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I like this description of Borges, as formulated by Tahar Ben… - "...non ce qu'ils voulaient dire, mais la manière dont ils le disaient"

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March 19th, 2015

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04:07 pm
I like this description of Borges, as formulated by Tahar Ben Jelloun's version of Borges in L'enfant de sable:

Après tout je n'inventais rien. Je lisais les livres et les encyclopédies, je fouillais dans les dictionnaires et je rapportais des histoires assez vraisemblables pour le plaisir et aussi pour narguer l'angoisse du temps qui creuse chaque jour un peu plus notre fosse commune.*

Well, I mainly like the first part, about reading and rummaging in dictionaries and encyclpedias to bring back stories.

Also, for some reason, I'd forgotten that faire is used with dreaming in French, among other languages. J'ai fais un rêve. "I made a dream," instead of "I had a dream." Both are nice, in their way. The romance language version reminds me of that phrasing of Nabokov's, with the dreamer as both stage manager and actor. (Or was that Freud, first?) Whereas the English, "I had a dream," places more emphasis on the fleeting qualitity of dreams—how you have them, but then they slip away.

*After all, I invented nothing. I read books and encyclopedias, I rummaged in dictionaries and I brought back some plausible enough stories, for pleasure and to flout the anguish of time, which digs each day a little more of our common grave.. 

(4 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:March 20th, 2015 12:13 am (UTC)
That's a gorgeous little observation--about faire & have--(its littleness being part of its gorgeousness). I like thinking about the uses of dividing nocturnal visitations into categories of "dreams had" and "dreams made." One feels sure it would be a fruitful distinction...
[User Picture]
Date:March 20th, 2015 02:29 am (UTC)
Yes, I like that idea!


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