Theoretical Fables: Conclusions (Excerpt)

Alicia Borinsky

What, then, has been dreamt throughout this book as “pedagogical?” What are the constraints of this old term, revived yet eroded by the condescension of the century’s consensus? They are certainly not a single body of learned truths but the production of effects of truth and lucidity through fiction. Macedonio’s role as a precursor and master of Jorge Luis Borges counters the conventional wisdom that situates Borges’s work within the antimetaphysical perspectives of deconstruction, by showing the way his concerns are tied to Macedonio’s metaphysical literature. The emergence of the theory of reading explored in the chapter devoted to Macedonio becomes for Borges in our interpretation a meditation about historical repetition intertwined with perplexities about ethics. What Macedonio believed beyond a doubt—that literature could teach—is for Borges material for both humor and serious reflection.

Macedonio Fernández and Borges present models of literature as a form of understanding in which intuition and discursive intelligence are seen as alternately complicitous and conflicting. [. . . .]

SOURCE: Borinsky, Alicia. Theoretical Fables: The Pedagogical Dream in Contemporary Latin American Fiction (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1993), Chapter 9: Overstaying My Welcome: Conclusions, 1st & beginning of 2nd paragraph, p. 132.

Note: See also especially chapters 1: An Apprenticeship in Reading: Macedonio Fernández, pp. 1-16; 2: Taming the Reader: Jorge Luis Borges, pp. 17-33. In this conclusion, Borinsky continues: “the first two chapters set the epistemological groundwork” for her readings of the varied fictional approaches of Gabriel García Márquez (Intelligence and Its Neighbors), Julio Cortázar (Literature as Risk), Adolfo Bioy Casares (A Poetics of Misencounters), Manuel Puig (Is There Style Without Gender?), Maria Luisa Bombal (The Lucidity of Inaction), and José Donoso (Closing the Book—Dogspeech).

Further Borinsky references:

Borinsky, Alicia. One-Way Tickets: Writers and the Culture of Exile. San Antonio: Trinity University Press, 2011.

_____________. “Gombrowicz’s Tango: An Argentine Snapshot” by Alicia Borinsky, Poetics Today, vol. 17, no. 3, Autumn, 1996, pp. 417-435.

_____________. “Repetition, Museums, Libraries: Jorge Luis Borges,” Glyph 2 (1977): 88-101.

_____________. “Rewritings and Writings,” Diacritics 4.4 (1974): 22-28.

Alicia Borinsky (A Job for Superman blog).

From “Prologue to the Never-Seen”
by Macedonio Fernández

Toward A Theory of the Novel
by Macedonio Fernández

Macedonio: Selected Writings in Translation

Macedonio Fernández
poem by Roberto Bolaño

The First Good Meta-Novel?:
Review by R. Dumain

The Ideal Revolution: Romanticism and Its Legacy: V (Macedonio Fernández)
by Malcolm K. Read

Jorge Luis Borges & Lucien Goldmann’s Genetic Structuralism

Jorge Luis Borges: Selected Study Materials on the Web


Macedonio Fernández - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Museum of Eterna's Novel - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Macedonio Fernández: A Museum of Possible Literatures"
by Kate Bowen, The Argentina Independent, 29 December 2011

A Mini Intro to Macedonio Fernandez

Macedonio Fernández: The Man Who Invented Borges
by Marcelo Ballvé

WJ and Borges Again: The Riddle of the Correspondence with Macedonio Fernández
by Jaime Nubiola
(Streams of William James, Volume 3, Issue 2, Fall 2001)

Unwriting the Author:
Affect and Authorship in Macedonio Fernández, Felisberto Hernández, and Clarice Lispector

by Camille Jordan Sutton
(PhD dissertation, Spanish, Vanderbilt University, 2014)

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