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Anxious gatekeeping

Analogous to nervous cluelessness is something we might call “anxious gatekeeping.”   This is desire to police the borders of poetry, or of...

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Borges on Hawthorne

“Un hombre rico deja en su testamento su casa a una pareja pobre. Ésta se muda ahí; encuentra un sirviente sombrío que el testamento les prohibe expulsar. Este los atormenta; se descubre, al fin, que es el hombre que les ha legado la casa."

That's Borges quoting Hawthorne. An idea for a story that could come right out of Kafka. "A rich man leaves a house to poor couple. They move there and find a sombre man-servant that the will forbids them from dismissing. He torments them; it is discovered, at the end, that the servant is the man who has left them the house."

The essay goes on, with all of Hawthorne's ideas for bizarre plots. It makes you realize how Hawthorne and Poe are behind Borges and Cortázar.

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