Other Inquisitions 1937-1952  

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"In Book VIII of the Odyssey, we read that the gods weave misfortunes so that future generations will have something to sing about; Mallarmé’s statement, “The world exists to end up in a book”, seems to repeat, some thirty centuries later, the same concept of an aesthetic justification for evils."--On the Cult of Books" (1951) by Borges

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Otras inquisiciones 1937-1952 (1952) is a collection of essays and literary criticism by Jorge Luis Borges. Its English title is Other Inquisitions 1937-1952 and was published in 1964.

It includes essays on Blaise Pascal, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Francisco de Quevedo, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Oscar Wilde and Franz Kafka. The essays are oftentimes philosophical (lots of attention given to the problem of universals), largely non-fiction with an occasional sprinkling of fictitious asides.


Contents of the first edition:

"Let us ask ourselves sincerely whether the swallow of this summer is a different one than the swallow of the first summer, and whether the miracle of bringing something forth from nothingness has really occurred millions of times between the two, to be mocked an equal number of times by absolute annihilation. Whoever hears me say that this cat playing here now is the same one that frolicked and romped in this place three hundred years ago may think of me what he will, but it is a stranger madness to imagine that he is fundamentally different."

English language table of contents

  • Introduction
  • The Wall and the Books
  • Pascal's Sphere
  • The Flower of Coleridge
  • The Dream of Coleridge
  • Time and J. W. Dunne
  • The Creation and P. H. Gosse
  • Dr. Américo Castro is Alarmed
  • A Note on Carriego
  • Our Poor Individualism
  • Quevedo
  • Partial Enchantments of the Quixote
  • Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • Note on Walt Whitman
  • Valéry as a Symbol
  • The Enigma of Edward FitzGerald
  • About Oscar Wilde
  • On Chesterton
  • The First Wells
  • The Biathanatos
  • Pascal
  • The Meeting in a Dream
  • The Analytical Language of John Wilkins
  • Kafka and his Precursors
  • Avatars of the Tortoise
  • On the Cult of Books
  • The Nightingale of Keats
  • The Mirror of the Enigmas
  • Two Books
  • A Comment on August 23, 1944
  • About William Beckford's Vathek
  • About The Purple Land
  • From Someone to Nobody
  • Forms of a Legend
  • From Allegories to Novels
  • The Innocence of Layamon
  • For Bernard Shaw
  • The Modesty of History
  • New Refutation of Time
  • Epilogue
  • Index

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Other Inquisitions 1937-1952" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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