Free An Imaginary Life Essays and Papers - 123helpme
Lesson Plans: Imaginary Essay (all, Reading/Writing)
What is striking is not only the uniqueness of his literary subjects as an essayist, but also his ability to say something unexpected about them. Like , one can say that these are “imaginary essays,” if we take this expression to mean essays from a personal imagination stimulated by the imagination of others. One of the surprises awaiting a reader who refers to the sources that inspired Borges is to discover that, on reading and interpreting them, the author added as much as (or more than) he took from them, and in this way gave them new meaning. His readings are a form of appropriation and reflected creation; he translates what he reads into his own literary language and his own aesthetic world. This secondhand creativity—of unforgettable suggestion and magic—is characteristic of Borges.
Imaginary Numbers Essay - Anti Essays
A good illustration can be taken from the imaginary essays on literary subjects that Borges was writing at the same time as the . Borrowing the stylistic conventions of scholarly critical writing, the essays read like a combination of Empson, Paulhan, and , except that they are a great deal more succinct and devious. In an essay on the translations of , Borges quotes an impressive list of examples showing how translator after translator mercilessly cut, expanded, distorted, and falsified the original in order to make it conform to his own and his audience’s artistic and moral standards. The list, which amounts in fact to a full catalogue of human sins, culminates in the sterling character of Enna Littmann, whose 1923-1928 edition is scrupulously exact: “Incapable, like George Washington, of telling a lie, his work reveals nothing but German candor.” This translation is vastly inferior, in Borges’s eyes, to all others. It lacks the wealth of literary associations that allows the other, villainous translators to give their language depth, suggestiveness, ambiguity—in a word, style. The artist has to wear the mask of the villain or order to create a style.