Piranesi | Designing from Ruins of AntiquityAmong the many conundrums of Jorge Luis Borges’ story “The Immortal” is the City of Immortals. The Immortal by Jorge Luis Borges. First Edition Provenance: February as a short story (Publisher unknown). Excerpt Provenance. By Jorge Luis Borges, Adolfo Bioy Caeares, and Norman Thomas di No longer subject to the exigencies of corporeality, they were immortal.

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Unlike the mathematical logic and symmetry of M. Rufus, horrified and repulsed by the city, describes it as “a chaos of heterogeneous words, the body of a tiger or a bull in which teeth, organs and heads monstrously pullulate in mutual conjunction and hatred.

You are commenting using your Twitter account. The reason why Achilles was a horrible creature was because he was immortal; he believed he was immortal, anyway. Other staircases, clinging airily to the side of a monumental wall, petered out after two or three landings, in the high gloom of the cupolas, arriving nowhere. Rufus wanders the world, fighting at Stamford Bridgetranscribing the voyages of Sindbad the Sailorand buying the aforementioned edition of Pope’s Iliad in Its patent antiquity though somehow terrible to the eyes seemed to accord with the labor of immortal artificers.

They built that carapace, abandoned it, and went off to make their dwellings in the caves. Homer composed the Odyssey ; if we postulate an infinite period of time, with infinite circumstances and changes, the impossible thing is not to compose the Odysseyat least once.

The Immortal (short story)

Cautiously at first, with indifference as time went on, borgees toward the end, I wandered the staircases and inlaid floors of that labyrinthine palace.


But Borges provides a different answer: You are commenting using your Facebook account. Determined to find it, Rufus sets out for Africa with his soldiers. As for the City whose renown had spread to the very Ganges, the Immortals had destroyed it almost nine hundred years ago. This is not to say that I read books quickly. Herein the following five chapters are purported to have been found in the last of six volumes in small quarto —20 of Alexander Pope ‘s Iliadgiven to the Princess of Lucinge by a rare bookseller named Joseph Cartaphilus.

Jorge Luis Borges’ City of the Immortals (Utopias and Dystopias #5)

The only moments of relief are when he cuts himself and finds that he bleeds — some semblance of humanity. Jorge Luis Borges was an Argentinian writer, a country which has a heavy Italian leaning due to immigrants. I emerged into a bortes of small plaza—a courtyard might better describe it.

Instead of finding a city, he finds a labyrinth; Borges was fascinated with labyrinths, which I can respect. Argos has no language; desperately, the man tries to teach Argos, but nothing ever comes of it. We crossed the lands of the Troglodytes, who devour serpents and lack all verbal commerce; the land of the Garamantas, whose women are held in common and whose food is lions; the land of the Augiles, who worship only Tartarus.

Related posts in Utopias and Dystopias: We are human because we die. I noted its peculiarities and said: That day, all was revealed to me. Subsequent events have so distorted the memory of our first days that now they are impossible to put straight.


I cannot recall the stages by which I returned, nor my path through the dusty, humid crypts. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Immortality has been just dream for all of us.

The past, present, and future all exist at the same time. You are commenting using your WordPress. The story ends with a brief postscript which discusses the fictional book A Coat immortalls Many Colours by Dr. He has entered a realm of namelessness, a realm where the individual dies and returns to the cosmic fold of anonymity. But when all of our needs are met, we can reflect on the past and we can contemplate on the future.

Jorge Luis Borges’ City of the Immortals (Utopias and Dystopias #5) – Alex Sager

Why would I want to zip through a thd when I can slowly relish the language and the ideas? From afar I made out the mountain which gives its name to the Ocean; on its slopes grows the euphorbia, an antidote to poisons, and on its peak live the Satyrs, a nation of wild and rustic men given to lasciviousness.

For other uses, see Immortal disambiguation.

I would sit and read, my coffee going cold, while I tapped my forehead with a ragged nail, writing down notes feverishly.