through it; I also think that this piece perfectly suits your simultaneously profound and anarchic writing style.

    My main complaint here is that this would have work better with *some* kind of fictional element. You have a lot of complicated, interesting ideas; they might have been bound together more clearly, for instance, by creating a brief story involving Lonnrot (or maybe Beowulf-as-written-by-Borges?), for instance. Regardless of its form, I think a story could have done more to elucidate your idea of the un-blind than even the last several paragraphs do. Not that those paragraphs were without merit - far from it. But they lacked much in the way of progression; a clearer argument (with points of evidence developed in each paragraph) or story (with a plot similarly progressing) could have forced you to clarify and streamline your ideas productively.