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2: Borges; Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius (9-2-2018)


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Featherine Augustus Aurora

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Here is Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius as a file to be downloaded. This is the longest of Borges' stories in this project, and it connects well to The Library of Babel; those who have read the predecessor should find it in their artistic interest to juxtapose the works.


This will be the main literary discussion until February 17, 2018. For those who arrive here in the near or distant future, feel free to prompt a discussion regardless and others will join graciously


Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius discusses worldbuilding, especially outside fiction, as a creature of consensus. This Berkeleyan ideaーsubjective idealismーis the obverse of materialism and goes like this: reality is how the subject's mind perceives and understands it. The table is dependent on the subject seeing it and never fully exists without the mind's approval, as do all its features. This logically continues to information fed by others, which exist in the same mode and plane as truths. A new person exists truly as the rumors and information you hear before you see them; the person's conceptual avatar is made up of a homogeneous thought substance, where mere rumors and direct experiences meld together into for a complete synthesis


The subjective idealist predicate explains Tlön's graduation from rumor to invisible country. As a mere rumor, its existence is chimerical and not necessarily true to anyone but its few demiurges; as more of its mythos is published, curious onlookers accept the more sincere source of information as a matter of fact, and a place named Tlön, with enough of this, will find itself taken for as real as the moon or arctic poles, which are, too, thoroughly documented and undoubtedly considered real but never experienced by the onlookers (us). The keenness of this story's input is in the universality of this human behavior. Most beliefs are chimerical leaps of faith founded on what amount to mere rumors.


Remember that this is only meant to be a prompt to stimulate your mind and prime it to useful traits to acknowledge to enrich your insight on the work.




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Massive necrobump but I don't care. I want this to be a thing so badly.



Overall, this work was a blast, in a good way. It was engaging, even if I didn't understand everything as it addresses concepts of philosophy like nihilism, idealism and solipsism, which I don't fully understand myself, but this motivates me to learn more about these topics. I appreciate this because it pushes me to learn more, even on topics that normally I am not interested in, and hopefully grow from it. In fact, despite not understanding every concept, I surprised myself when, before I noticed, I had already read about 5 pages of the work.


To share some thoughts as a read the work:

First, once the narrator found how the entry on was apparently found in only 1 copy of the encyclopedia, my initial thoughts was that this was a book that somehow "leaked" from a parallel universe, timeline or whatever you want to call it, where this Uqbar indeed existed. Later I found out that this was not exactly the case. Still, I found entertaining to jump into my own theories as I read through the work.


Afterwards the work moved into these concepts of nihilism, idealism, etc. that I don't fully grasp yet, but in between it also delivered thoughts, theories and ideas that I found challenging and even alluring. For instance, the concept of hronir and the modification of past through it, how the Tlönists would avoid using nouns in their language and instead resort to the two alternatives described in the work which resulted in the spawning of uncountable nouns, the idea of a counterbook for every book and the atemporality and anonymity of authors, and their negation of time or the idea that all time has already transpired.


Then there is the reasoning of the cooper coins. I found amusing how Tlön resisted to it, and yet I cannot but suspect I find it amusing only because I don't fully understand the reasoning presented in their work. Regardless, for my own amusement I felt like challenging the reasoning. For example, it is not stated that all the coins that were found are indeed different. One could say that either Y or Z dropped 2 of their coins at the corridor of X's house, which means that 2 coins of the 9 lost coins may have somehow ceased to exist between Tuesday and Friday.


Anyway, in the later paragraphs I found amusing how Tlön actually started to gradually materialize into a reality, and this was apparently done deliberately and strategically. In a way it proves that men can indeed conceive a world. The last paragraph stood out the most for me, as it implied that the philosophies of Tlön had become a full reality and overtook the world by then. It is an almost chilling thought.


I have other scattered or vague thoughts here and there, but I want to learn more about the concepts I'm missing to wrap things together and get a more proper grasp of the work.


— Don’t forget.
Always, somewhere,
someone is fighting for you.
— As long as you remember her,
you are not alone.


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