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I am posting this as a benchmark, not because I think I'm playing very well yet.  The idea would be post a video every month for a ye...

Saturday, April 24, 2021


Writing the book is a practical matter. How long it should be. What should be individual chapters be? What citation system to use. What to include or exclude, what to emphasize? Where to publish it? There are infinite combinations of these factors--without any single correct solution. Many potentially wrong paths to go down. To say there is no one correct solution is not to say that there are no wrong answers. The intellectual problems are of less concern, because I know I can come up with interesting and compelling arguments. 


It occurred to me that I could blog all day long one day. I would simply sit at the computer, write a post. Then write another one. I could simply transcribe all that I am thinking of on a particular day. It would be like the "complete sentence game." If you recall, there are two rules: you must speak (write or think) in complete sentences, and the sentences must be about the rules of this game. 


The Catalans, Mompou and Montsalvatge, seem better than the Madrid composers. I listened to Halffter's trademark Sinfonietta and it seemed rinky-dink to me. I'm probably missing something. 


What part of the Quijote does Pierre Menard reproduce? A speech on "arms and letters." This is a persistent theme in Borges's work. He is a literary guy with ancestors who fought in significant battles. He was losing his sight and wasn't cut out for battles of any kind. Descriptions of violence by Gauchos or bandits on the outskirts of Buenos Aires are very attractive to him. Remember that Cervantes, wounded at Lepanto, writes that arms are superior to letters. So Menard / Borges rewriting Cervantes has to do so in an ironic mode. Arms are still superior, but bearing arms can only be nostalgic and "literary" at this point, as in "El sur." Boloña has a great parody of this story, "El gaucho ..."  

Borges in "Pierre Menard" seems to ignore all the Cervantes metafiction (the subject of other essay like "Magias parciales del Quijote," but clearly this is part of the joke here too. Menard / Borges are not adding this new postmodern dimension to Cervantes: it is already there. The first great novel in the Western tradition is also the first metanovel. 

This is surely the most misunderstood work of literature ever (PM). Made into a facile allegory of translation. 

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