Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Reading his brilliant stories, I realized it was imperative to tackle the unknown and deepen one’s prose with academic quandaries while still keeping one’s finger on the human pulse. Borges did this better than anybody I know. We think of HG Wells as the godfather of Sci-fi, Poe the high priest of the bizarre, and Sartre as the Prince of Philosophical lit, but Borges mixed these into his own unique stew.
I’d caution writers to read, but not emulate his style. It is too difficult to master and Post-Modernism has led to very mixed results. Then again, tapping into magic realism’s sly genius is great counterpoint for most of the realistic, hardboiled fluff we leaf through nowadays.
All I’m really saying is this, treat yourself to “The Dead Man”, “The Two Kings and the Two Labyrinths”, “The Circular Ruins”, “Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote”, really, anything you can get your hands on and don’t let a day go by without toiling over the nagging itch of writing. Grope for it like “The Book of Sand” or pinch for a single grain. One a day, mind you, will get you through the daily toil.