December 15, 2021
at Kimball Art Center
Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986) was a celebrated Argentine poet, essayist, and short-story writer whose works became classics of 20th-century world literature. His one-paragraph story, On Exactitude in Science, is a central reference for David Hartt’s current exhibition, On Exactitude in Science (Watts). Join us for a discussion of one of Borges’ most famous collections of short stories, Ficciones.
The seventeen pieces in Ficciones demonstrate the gargantuan powers of imagination, intelligence, and style of one of the greatest writers of this or any other century. Borges sends us on a journey into a compelling, bizarre, and profoundly resonant realm; we enter the fearful sphere of Pascal’s abyss, the surreal and literal labyrinth of books, and the iconography of eternal return. More playful and approachable than the fictions themselves are Borges’s Prologues, brief elucidations that offer the uninitiated a passageway into the whirlwind of Borges’s genius and mirror the precision and potency of his intellect and inventiveness, his piercing irony, his skepticism, and his obsession with fantasy. To enter the worlds in Ficciones is to enter the mind of Jorge Luis Borges, wherein lies Heaven, Hell, and everything in between.
Discussion led by David Laraway. David Laraway received a PhD in Hispanic Literature at Cornell University and a PhD in Philosophy, Art, and Social Thought at the European Graduate School in Switzerland. He is the Todd A. Britsch Professor of Humanities at BYU, where he is currently serving as the chair of the Department of Philosophy. In addition to numerous articles and book chapters on topics ranging from 19th-century Spanish realism to Chilean cyberpunk narrative, he is the author of American Idiots: Outsider Music, Outsider Art, and the Philosophy of Incompetence (2018) and Borges and Black Mirror (2020).
This program has received funding from Utah Humanities. Utah Humanities (UH) empowers groups and individuals to improve their communities through active engagement in the humanities.