In , the great Argentinean writer Jorge Luis Borges (–) published Funes the Memorious. It is the fictional story of Ireneo Funes. IN “FUNES, T he Memorious,” Borges embarks upon an examination of the nature of communication. Ireneo Funes, the object of this fictional testimonial, is. Highbrow, city slicker, dude: Funes never spoke these injurious words, but I am sufficiently certain I represented for him those misfortunes. Pedro Leandro.

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I now arrive at the most difficult point in my story. When dawn reveals Funes’s face, only 19 years old, Borges sees him “as monumental as bronze, more ancient than Egypt, anterior to the prophecies and the pyramids”. He lived with his mother, around the corner from the Laureles house. Views Read Edit View history. We were singing as we rode along and being on horseback was not the only circumstance determining my happiness.

My deplorable status as an Argentine will prevent me from indulging in a dithyramb, an obligatory genre in Uruguay whenever the subject is an Uruguayan. I remember I think his angular, leather-braiding hands.

Twice I saw him behind the funws grating of the the window, which harshly emphasized his condition as a perpetual prisoner: After a sultry day, an enormous slate-colored storm had hidden the sky.

I was returning from the San Francisco ranch with my cousin Bernardo Haedo. The menorious of that chapter is memory; the last words were ut nihil non iisdem verbis redderetur mmeorious. The room smelled vaguely of dampness. During the years eighty-five and eighty-six we spent the summer in Montevideo. The narrator argues that a positional number system is a better tool for abstraction.

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I was told he had been thrown by a half-tamed horse on the San Francisco ranch and was left hopelessly paralyzed.

In order to pass the time, Funes has engaged in projects such as reconstructing a full day’s worth of past memories an effort which, he finds, takes him another full dayand constructing a “system of enumeration” that gives each number a different, arbitrary name. The narrator mentions that Locke postulated then rejected an impossible idiom “in which each individual thing, each stone, each bird and each branch would have its own name; Funes once projected an analogous language, but discarded it because it seemed too general to him, too ambiguous” [4] since it did not take time into account: I was told he never moved from his cot, with his eyes fixed on the fig tree in the back or on a spider web.


I remember the cigarette in his hard face, against the now limitless storm cloud. The indirect style is remote and weak; I know I am sacrificing the efficacy of my narrative; my readers should imagine for themselves the hesitant periods which overwhelmed me that night. Solomon Shereshevskiia stage memory-artist mnemonist with a condition known as “hypermnesia”, [5] is described by the Russian neuropsychologist Alexander Luria in his book, The Mind of a Mnemonist[6] which some speculate was the inspiration for Borges’s story.

The emmorious for Funes of his precise memory are interesting, particularly when one considers that experiment of nature that A. Even in these memorlous, however, the memory is not eidetic as, while exceptional, it only contains personally-relevant autobiographical information [3].

Funes has an immediate intuition of the mane of a horse or the form of a constantly changing flame that is comparable to our normal people’s intuition of a simple geometric shape such as a triangle or square.

Funes the Memorious

I was astonished to find the evening no less oppressive than the day had been. Funes sits in a dark room and goes over the events in his past.

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For Funes, with only these texts and a dictionary, has learned Latin and memorized the texts. Borges himself states the tale is a metaphor for this in the prologue to Artifices.

Funes claims to have invented a system of enumeration which gives every numeral up to at least 24, its own arbitrary name. Funes was, “let us not forget, almost incapable of general, platonic ideas.

It was not only difficult for him to understand that the generic term dog [italicized in original] embraced so many unlike specimens of differing sizes and different forms; he was disturbed by the fact that a dog at three-fourteen seen in profile should have the same name as the dog at three-fifteen seen from the front ” Although the ending is not a surprise ending, I shall desist from revealing it since there is a touch of irony in it.


Funes the Memorious (Funes el Memorioso)

I prefer to summarize with veracity the many things Ireneo told me. It is a fantastical presentation of a common human complaint.

I remember the sensation of uneasy magic the news produced in me: Funes may be compared to an autistic savantin that he has acquired an extraordinary ability, memorywithout the obvious need for study or practice. Because “memorious” is a rare word in modern English, some translators opt for this alternate translation. Funes did not understand me, or did not wish to understand me” Jill Pricealong with 10 others, can remember with great accuracy most days of their lives starting from the average age of It seems to me I did not see his face until dawn; I believe I recall the intermittent glow of his cigarette.

Borges’s cousin asks the boy for the time, and Funes replies instantly, without the aid of a watch and accurate to the minute. A poor, ignorant young boy in the outskirts of a small town, he is hopelessly limited in his possibilities, but says Borges his absurd projects reveal “a certain stammering greatness”. The narrator points this out to Funes, i.

Paris Review – Funes the Memorious

I shall not try to reproduce the words, which are now irrecoverable. I crossed the tile patio, the little passageway; I reached the second patio. I find it very satisfactory that all those who knew him should write about him; my testimony will perhaps be the shortest and no doubt the poorest, but not the most impartial in the volume you will edit.

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