Weird Pairings, Borges + Dublin Library

Weird Pairings Borges

The Quote: Jorge Luis Borges was an Argentine writer who was postmodern way before postmodernism was a Thing. He was writing magical realist stories just as magical realism was becoming a Thing. He started his writing career publishing in surrealist literary journals when surrealism was The Thing. This places Borges front and center of nearly every interesting literary movement in the 20th century.

Since then, Borges has influenced legions of writers of the fantastic, weird, magical realism and science fiction. William Gibson, in his introduction to Labyrinths said, “Had the concept of software been available to me, I imagine I would have felt as though I were installing something that exponentially increased what one day would be called bandwidth.” Borges was also a librarian.

The Image: This is an old photograph of the Long Room in the Library of Trinity College in Dublin Ireland, the largest single chamber library in Europe. The first floor of the Long Room was designed by architect Thomas Burgh and constructed between in 1712 and 1732. A hundred years later, since Trinity College Library is legally entitled to a copy of every book published in Great Britain and Ireland, the library was running out of space. Architects Benjamin Woodward and Sir Thomas Deane came up with the sublime plan to barrel-vault the ceiling and add an upper gallery of bookcases. When Borges said that Paradise was a kind of library, he might just have had something like this in mind.

Want More Borges?

If you like having your brain bandwidth expanded, pick up the short story collections Ficciones, Labyrinths or The Aleph. Borges’ highly literary, genre-defying stories demonstrate a fascination with some of The Metaphysical Circus’ favorite things like labyrinths, mirrors, chess games, time, memory, detective stories, fake texts, and of course, libraries.

If you want to learn more about the writer, check out this article from the BBC which asks, “Is Borges the 20th Century’s most important writer?


Weird Pairings, David Lynch + Luminous Wheels

Weird Pairings, Lynch + Luminous Wheels

Today we’re kicking off a new series called Weird Pairings.

We will take quotes from masters of the metaphysical, the fantastic and the weird, and pair them with images that interact with the quote in ways we find strange, enigmatic, beautiful or surreal. We’ll tell you a bit about both the writer and the art, and offer links for those who must know more.

Cheers to your weird lit + weird art enjoyment!

For Our first Weird Pairing, we couldn’t think of a better candidate than the master of the mysterious weird, the sultan of surreal: writer, filmmaker and visual artist David Lynch. Read more »

A Review of Authority: A Novel, by Jeff VanderMeer

authority by jeff VandermeerThe Eerie Foreboding Continues…

Book review by Fay Alexander and Mabel Stark

Jeff Vandermeer continues to spin a spooky, thought-provoking story with Authority, book 2 in The Southern Reach Trilogy. The first book, Annihilation, followed the character of the unnamed biologist and the rest of the twelfth expedition into Area X, an uninhabited area of Florida which has reverted to a wilderness that is not quite natural, under the influence of unknown forces.

The official story is an environmental disaster, but the truth is that those who try to cross into the area anywhere but through the door controlled by the Southern Reach, vanish.

This incredibly atmospheric, strange first person narrative throws the biologist and by extension the reader into the experience of the uncanny. As the best slipstream fiction does, it leaves the reader feeling strange. Read more »