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Unformatted text preview: Kevin Phipps Tamra Paz-Soldán December 12, 2008 Essay #6 Final Draft Borges and Cortázar: Reality in Dreaming vs. Waking StatesDeceptive Dreaming “Have you ever had a dream, Neo, that you were so sure was real? What if you were unable to wake from that dream? How would you know the difference between the dream world and the real world?” ( The Matrix ) Morpheus, a character from the 1999 action film, The Matrix , says this quote referring to the dream world in which people of the societymovie are trapped. Although the content of the movie is vastly different from Latin American short stories written decades earlier, many thematic ideas including the nature of reality in dreaming and waking states, are shared by both works. Jorge Luis Borges, a famed Latin American short story writer, focused many of his pieces on the concept of reality. His story, “The Circular Ruins” deals with a man that who dreams another man, later to see his dream become reality. A few decades after Borges wrote this story, Julio Cortázar wrote “The Night Face Up,” a story dealing with a strikingly similar subject matter. Cortázar’s story involves a man that experiences visions while in a hospital after a motorcycle accident only to discover that it is his “visions” that are his true reality and that the accident was nothing more than a dream. By focusing on the merging of reality with visions, or dreams, it is evident that Jorge Luis Borges greatly influenced the ideas of Julio Cortázar, both questioning the true meaning of our everyday lives. To begin, “The Circular Ruins” can be seen as a metaphor for creation and the creative process. In the story, a man is washed ashore in the jungle. He finds himself at the ruins of a circular temple. The man falls into a deep sleep with a purpose: “He want[s] to dream a man” (Borges). He sets out with a drive, envisioning an entire class of students. “Some are discarded and others developed, and eventually the finished product appears” (Pérez). It is similar to the way people, including authors, go about with any creative work. At first, many choices are available but slowly, the artist’s own preferences take over and result in the final product. The remaining person is “a taciturn, sallow boy, at times intractable, and whose sharp features resemble those of his dreamer” (Borges). It is if he is the boy’s biological father, and yet no mother is ever involved. This suggests that the story also has a religious aspect to it. It is similar to God’s creation of Christman. Without any sexual events, people were created. Adam and Eve were constructed without any genetic parents. Their father, God, created them and then placed them upon the Earth in a very similar way to the dreamer and his son. The dreamer dreamt each individual organ until an entire body was created in his own world. The same idea pertaining to God was envisioned in the 17 th century by George Berkeley, and reiterated in Miguel Unamuno’s...
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- Spring '09
- Short story, great deal, general statement, Jorge Luis Borges, Kevin Phipps Tamra, ass load