University of Pittsburgh

Beyond Borges: Transverse Epistemologies

Borges used to say that he was less proud of his writings than of his readings. And it is true that, very often, his imitators prove to be quite mediocre writers, while the very borgesian distinguish themselves on the quality of their reading. Hence, the Borges Center is not exclusively devoted to the exegesis of Borges' writings, but principally to his way of reading: the way he reads the book, as a universe, the way he reads the universe, as book...

This determines some kind of "borgesian style", which goes beyond the person of Borges. This Borges style combines, and sometimes wisely jams, usually incompatible genres. A deep philosopher of poetry and poet of philosophy, Borges presents each of his writings as an ontological riddle. And reciprocally, a borgesian story or poem often assumes the patterns of a treatise. This Borges' style of intellectual behaviour which, although marginally, has been present throughout the history of thinking can be defined as a development of "transverse epistemologies". It is not to be taken for a pure interdisciplinarity, because what is here is less a confluence of methodologies than the epistemological displacement from one area of relevance to another (something as an "hypalagical" scientific attitude...).

This is horizon of the adventure the Center aims...