PDF | On Jan 1, , Silvia Dapia and others published The Myth of the Framework in Borges’s “Averroes’ Search”. a busca de Averroes” (“Averroes’ Search”), Borges tells us in an epilogue, ( )]. Borges delights in the irony that Averroes, the 12th-century Spanish Muslim. We can find perhaps no better example of the literary exposition of Borges’s philosophical ideas than in his short story or cuento, “Averroes’ Search.” 2 There .
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Borges on Language and Translation Jon Stewart Although Jorge Luis Borges had years of philosophical training and expressed a number of philosophical theories in his literary works, he never published a philosophy treatise.
The result is that his oeuvre has often been viewed as purely literary and been largely neglected by trained philosophers. As I have tried to demonstrate in an earlier article, 1 there are important philosophical themes in the short stories of Borges, which have yet to be considered.
In the present essay, I take up one of these heretofore neglected themes. He recounts the story of Averroes, the Arab philosopher living in Spain in the second half of the twelfth century.
averroess The history of philosophy knows Averroes as one of the great medieval commentators on the works of Aristotle. Borges recreates the historical moment and the passion of Averroes in his task of translating and providing a commentary for the texts of the great Greek philosopher who remains forever distant from him.
Borges poses [End Page ] the question of why Averroes, who had dedicated his life to understanding the work of Aristotle, had so badly misunderstood the concept of tragedy treated by the Greek philosopher. The short story presents us with a thesis about averrroes intimate connection between culture and language and the ultimate futility of translation and crosscultural knowledge and comprehension. These philosophical elements have been neglected by the various literary scholars who have treated the works of Borges.
There is a common view borves to which the manifold languages of the various peoples and cultures of the world are more or less interchangeable. According to this linguistics of common sense, language is something secondary and accidental which is only an inessential corollary to our basic understanding and perception of the world.
Human perception and cognition are thought of as constants for all humans everywhere.
As a result, individual words in one language correspond to individual words in another. Dog in English corresponds straightforwardly to Hund in German or perro in Spanish, and nothing could be more simple.
The gifted translator is merely someone with a great capacity to memorize words and to effect rapid replacement changes, and translation is regarded as a more or less mechanical process with little room for creativity. The diversity of languages is neither epistemologically necessary nor important, but rather explained as an historical accident as in the etiological tale of the Tower of Babel. Language has no necessary connection to the time period in which it is spoken or to the culture of [End Page ] the people who speak it.
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Averroes’s Search – Wikipedia
I There is a common view according to which the manifold languages of the various peoples and cultures of the world are more or less interchangeable. Project MUSE Mission Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide.
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