Visions of the Fantastic: Selected Essays from the Fifteenth International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts

By Allienne R. Becker | Go to book overview

a dialogue with all the images of Beatriz" ( Borges160), as Daneri puts it before Borges' vision of the Aleph. Borges' aborted kiss of Beatriz's photograph, his failure to evoke her presence out of the grand portrait sitting on the piano, anticipate his subsequent failure to evoke the presence of the Aleph out of the images of his enumeration. Beatriz withholds her presence, and then, avenging the mutilation, bondage, and violence Borges has practiced on her images, she disillusions Borges in the vison of the Aleph with her own pornographic love letters, those obscene, incredibly detailed letters that might well reproduce the fantasies Borges has repressed and is unable to accept. Writing, thus, by Beatriz's peculiar role in this version of Gothic romance, is demonized and sexualized. As a Gothic protagonist Borges must transform the sexual into the intellectual, writing about an intellectual vision, a paradoxical Aleph, that ironically he can only experience after he assumes the supine, submissive posture of a woman in the act of intercourse. Writing and reading are both passive and active expressions of a creative energy that in other Gothic romance appears in the form of sexuality and marriage to reconcile the fragmented identities of the Gothic protagonist and the compulsive, self-destructive attempts of the writer to express the Gothic vision.


WORKS CITED

Borges. A Reader: A Selection from the Writings of Jorge Luis Borges. Ed. Emir Rodriguez Monegal and Alastair Reid. New York: Dutton, 1981.

Day William Patrick. In the Circles of Fear and Desire: A Study of Gothic Fantasy. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago, 1985.

Kennedy X. J. Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. Boston: Little, Brown, 1966.

Wilbur Richard. "The House of Poe." Modern Critical Views: Edgar Allan Poe. Ed. Harold Bloom . New York: Chelsea House, 1985. 51-69.

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