Highbrow, city slicker, dude: Funes never spoke these injurious words, but I am sufficiently certain I represented for him those misfortunes. Pedro Leandro. 3 Feb In , the great Argentinean writer Jorge Luis Borges (–) published Funes the Memorious. It is the fictional story of Ireneo Funes. Page 1. Page 2. Page 3. Page 4.

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I was told he had been thrown by a half-tamed horse on the San Francisco ranch and was left hopelessly paralyzed. I clearly remember his voice: All action requires forgetting, just as the existence of all organic things requires not only light, but darkness as well.

My cousins assured me that was not the case, that these were peculiarities of Ireneo. As narrative this can be seen as extended version of insomnia. Of the magical compadrito of my story I can state that he is a precursor to supermen, a suburban, incomplete Zarathustra; what cannot be denied is that he is a monster. This is stated in the line “To think is to forget a difference, to generalize, to abstract.

There are clear parallels between Shereshevskii and Funes, despite the fact that the former trained his memory based on his synesthesia while for the latter to remember everything was completely natural.

Borges and Memory: Encounters with the Human Brain [Excerpt]

Intervenciones sobre pensamiento y literatura Buenos Aires: The Mind of a Mnemonist”. Most of these characters had been earlier described by Cicero in his Tusculan Disputations.


Jorge Luis Borges — has received universal acclaim for the depth with which he approached matters of philosophic and scientific import in his writings. He was on his cot, smoking.

Funes the Memorious

Kodama started to read a page at random and Borges, amazingly, guided her to the right page even though he had been blind for many years and—as he jotted on the first page—had read the book indecades before this encounter with Kodama. A poor, ignorant young boy in the outskirts of a small town, he is hopelessly limited in his possibilities, but says Borges his absurd projects reveal “a certain stammering greatness”.

The first, he tells the reader, was in February or March of In his initial remarks on language in the Essay c oncerning Human UnderstandingJohn Locke has this to say about the problem of choosing from the chaos of sensation what to give a name to, for it is obvious that, if we were quite arbitrary about it, we could give a name not just to any- thing but to every instantaneous choice from our sensory experience: In fact, he starts chapter 24 of book VII saying: For example, if I now pick out the present momentary co-existence of this part of this wood-grain in the table in front of me with my finger under the precise conditions of light from the window at this instant of time, and call this chance concatenation “Jabberwocky” or “Wakdjunkaga,” it is plain that I shall have to multiply my ontological choice at the very next instant, for that object has already ceased to be, since my finger has moved, the light has changed, and no doubt some of the dust that lay on the table has already been blown away by my breath.

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This tragic loss of his physical capacities, however, does not seem to bother him, because he has been compensated in a rather amazing way. Says Funes, midway through the story:.

The strange thing about the obituary is that Borges barely refers to Joyce or his work and instead describes Ireneo Funes, the main character of the story he was writing at the time. Funes has an immediate intuition of the mane of a horse or the form of a constantly changing flame that is comparable to our normal people’s intuition of a simple geometric shape such as a triangle or square.

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Twice I saw him behind the iron grating of the the window, which harshly emphasized his condition as a perpetual prisoner: He provides other prodigious examples of his gift: Funes’s mother escorts him to a patio where the memoriohs usually spends his dark hours. The subject of that chapter is memory; the last words were ut nihil non iisdem verbis redderetur auditum.

Sign up for our email newsletter. As te shall see in the following chapters, Shereshevskii possessed a very strong synesthesia—an involuntary link between different senses, like associating numbers with colors— that gave his memories a much richer content and thus made them easier to recollect.


Project MUSE – Jorge Luis Borges’s “Funes the Memorious”: A Philosophical Narrative

I shall not try to reproduce the words, which are now irrecoverable. The result is that every book that could possibly be written is included in the library, together with all its possible misprints and rearrangements, including all the nonsensal combinations of the letters.

This, as one can equally readily see, is equally useless to us mortal human beings caught within the valuable limitations of space and time. Days later, Borges receives a telegram from Buenos Aires calling for his return due to his father’s ill health. I was told he never moved from his cot, with his eyes fixed on the fig tree in the back or on a spider web.

In The Principles of Psychologyone of his fore- most works, James says this about memory:. Retrieved from ” https: In The Principles of Psychologyone of his fore- most works, James says this about memory: The word “Babel” brings home the uselessness of both these odd impossibilities — first, the remembering, conceptualizing, and wording of the infinitesimal detail of our sensory experience, and, second, arriving at a language so complete in He carried his pride to the point of acting as if the blow that had felled him were beneficial.

The multiplication of words would have perplexed their use, had every particular thing need of a distinct name to be signified by. The narrator claims that this prevents abstract thought, given that induction and deduction rely on this ability. Not only would it be drowned in its own meticulousness, but it would have no link with human purposes, social or personal. Funes never spoke these injurious words, but I am sufficiently certain I represented for him those misfortunes.

My deplorable status as an Argentine will prevent me from indulging in a dithyramb, an obligatory genre in Uruguay whenever the subject is an Uruguayan.