Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius by Jorge Luis Borges

An Aged Quill Recording:

Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius by Jorge Luis Borges is now available for streaming.

Translated by Emece Editores, S.A. Narrated by Joseph Voelbel.

“I owe the discovery of Uqbar to the conjunction of a mirror and an encyclopedia.”

Jorge Luis Borges (Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius)

This recording contains the occasional sound of the passing of automobiles. I like to imagine that they are a bustling city, just outside Borges’ apartment window, on a temperate afternoon, while he narrates his most recently completed work to a group of a like-minded bibliophiles in some mid 20th century Buenos Aires, caught in amber. It appears, or at least according to my limited research it appears, that this is the first narration of Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius in English.

Borges on a bench.

I did find versions in French and Spanish. I must confess, due to the author’s scrupulous preservation of detail, that in the ante-penultimate (third to las†) paragraph of the story, I pronounced the homonym ‘minute’ as if it were in reference to time, when in fact in was meant to be pronounced in relation to size. A simple yet ghastly oversight.

Lastly, I might add, somewhat poetically, in the spirit of the last paragraph before the postscript (which was intended to be anachronistic, set seven years into the then future), which went:

“Things become duplicated in Tlön; they also tend to become effaced and lose their details when they are forgotten. A classic example is the doorway which survived so long as it was visited by a beggar and disappeared at his death. At times some birds, a horse, have saved the ruins of an amphitheater.”

Jorge Luis Borges (Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius)

is that by remembering and narrating this story, I hope, in some small way, to preserve the architecture of one of the greatest literary metagrobologists to ever grace a pen.

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