Friday, January 16, 2009

Paul D. Found / Lecture 1

The Borges piece actually left me with more questions than answers but that counts as reflection too.

The first thing that struck me was - why? Why write a review of a work that does not exist, by a person who does not exist? Was it a piece intended as a "joke" just to amuse Borges himself, or was the intention to hoodwink people into believing Menard and his version of Quixote? Was it doing this that amused Borges?

Was Borges just mocking those who believed what he wrote to be true, or those who take what they are told or read at face value? A modern parallel that came to mind was the start of their film Fargo, which states it is "Based On A True Story" even though it is not.

Was Borges being satirical by attacking critic's pretentiousness, or was in attacking the power critics have to decide what is valid art?

With regard to Digital Cultures, perhaps Borges was suggesting that the imitation or fake version of a work becomes "the thing" rather than the original. This could apply to remakes of films, cover versions of songs, and to digitally created and reproduced artworks. This questions the authorship of the original creative work.

Is Borges commenting on the context of the work being most important? Would Don Quixote still be regarded as a masterpiece if it was written "now"?

Addendum

I still stand by everything I said. Barthes' "Death of the Author" says the same thing much better...

6 comments:

mandy said...

I had totally the same thoughts initially as you did -- why do it this way? Is he having a go at Don Quioxte? Why write it as a fictional essay?

Max said...

I was also left wondering why and found that stopped me looking more deeply?
I also wondered if I would be able to grasp it better if I was familiar with Quixote?

StrangePlace said...

is it possible to read too much into it as a piece of work? the depth and effort of the work can either be fenominal or just as likely reeled off with no real perpouse other than to make the piece look viable.

quite possibly my narrow veiw, but i take it as utterly satirical with no greater statment about the working of other authers or the world at large

Zeus Thunderbolt said...

I think that the questions you posed have some validity and I can see the similarities between Borges piece and that of the film Fargo, but does the fact that Borges' piece is a fake review detract from the pieces own merits as a creative piece of writing?

mandy said...

Then I should go on to say i think Borges was indeed being satirical...and definitely think he's saying something about who is 'valid' as far as being able to make credible statements... like he has these two ladies, rich influential ladies to vouch for him. Then, even in the published works there are a few poems/sonnets for these ladies... so some pandering to them which is funny. Saying he has not much validtity but these two ladies do is a comment on who has the power to be a critic on what is valid art or a true statement.

Nikki May | Web Content Writer said...

I gree with you on the similarities you mentioned between the Borges piece and the film Fargo.

After taking a step back and not focusing on the fact that Borges' piece is a fake revuew, I was able to appreciate the high quality and good points of the piece.