/ Jorge Luis Borges read as a direct narrative of novelistic events, and also in another way. The heterogenous census of the authors whom I con-. IN “FUNES, T he Memorious,” Borges embarks upon an examination of the nature of .. 1 Jorge Luis Borges, Ficciones (New York: Grove Press, ), p. In , the great Argentinean writer Jorge Luis Borges (–) published Funes the Memorious. It is the fictional story of Ireneo Funes.

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Now, I am interested in this line of reasoning because it demonstrates the place of memory in abstraction, in theory formation, in the business of beliefs, of expectations, of speculation, approximation, and model making.

The early death of Jorgge echoes the idea of unfulfilled potential, the wasted miracle of a plainsman with phenomenal abilities who lives and dies in obscurity. In place of five hundred, he would say nine. Dutton, as The Book of Imaginary Beingstowards the end of the year. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Funes the Memorious

Once we are unable to remember every object as unique the requirement to classify and to attribute class membership to new objects develops. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Borges, disconcerted, sends Funes tue he deems the most difficult works “in order fully to undeceive him”. In the overly replete world of Funes, there were nothing but details.

Funes claims to have nemorious a system of enumeration which gives every numeral up to at least 24, its own arbitrary name.

Paris Review – Funes the Memorious

When I packed my valise, I noticed the Gradus and the first volume of the Naturalis historia were missing. I remember him, with his face taciturn and Indian-like and singularly remotebehind the cigarette.

This page was last edited on 24 Septemberat As Borges and Di Giovanni became close, the two began collaborating memprious the translations.


The narrator argues that a positional number system is a better tool for abstraction. She told me Ireneo was in the back room and I should not be surprised to find him in the dark, because he knew how to pass the idle hours without lighting the candle. Even in these cases, however, the memory is fnes eidetic as, while exceptional, it only contains personally-relevant autobiographical information [3].

May Learn how and when to remove this template message. It possesses a rhythm and a humour which, in my opinion, other English translations of the story do not match.

He was on his cot, smoking. His original motivation, I think, was his irritation that the thirty-three Uruguayan patriots should require two figures and three words rather than a single figure, a single word. Borges, in this story, was borrowing from the method of psychopathology.

Kerrigan translates the above passage: Ojrge was returning from the San Francisco ranch with my cousin Bernardo Haedo. Without the slightest change of voice, Ireneo told me to come in.

He told me that toward he had devised a new system of enumeration and that in a very few days he had gone beyond twenty-four thousand.

English Translations of ‘Funes the Memorious’ by Borges

Later he applied his extravagant principle to the other numbers. As he enters, Borges is greeted by Funes’s voice borrges perfect Latin, reciting “the first paragraph of the twenty-fourth chapter of the seventh book of the Historia Naturalis ” by Pliny the Elder.

Twice I saw him behind the iron grating of the the window, which harshly emphasized his condition as emmorious perpetual prisoner: The scientific term for their unique condition is ” hyperthymestic syndrome “, more recently known as highly superior autobiographical memory HSAM.

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He carried his pride to the point of acting as if the blow that had felled him were beneficial. He had not written it down, since anything he thought, even once, remained ineradicably with him. I was astonished to find the evening no less oppressive than the day had been. Each word had a particular sign, a kind of mark; the last in the series were very complicated…I tried to explain to him that his rhapsody of incoherent terms was precisely the opposite of a system of numbers.


My favourite passage from the story, in the Irby translation, reads as follows:. Funes enumerates to Borges the cases of prodigious memory cited in the Historia Naturalisand adds that he marvels that those are considered marvellous. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Borges returns to Jirge Airesthen in comes back to Fray Bentos, intending to relax and study some Latin. Highbrowcity slickerdude: Post was not sent – check your email addresses! You are commenting using your WordPress.

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Hurley explains his rationale in a note to the text: Unable to walk, confined to his home, he finds his jorte and his memory have become absolute.

English Translations of Jorge Luis Borges’ ‘Funes the Memorious’

This is stated in the line “To think is to forget a difference, to generalize, to abstract. Not without a certain vaingloriousness, I had begun at that time my methodical study of Latin. After the accident he became Funes the Memorious. Aust N Z J Psychiatry. Because Funes can distinguish every physical object at memoriouw distinct time of viewing, he has no clear need of generalization or detail-suppression for the management of memprious impressions. I prefer to summarize with veracity the many things Ireneo told me.

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