Today's Runner-Up is an actual, honest-to-goodness Art Car! And it's all ready for loading up with naked, sunburned hippies. Wooo! We're going to Burning Man! I actually really dig the time and affection put into the ad--even going so far as to make a full disclosure on the Art Car's imperfections. Props.

Biggest of the big winners for a 24 hour period:

Glass Blocks - $60 (Normal Heights)

Once, a dreamer dreamt a dream and a glass tower rose skywards to great and unknowable heights. Within the tower were hundreds of rooms, all connected by stairs and passageways in such a manner that each room led to several others and the way was less than clear. Begin walking form any room, and the end of the journey was always an equal number of steps away. People--all of them male, balding, and of indeterminate age--wandered through the tower, acting as curators of the exhibits. The exhibits, if such they could be called, were not immediately recognizable as repositories of artwork or other things valued by culture to an extent demanding preservation. Instead, the exhibits contained aspects of the tower itself. One room, for instance, might make clear the intricacy of the tower's maze-like wandering passageways. Another might focus on the artfulness with which light was allowed to play in and out of the tower's walls (which varied from opaque to perfect transparency).

At the very height of the tower there was one room, perhaps it could be called the final room (though it was no more final than any other being no more at the end of the journey through the tower than at its middle and beginning), which made a great deal of showcasing the tower's existence as both absurd structure and as the shape and substance of dreams and possibilities.

Compelled towards understanding, the dreamer asked a curator in that topmost room to explain for him the significance of the thing and how it had been achieved. The curator pondered the inquiry in silence and at great length, taking his time to perform his one and only task to the best of his abilities. Unable to settle on the words adequate to such an undertaking, the curator selected a small hammer of exquisite manufacture--theretofore unnoticed in the corner of the topmost room--and struck a single blow to the wall of the tower near it's apex. Understanding (or something like it) rose in the dreamer as the tower crashed down around him.

For Borges...

Comments

FullFlavorPike Sept. 30, 2009 @ 2:29 p.m.

Was that a joke evoking Borges' tendency towards literary "forgery?"

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SDaniels Sept. 29, 2009 @ 12:27 a.m.

Borges lovers unite! Bring it to the "Chick Lit" thread, Pike. I am behind--need to comment on yesterday's fine ad as well. Forgive me for letting this commenting work 'build' up :)

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CuddleFish Sept. 29, 2009 @ 12:39 a.m.

Oh Lord, while I appreciate Borges' work, he is one of my least favorite authors, I struggled through him in college, but won't let him in the door now!

Cool car, for one K, it's a steal. :)

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SDaniels Sept. 30, 2009 @ 2:45 a.m.

Ok, Pierre Menard. Excellent 'translation' :)

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SDaniels Oct. 1, 2009 @ 1:42 a.m.

Of course it was, Pikey, but the main issue is translation, remember :) That is one of my fave Borges stories.

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FullFlavorPike Oct. 1, 2009 @ 10:46 a.m.

O-Tay! Sorry 'bout that. Subtlety's lost on me through the comment box from time to time. I fear I'm not familiar with that particular tale. Perhaps it is included in my massive, Broges compendium under a different name?

(my fave is "On Exactitude in Science")

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SDaniels Oct. 1, 2009 @ 9 p.m.

"Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote,"

I think it's in Ficciones, and should be in your giant compendium, but here's a copy:

http://www.vahidnab.com/menard.pdf

I'll refrain from comment, so you can enjoy for yyourself.

The first epigraph he uses in "Exactitude" reminds me of Lewis Carroll's concept of the map; a wonderful metaphor of the map, in order to be accurate, must be so large as to cover the entire geographical space it plots.

I can quote:

"He had bought a large map representing the sea, Without the least vestige of land; And the crew were much pleased when they found it to be A map they could all understand."

Will reread "Exactitude" :)

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FullFlavorPike Oct. 1, 2009 @ 11:59 p.m.

Ah, "Author of the Quixote," I have read and enjoyed this enormously. Funny you should mention it, actually, I was going to throw up a little mention of that particular tale when everybody was climbing down thestoryteller's throat over fictionalizing that affair with Jacko. I thought it might go a long ways towards confusing people's ideas about fact v. fiction and the (in my opinion) bizarrely nebulous boundaries betwixt the two.

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SDaniels Oct. 2, 2009 @ 2:12 a.m.

Well, the reason I don't think it applies to that situation is that Menard 'translated' the Quixote in literal fashion, 'word for word.'--The narrator says he "rewrote" this masterpiece, to further stir the pot. The reader ends up thinking that Menard just recopied it, but in Borges's usual magic way, there is somehow a different flavor to the text once Menard gets through with it. Mindy had no original to copy or translate; she just wrote about a fictional encounter. Anyway, that particular subject is raw-therrr distasteful to me, so to return to JLB: Obviously he is playing with literal puns again, but there are solid questions about translation and criticism to be explored here. This story should be mandatory introduction to any seminar on translation! Oh, and I think we could argue that some of these issues have some analytical kinship to your parsing out of these craigslist ads :)

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David Dodd Oct. 2, 2009 @ 2:47 a.m.

Okay, let's back up. Pike, I see where you're coming from now. Let's examine your brilliant piece here, and it is brilliant.

You find the ad. You examine it, finding wonderous aspects, and that's great. But you take us a step farther. You lampoon it!

Technically, a lampoon is fiction, but not so much. See, we KNOW you're taking us on a ride! And we're delighted to go. We get it, because you tell us. In other words, here's the truth, and here's a lampoon of the truth. It's Dave Barry on steroids.

With Mindy (storyteller), ah, slightly different. No lampooning, and no seperation. Well, until you verbally beat it out of her. Now, it can be said that I am here to bury Mindy, not to praise her, but really it's neither.

As a reader, I want to be lead, not mislead. And you understand the difference and I really hope that Mindy comes to understand it as well.

Borges aside...

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SDaniels Oct. 2, 2009 @ 4:10 a.m.

Welp, it's officially an all-nighter for me.

"Borges aside..."

I think Borges would like that comment :)

So I still support Mindy's right to do what she does, and have no problem with fictional treatment of any kind. I guess there is a shady area when you are talking about public figures, but just like copyright laws--as you well know, gringo--it's a losing battle in this particular age of "information." Part of the reason I love Borges, and Calvino, and Derrida, and scores of other writers who play with the line between fiction and 'reality' or 'truth' is because the line itself is pretty tenuous in a deeper philosophical sense-- and these terms are necessarily bracketed when we try to speak of them.

I appreciate your crusade of realism, gringo, and you know I love your stuff, but I would say that it also profitable to realize the 'grounding' in fictions of our very thoughts, no matter what we do or write. Your chickenhead dream is no less 'true' than your musings over your children's struggles for independence; all of your themes filter through your truth-seeking and sorting lens of consciousness, but they also flow in a subterranean, Styxian sort of way, while we grasp around in our respective 'caves.' (Gawd, my bracketings are getting sophomoric here, but it's late, and hopefully the points are somewhat lucid).

Anyway, thank the gods for the bubbling upwards and the playful splashings and echoes of those themes, right into our fists, to be held as tightly as one can to nos eaux de reve :)

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Russ Lewis Oct. 2, 2009 @ 4:57 a.m.

(#11) ...they also flow in a subterranean, Styxian sort of way...

I believe the word is "Stygian," isn't it? One of those weird toponyms like Cantabrigian or Liverpudlian.

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SDaniels Oct. 2, 2009 @ 5:32 a.m.

You are correct sir, unless we are adjectivally referring to the most popular 80s era band. It should be clear that I was... (not). Forgive, as it is late--er, early--or else get me on "adjectivally" :)

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Russ Lewis Oct. 2, 2009 @ 5:46 a.m.

No, I think even for Styx (the rock group) the correct adjective would still be "Stygian."

Some graffiti I once saw at Grossmont College c. 1982:

Styx
sux
dyx.
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FullFlavorPike Oct. 2, 2009 @ 12:14 p.m.

Gringo: Thanks for that! I like the idea of leading v. misleading. The one, a gentle, subtle guiding of the reader, the other, an unwanted manipulation. I think it works.

SD: I actually would prefer to cite the voice of Borges himself as playing with the boundaries of fiction. The "Quijote" sprang to mind because the voice of the narrative borrows so heavily from the traditions of non-fiction, historical writing and it becomes clear that we are supposed to sus out the 'truth' of that story in some way or another, hazy as it may be. Anything from "A Universal History of Iniquity" might be a better example, or the delightful piece on the encyclopedia of Tlon. And what about any of the stories which end with some "author's" name and a supposed date of writing?

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SDaniels Oct. 2, 2009 @ 5:44 p.m.

14: Yep, russl, that 80s grafitti was everywhere--to the extent that I felt sorry for Styx.

15: "SD: I actually would prefer to cite the voice of Borges himself as playing with the boundaries of fiction."

So you are saying that I am obliged to quote the subject of my long, conceited, pointless but nevertheless misled diatribes?!? Well, I never! :)

Na, I should. Just busy, just pulled an all-nighter of grading, and have another one on the way. However, I generally make it my biz to directly quote from whatever I'm analyzing in detail, and will do so, soon. Line by line.

"voice of the narrative borrows so heavily from the traditions of non-fiction, historical writing and it becomes clear that we are supposed to sus out the 'truth'"

Yeah, very true of B's narrative voice, and I might add that a myriad of genres are mixed in narrative voice here--that is the point of B's style-- but Pike: This is too generous to Storyteller, and I have no interest in explicating that particular narrative--IF you are still talking about that--?

"what about... encyclopedia of Tlon. And what about any of the stories which end with some "author's" name and a supposed date of writing?"

Whatabout?

Let's discuss them at length, baby! If you study the THEORY of translation, you'll find it at work in all of Borges's stuff. Encyclopedic works, cataloguing--Robert Smithson borrows heavily from Borges for listing and catalogue-style writings--see The Collected Writings of RS for stuff again, similar to what you are doing, Pikey. You'll understand also a bit more about what I'm sposed to be doing here--the diss is to be about RS's use of literary genre...

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FullFlavorPike Oct. 3, 2009 @ 3:56 p.m.

I guess we'll have to check this discussion until I gets me some RS to better inform my ramblings :)

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