“Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius,” Jorges Luis Borges, 1940

Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius,” Jorges Luis Borges, 1940; English ver. 1961  – A story that begins with a mirror and a fictitious encyclopedia article and sprawls out from there.  “In the story, an encyclopedia article about a mysterious country called Uqbar is the first indication of a massive conspiracy of intellectuals to imagine (and thereby create) a world known as Tlön.” (Wikipedia)

Comments:  Challenges notions of history, language, and reality.  Contains deliberate anachronisms. (Wikipedia) Considered by some to be the greatest European sf story ever (see the introduction in The SFWA European Hall of Fame). Also, a story discussed at length in Sebald’s The Rings of Saturn.

“One of the major themes of ‘Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius’ is that ideas ultimately manifest themselves in the physical world and the story is generally viewed as a parabolic discussion of Berkeleian idealism — and to some degree as a protest against totalitarianism.” [It] has the structure of a detective fiction set in a world going mad. Although the story is quite short, it makes allusions to many leading intellectual figures both in Argentina and in the world at large, and takes up a number of themes more typical of a novel of ideas. Most of the ideas engaged are in the areas of language, epistemology, and literary criticism.” (Wikipedia)

Author: Wikipedia: “Jorge Francisco Isidoro Luis Borges Acevedo (24 August 1899 – 14 June 1986), known as Jorge Luis Borges…, was an Argentine short-story writer, essayist, poet and translator born in Buenos Aires. His work embraces the “character of unreality in all literature”. His most famous books, Ficciones (1944) and The Aleph (1949), are compilations of short stories interconnected by common themes such as dreams, labyrinths, libraries, mirrors, animals, fictional writers, religion and God.”


About jennre

Lifelong sf fan, first-time blogger
This entry was posted in 1940-1945, alternate history, favorites, international, knowledge/truth/epistemology, language/libraries, reality/VR/surreal, time/history/causality. Bookmark the permalink.

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