Since I commenced reading Borges’s essays last night and was introduced to the “labyrinthine and enclosed enigmas designed to be understood and participated in by man”, the potential of problematizing and opening up of the possibilities of charting the uncharted complexities of the human mind, in the word of the former Philippine president Fidel Ramos, titillated me.
While reading, I could not help but ask myself this inevitable question:
How is it possible that other people are endowed with a cosmopolitan mind to acknowledge and comprehend the intricacies of existence while other are left to wallow in their everyday boredom?
And indeed, I was caught by Borges’s apparently absurd way of looking at our seemingly orderly world. He appeared to have created a world in complete pandemonium and from here, using his absurd philosophy, created a universe that is more orderly than before. Or how in his unique universe the dreamer becomes the dreamed, or the writer being written about, or Hamlet being a spectator of his own play.
Or Michael Jackson becoming one of his audience and all his audience each becoming a Michael Jackson.
The world did not express its fanaticism toward Michael Jackson because of his exceptional talent and charisma. The world created Michael Jackson to explain its fanaticism to the unknown, be it greatness, death, or life. The man’s life became caught within this “stupor, exaltation, alarm and jubilance” that perhaps explains the paradox of his existence that was both comedic and tragic.
“We are all at once writers, readers and protagonists of some eternal story; we fabricate our illusions, seek to decipher the symbols around us and see our efforts overtopped and cut short by a supreme Author: but in our defeat, as in the Mournful Knight’s, there can come the glimpse of a higher understanding that prevails at our expense.” Irby, J.E. (Ed) (2000), Jorge Luis Borges Labyrinths. London: Penguin Classics.