Stuart Davis , "Rereading and Rewriting Traditions- The Case of Borges' "La Casa de Asterion.".pdf

Stuart Davis , "Rereading and Rewriting Traditions- The Case of Borges' "La Casa de Asterion.".pdf

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Full Terms & Conditions of access and use can be found at Download by: [Cornell University Library] Date: 26 August 2017, At: 13:50 Romance Studies ISSN: 0263-9904 (Print) 1745-8153 (Online) Journal homepage: Rereading and Rewriting Traditions: The Case of Borges's 'La Casa De Asteri&oacuten' Stuart Davis To cite this article: Stuart Davis (2004) Rereading and Rewriting Traditions: The Case of Borges's 'La Casa De Asteri&oacuten', Romance Studies, 22:2, 139-148, DOI: 10.1179/ros.2004.22.2.139 To link to this article: Published online: 19 Jul 2013. Submit your article to this journal Article views: 20 View related articles
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Romance Studies, Vol. 22 (2), July 2004 REREADING AND REWRITING TRADITIONS: THE CASE OF BORGES'S 'LA CASA DE ASTERION' STUART DAVIS Girton College, Cambridge The articleaims to explore ways in which archetypal images of storytelling can be subverted both in the process of writing and riformulating archetypal characters, but also in ways of engaging with these models in the reading process. In the short story 'La casa de Asterion', by the Argentine Jorge Luis Borges, the classicalmonster known as the Minotaur is re-representedas a sensitive loner whose home, the labyrinth, is as complex a space as the character'smentality. The story ends with the revelation that the first-person narrator is the Minotaur, previously only known by his human name: Asterion. In typical fashion, Borges thus forces his reader to confront the Otherness of the monster as both a distanced human character,and also later, qfter the revelation, through a traditional perspective. The article therifore explores the objectification of the monster as the abject, drawing on the theories of Julia Kristeva, and the importance of Asterion's mother, the Queen, as a key to his identity. The abjectificationof the monster is shown to be connected to hisfemininity, demonstratingjust one way in which Borges twists conventions in both his characterization and his narrative style. The short story 'La casa de Asterion' by Jorge Luis Borges is included in his collection EI Aleph, published originally in 1947. At a little over three pages long, the story consists almost entirely of a first-person narration by the well-known mythological figure the Minotaur (whose human name, in its Spanish form, is Asterion), concluding with a brief four-line narration that shifts the narrative focus to Theseus, the Minotaur's slayer, as he speaks to Ariadne.! The story has received relatively little critical attention and what has been written is marked by existential and symbolic readings of the labyrinth and the ways in which the character's understanding of his world reflects our own attempts to understand reality. Donald Shaw and Donald McGrady both read the story through the importance of religious imagery portrayed by the redeemer who will save Asterion, who turns out to be Theseus. 2 Regina Harrison reads Borges's appropriation of classical myth as revealing more
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