Painting Borges
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In this groundbreaking book, Jorge J. E. Gracia explores the artistic interpretation of fiction from a philosophical perspective. Focusing on the work of Jorge Luis Borges, one of the most celebrated literary figures of Latin America, Gracia offers original interpretations of twelve of Borges's most famous stories about identity and memory, freedom and destiny, and faith and divinity. He also examines twenty-four artistic interpretations of these stories—two for each—by contemporary Argentinean and Cuban artists such as Carlos Estévez, León Ferrari, Mirta Kupferminc, Nicolás Menza, and Estela Pereda. This philosophical exploration of how artists have interpreted literature contributes to both aesthetics and hermeneutics, makes new inroads into the understanding of Borges's work, and introduces readers to two of the most vibrant artistic currents today. Color images of the artworks discussed are included.

1. Introduction

I. Painted Stories

2. The Other
3. Funes, the Memorious
4. The South
5. The Interloper

6. The Garden of Forking Paths
7. The Circular Ruins
8. The House of Asterion
9. The Immortal

10. The Rose of Paracelsus
11. The Writing of the God
12. The Secret Miracle
13. The Gospel According to Mark

II. Identity and Interpretation

14. Literature, Art, and Philosophy
15. Interpretation
16. Painting Borges
17. Limits of Interpretation

Painting Borges: Art Interpreting Literature



Publié par
Date de parution 01 février 2012
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781438441795
Langue English

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,1648€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


SUNY series in Latin American and Iberian Thought and Culture

Jorge J. E. Gracia and Rosemary Geisdorfer Feal, editors

Painting Borges
Philosophy Interpreting Art Interpreting Literature

Jorge J. E. Gracia

Cover art: León Ferrari, El inmortal (The Immortal), 2003, 59" × 19.7" × 19.7", acrylic, ink, wire, and plastic flowers, vines, and cockroaches
Published by State University of New York Press, Albany
© 2012 State University of New York
All rights reserved
Printed in the United States of America
No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission. No part of this book may be stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means including electronic, electrostatic, magnetic tape, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise without the prior permission in writing of the publisher.
For information, contact State University of New York Press, Albany, NY
Production by Eileen Meehan Marketing by Anne M. Valentine
Gracia, Jorge J. E.
Painting Borges : philosophy interpreting art interpreting literature / Jorge J.E. Gracia.
p. cm. — (SUNY series in Latin American and Iberian thought and culture)
Includes bibliographical references ( ) and index.
ISBN 978-1-4384-4178-8 (pbk. : alk. paper)
ISBN 978-1-4384-4177-1 (hardcover : alk. paper)
1. Art and literature. 2. Art—Philosophy. 3. Borges, Jorge Luis, 1899–1986—Themes, motives. 4. Borges, Jorge Luis, 1899–1986—Illustrations. I. Title.
P53.G64 2012
700.1—dc23                                                                                                                                     2011025286
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

… good readers are poets as singular, and as awesome, as great authors themselves.
Jorge Luis Borges, Preface to the First Edition, A Universal History of Iniquity , 193

The list below contains thirteen stories, twelve are objects of interpretation in Chapters 2 through 13 , and one is the object of an interpretation by Arthur Danto that I discuss in Chapter 14 . Throughout this book, I refer to the stories by their English titles for the sake of English readers and in order to distinguish them from the works of art, some of which have the same titles as the stories. The titles of the stories are placed within double quotation marks.
“El otro” (“The Other”) 1975
“Funes, el memorioso” (“Funes, the Memorious”) 1944
“El sur” (“The South”) 1944
“La intrusa (“The Interloper”) 1970
“El jardín de senderos que se bifurcan” (“The Garden of Forking Paths”) 1941
“Las ruinas circulares” (“The Circular Ruins”) 1941
“La casa de Asterión” (“The House of Asterion”) 1949
“El inmoral” (“The Immortal”) 1949
“La rosa de Paracelso” (“The Rose of Paracelsus”) 1983
“La escritura del dios” (“The Writing of the God”) 1949
“El milagro secreto” (“The Secret Miracle”) 1944
“El evangelio según Marcos” (“The Gospel According to Mark”) 1970
“Pierre Menard, autor del Quijote ” (“Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote ”) 1944

In the text I refer to the works of art by their original titles. They appear first, regardless of the language, followed by their translation in parentheses. The titles of all works of art have been placed in italics to distinguish them from the stories by Borges with the same titles, which have been placed within quotation marks. After each title follows the year of creation, dimensions (height, width—and depth in one case), and medium.
I. Laura Delgado, La otra—éramos demasiado distintos y demasiado parecidos (The Female Other—We Were Too Different and Too Alike), 2009, 39.5" × 27.5", mixed media on canvas
II. Mauricio Nizzero, El otro (The Other), 2009, 19.75" × 31.5", ink and coffee on paper
III. Laura Delgado, Funes, vaciadero de basura II (Funes, The Garbage Heap II), 2009, 27.5" × 39.5", mixed media on canvas
IV. Mauricio Nizzero, Funes, el memorioso (Funes, the Memorious), 2009, 19.75" × 31.5", ink and coffee on paper
V. Alejandro Boim, El sur (The South), 2009, 24" × 24", oil on canvas
VI. Miguel Cámpora, La duda (The Doubt), 2009, 31.5" × 39.5", acrylic on canvas
VII. Estela Pereda, “ Si la querés, usála ” (If You Want Her, Use Her), 1991, 39.5" × 39.5", oil on canvas
VIII. Etienne Gontard, La intrusa (The Interloper), 1991, 39.5" × 39.5", acrylic on canvas
IX. Nicolás Menza, El jardín de senderos que se bifurcan (The Garden of Forking Paths), 2000, 39.5" × 27.5", pastel on paper
X. Carlos Estévez, Los jardines que se bifurcan (Forking Gardens), 2009, 39.5" × 27.5", pencil and gouache on paper
XI. Nicolás Menza, Ruinas circulares II (Circular Ruins II), 2010, 39.5" × 27.5", pastel on paper
XII. Mirta Kupferminc, Con el fuego (With the Fire) 2/5, 2008, 39.5" × 27.5", digital print
XIII. Luis Cruz Azaceta, La casa de Asterión (The House of Asterion), 2009, 29.5" × 29.5", markers on paper
XIV. Paul Sierra, Asterión , 2009, 34" × 26", oil on canvas
XV. Claudio D'Leo, El inmortal (The Immortal), 2009, 39.5" × 39.5", oil on canvas
XVI. León Ferrari, El inmortal (The Immortal), 2003, 59" × 19.7" × 19.7", acrylic, ink, wire, and plastic flowers, vines, and cockroaches
XVII. Alberto Rey, Doubting of St. Thomas (La duda de sto. Tomás), 2009, 19" × 33", oils on plaster on canvas over wood
XVIII. Carlos Estévez, La rosa de Paracelso (The Rose of Paracelsus), 2009, 39.5" × 27.5", pencil and gouache on paper
XIX. José Franco, La escritura de Dios (The Writing of God), 2010 (based on an idea from 1995), 47.5" × 79", acrylic on canvas
XX. Mirta Kupferminc, La escritura del dios (The Writing of the God), 2/5, 2 plates, 2004, 22.5" × 27.5", etching
XXI. Mirta Kupferminc, El milagro secreto (The Secret Miracle), 4/5, 2008, 39.5" × 27.5", digital print
XXII. Nicolás Menza, El milagro secreto (The Secret Miracle), 2004, 27.5" × 39.5", goffering on paper
XXIII. Héctor Destéfanis, La decisión de los Guthre (sic) (The Guthres's Decision), 2009, 39.5" × 27.5", mixed media on paper
XXIV. Ricardo Celma, El evangelio según Borges (The Gospel According to Borges), 2009, 59" × 29.5", oil on canvas

This book grew out of a life-long love of literature, art, and philosophy. My love of literature goes back to the time I had the mumps when I was ten years old. Before then my reading had been consigned to comic books, particularly those that had to do with horror. But I got sick and had to stay in my room for two weeks. During my illness, my sister, who was twelve years older than I, read classic stories to me. I particularly remember “The Beauty and the Beast” and some pieces from “The Arabian Nights.” After I recovered, I began to read fiction myself, and in a year had become a voracious consumer of literature. I delved deeply into my father's library, especially fascinated with nineteenth-century French and English novels. I read things that I can't imagine reading now, tedious narratives by Alexandre Dumas in The Countess de Charny , never skipping a line for fear I would miss something important. I am sure such drudgery successfully atoned for all of my past and future sins.
My love of art began in the fourth year of high school, while attending St. Thomas Military Academy. One of my classmates liked to paint and he introduced me to it. This led not only to dabbling with brushes, oils, and charcoal, but eventually with a decision to try to combine science and art by choosing architecture as a career after graduation.
To philosophy, I was first introduced in the last year of high school with a course on logic and one on the history of philosophy. I found both fascinating, but did not seriously consider a career in this field. Coming from a science-oriented family, the idea of becoming a philosopher was too bohemian. Philosophy, like literature and art, was something one was expected to know but did on the side. Instead, I followed my interests in art and science by enrolling in architecture at the Universidad de La Habana, with added classes at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes San Alejandro. Philosophy had to wait a few more years until I came to the United States and attended college.
Although my fascination with literature goes back to my childhood, it was only in college that it became an object of serious reflection due to an unexpected personal crisis. I had come to the United States without any significant knowledge of English a

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