Tuesday 9 June 2020

Favourite Books #12

Very ’70s, I suppose. Long hair, denim, lava lamps, incense, beads. Hallucinogenic drugs. Odd that such a staid, conservative, erudite character as Borges, a man who essentially spent his life in a library, would find trippy flower children as his western constituency. It is perhaps difficult to imagine now, as we look through the lens of experience at past naivety, how many doors in people’s heads Borges opened. Stories and novels didn’t have to be about made-up characters being manipulated over the course of a pre-determined narrative. They could be about ideas, concepts, often taken to a reductio ad absurdum. They could, to borrow a phrase of Borges himself, ‘treat metaphysics as a branch of fantastic literature.’ I’ll have some of that, thank you.

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