Saturday, March 19, 2011

MIDDLEMARCH!


Borges once began a sentence like this: MIDDLEMARCH!

I didn’t have time to read the whole interview and so I was happy to think that this was just the way he liked to start sentences, like some people who say “Uh, well” or “Hmmm.” Borges was blind, I mean, I am not telling you anything you don’t already know here, but still, I had another idea, that people who are blind just have to occasionally make a big statement, like MIDDLEMARCH!, so they can sort of claim the territory of the conversation and people will stop and listen. It is really a bold move when you think about it, because people who have read Middlemarch realize what an extraordinary universe it is, and how George Eliot has produced a world in which the whole universe is one living thing, and how there is a kinship between things that seem far off and by the end are all interwoven, and so, once you have startled people by saying MIDDLEMARCH! you have really raised the stakes on the tenor of the conversation, because people automatically are thinking about a world in which there is a kinship between things that seem far off and by the end are all interwoven, which was Borges’ point, really, anyway because I read the rest of the article interview later that day and this is exactly what he said:

INTERVIEWER: What do you think there is?

BORGES: MIDDLEMARCH!

INTERVIEWER: Pardon?

BORGES: (annoyed) I think there is a kinship between things.

It was silly to think that Borges liked to start off sentences like this: MIDDLEMARCH!. Nobody would want to do that. He likes to say things like “Uh, well” or “Hmmm.” After all, Borges was just like us. People, after all, are normal. And connected. Borges is connected, for example, to this thing here. There is a kinship between things that seem far off, and perhaps will be for a long time, but in the end, all things are interwoven, like this:

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