Thursday, January 15, 2009

Max Armstrong: Lecture 1

Although the reading is a piece of fiction, it is written as an authentic account of the author Menard’s rewriting of the ‘Don Quixote’ story, that even includes fictional references from aristocratic sources. But Borges writes with authority, as if he respectfully knows and is familiar with both the author and the writing process of the fictional account. Borges suggests that Menard’s story is superior to the original, as it was more difficult to write, but the quotes are exactly the same. It suggests that a piece of literature needs to be read in context of when it was written and when it is read.

I actually found it quite difficult to read as I found it very confusing. As I read it I felt that I should be looking up these references even though I knew they were fictional.

In the context of digitalisation it made me question whether the digitalisation of a piece of artwork, for example a painting, could be considered a new artwork, or only a copy, or perhaps a facsimile of the original. I can only suggest that it depends on the context. If a print is considered an artwork in its own right, what about a digital artefact? Digital copies of old masters can reveal details lost to the naked eye, so does that add or detract from the painting?

My interpretation has changed a little, understanding the wider context helps my understanding. Knowing that the joke is not just on me helps.

1 comment:

tomT01 said...

This raises questions about genuine authority. These fictional references that Menard wrote, does give the phrasing of something that is bona-fide. If most things are written in such a way, how can we as readers take anything for truth or accuracy.