IdleRich

IdleRich
Ooh there is an hour long thing with Tom McCarthy talking about ARG on youtube. He always pops up doesn't he?
 

jenks

thread death
What I think of Borges when i think of him:
as a writer who is totally wrapped up with the idea of his reading - he has preoccupation with subverting generic conventions, his influences are all those detective novels, Machen mysteries, uncanny Poe tales, M R James but also the world of arcana and obscure encyclopedias, classical philosophy like the paradox of Zeno - his worlds are obviously Fictions.
As someone interested in the act of reading, what happens when we read - the magic, the mystery.
As someone who doesn't try to bother himself with realism and i like that - in fact he has much in common with Nabokov, another writer whom i enjoy - puzzles, mysteries, enigmas, an awareness of traditions in writing but also fiction as a game, strategy, a proposition.

I want to find my copy of Peter Knows What Dick Likes by Jonathan Meades because i remember him writing four essays on Borges that i really liked.i Think Perec and Oulipou owe Borges an awful lot too.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Staff member
Really should get PKWDL - Meades writing about Borges sounds great. Actually I can't recall ever reading Meades writing about another writer.
 

jenks

thread death
Found it last night - I’ll try and post some pictures later - we just had Ofsted visit, so I’m a bit knackered and likely to forget.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
Anyone read Tlooth or The Conversions? Even the name recalls Borges.
Tlooth, begins in a bizarre Siberian prison camp, where the inmates are divided according to their affiliation with obscure religious denominations (Americanist, Darbyist, Defective Baptist, and so on), and where baseball, dentistry, and plotting revenge against other inmates are the chief pastimes. A small group of inmates, including the narrator, plot their escape, which they carry out by constructing an ingenious getaway vehicle. After fleeing south and over the Himalayas, they split up; the later sections of the novel, which take place in various locales (chiefly Italy), are concerned with the narrator's attempts to track down and do away with another inmate, Evelyn Roak, who had been responsible for mutilating the narrator's fingers. Most of the major characters have sex-equivocal names, and it is only towards the end of the book that we are given some indication of whether they are actually male or female. As in The Conversions, there are numerous subplots that advance the main action only minimally.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
At the outset of his first novel, The Conversions, the narrator is invited to an evening's social gathering at the home of a wealthy and powerful eccentric named Grent Wayl. During the course of the evening he is invited to take part in an elaborately staged party game, involving, among other things, a race between several small worms. The race having apparently been rigged by Wayl, the narrator is declared the victor and takes home his prize, an adze with curious designs, apparently of a ritual nature, engraved on it. Not long after the party, Wayl dies, and the bulk of his vast estate is left to whomever possesses the adze, providing that he or she can answer three riddling questions relating to its nature. The balance of the book is concerned with the narrator's attempts to answer the three questions, attempts that lead him through a series of digressions and stories-within-a-story, many of them quite diverting in themselves. The book has some superficial affinities with Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49;[11] the reader, like the narrator, is never sure to what extent he has fallen victim to a hoax. Much of the material dealing with the ritual adze, and the underground cult that it is related to, borrows from Robert Graves's The White Goddess. Mathews's novel concludes with two appendices, one being in German.
 

mvuent

Every dog has its day.
i don't understand why everyone, from borges to corpsey, is suddenly taking it for granted that they're imaginary? i'm not imaginary. what is this hippie nonsense?
 

mvuent

Every dog has its day.
love this description.

“The stranger dreamt that he was in the center of a circular amphitheater which in some way was the burned temple: clouds of silent students filled the gradins; the faces of the last ones hung many centuries away and at a cosmic height, but were entirely clear and precise.”
 
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mvuent

Every dog has its day.
have to admit that seeing borges described as a literary mc escher put me off. i don’t want to read “stories” that amount to dry elucidations of concepts. but if these stories are based around concepts, they aren’t like escher in that you can’t take in the concept all in one glance. they are introduced and gradually revealed, like how the views you get of a building as you walk up matter are part of the architect’s design. a lot of visceral feeling comes to the surface through this process.
 

woops

is not like other people
Anyone read Tlooth or The Conversions? Even the name recalls Borges.
tlooth is one of the maddest and funniest experiments. it's easy to forget among the game-playing that mathews and especially perec can be very dark writers
 
i don't understand why everyone, from borges to corpsey, is suddenly taking it for granted that they're imaginary? i'm not imaginary. what is this hippie nonsense?

more that the imaginary and our desire is physical material, and a productive energy shared with others by which our own dreams are dreamt mvuent
 

jenks

thread death
I like that line by Borges that great readers are rarer than great writers. I don’t know if it’s true but I like it nonetheless.
 

jenks

thread death
Nearly finished my re-read of Ficciones - my favourite so far has been The Dream of the Sword and Funes, The Memorious.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
tlooth is one of the maddest and funniest experiments. it's easy to forget among the game-playing that mathews and especially perec can be very dark writers
I liked it a lot. I think I even preferred the Conversions though. It's funny though, sometimes (well, sadly quite rarely, but sometimes) my girlfriend and I will read a book together. Either in silence and we just turn the page when the second person has got to the end of the one we're on, or occasionally we might take it in turns to read that way. And one time I suggested that our joint reading should be Conversions (as I'd read it before and remembered it as a fun little book) - anyway, bad choice, we had a massive argument by the end of the first paragraph, I persuaded her to read a bit further and by the end of the first page we'd almost had a fist fight... so that was that as far as reading that book went together. I guess I'd not realised how much some people are challenged by, or - let's be honest - it's probably better to say, how much a lot of people find writing like this really shit and annoying.
Apparently it turns out he wrote a third book in the same style called The Sinking of the Odradek Stadium which I haven't read but which also sounds interesting. Perhaps it could be a Christmas present to myself...
After that he changed style dramatically, I borrowed Cigarettes off @DannyL I think and it's completely different, although I would also recommend it highly. It does have some kind of weird experimental structure underlying the novel but it's not so in your face bonkers. I do remember some rather dark stuff in there too somewhere as you say Woops.
 
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