English 11 IB Period 1
17 October 2012
1) In Latin the word Orbis means world and the word Tertius means third. Put the words together and Tlon, Uqbar is the third world country, meaning that it might be underdeveloped. Underdeveloped, for not everyone yet believes that Tlon is a real place. It develops in our minds and you can start creating this world and in order it to be finished it needs to be done in ones mind, “I owe the discovery of Uqbar to the conjunction of a mirror and an encyclopedia.”(68) The mirror holds both the truth and the imagination which is represented in Uqbar were we don’t know weather to think it’s true or nor. While Borges wrote this story, he was in a real third world country which could affect the third world of Tlon, Uqbar. “This ‘brave new world’ is the work of a secret society of astronomers, biologists, engineers…” (72) Created a “world” in a book, in their minds, that we can either accept or just ignore.
2) The “I” of Borges is the narrator of this story and he takes us into his mind, into a world of fantasy that is seen as his reality. The Borges connects this story to his real life and wants to make himself believe it’s real and in doing this Tlon is now a real world in the “I” of Borges. “A first person novel whose narrator would omit or distort things… so that a few of the book’s readers – a very few – might divine the horrifying or banal truth.”(68) Bioy and Borges “lost all track of time” (68) when debating over the world of Tlon. Bioy and Borges also were talking about mirrors and how it made them tense up in body. Mirrors can either represent the reality or you minds imagination of a reflection. Bioy says how he likes it when there are a lot of contradictions, which is what Tlon is full of.
3) Bioy found Uqbar in an encyclopedia in column XLVI. It is an article and it quoted what Bioy had quoted earlier on. “Bioy’s volume had 921. those four additional pages held the article on Uqbar – and article not contemplated by the alphabetical key”(69) the same cook that Borges had, and the same volume, however those four extra pages on Uqbar are very strange for the reason that in was not in alphabetical order along with the rest of the book. These four pages described briefly on how Uqbar looked like and some information about the country. The book is the tenth edition on the encyclopedia Britannica. The four pages conclude religion, geography, language and literature, which seemed to interest Borges the most. “The literature of Uqbar was a literature of fantasy.”(70) The book is saying how their literature might not connect to our literature and that’s why it’s a fantasy, but we don’t know if it’s better that ours.
4) The one book that mentions Uqbar has minimal information about it. It does not mention where Uqbar is or what it borders, instead it talks about the border that it has with itself. “Borders of Uqbar, but its nebulous points of region itself.”(69) No real proof is there to say that Uqbar is a country in this world or in any other. Also the book lacked information on their literature and language. The book concludes how “the literature of Uqbar was a literature of fantasy.”(70) This makes the reader wonder if Uqbar then is a fantasy of its own. A type of fantasy that when your mind tricks you in having a bit of faith in this unreal country that you begin to think that it is a alive. “Naturally, he found not the slightest mention of Uqbar.(70) When Bioy , later goes to the national library he can not find one word, book, or thing that mentions Uqbar. This makes them question even farther if Uqbar was real and if not then why was it in the encyclopedia.
5) After Ashe’s death Borges found a package that had a book and it was “printed in Octavo Major.”(71) He had found another book on Uqbar, bur this time it added in Tlon and orbis tertius. “The book was written in English, and it consisted of 1001 pages.”(71) it was another