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Thread: Jorge Luis Borges, and Jason Voorhees, dead inside their labyrinth

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    Kyriakos's Avatar Praeses
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    Nov 2012
    Thessalonike, The Byzantine Empire

    Default Jorge Luis Borges, and Jason Voorhees, dead inside their labyrinth

    My incurable europhilia compels me to give yet another lecture, likely for the usual small pay. It is actually part two (of three) of a comparison of Poe with Borges, regarding their "detective stories".
    Those aren't really detective stories (moreso Borges' ones), but this is part of what is examined in the program as well, namely the literature of the aenigma vs detective drool.
    So i already wrote half of my lecture (on the Death and the Compass story) and have to write the remaining half (on Abenhakan el Bohari - spelling - dead inside his labyrinth.

    As a "detective story", Abenhakan is imo better than the Compass one. It is less complicated, but works more as a story, because it isn't riddled with obscure (potential) allegorical meaning. The story is about some african ruler, Abenhakan, who supposedly emigrates to Cornwall so as to avoid being killed by the ghost of his once second-in-command, vizier Sahid.
    He arrives at Cornwall along with his black slave and a lion, and starts building a massive house, consisting of only corridors and one central room. Supposedly he built this so as to defend himself against Sahid's ghost, which would be lost in the labyrinth.
    In the end the lion, the slave and the ruler end up dead, with their faces crushed. The story gets told from the previous generation to the current one.

    But a person in the story manages to assume that there is actually no mystery: Abenhakan likely never arrived in Cornwall; it was he who was robbed by his vizier and left behind in Africa, and later on that vizier went to Cornwall and erected the massive redish labyrinthine structure not so as to hide there, but because it would inevitably attract attention, and word of its existence would reach Abenkahan who would come to extract revenge for being robbed and left in the desert.
    In the end, the person reasons, Abenhakan only died once he was inside that labyrinth, and then the vizier crashed his face, to perpeturate the lie that he - the vizier - was killed long ago and not returned as a ghost to kill the others.


    What i like is that the most impressive elements in the story - the redish and massive labyrinth, the lion, the crashed faces of the dead - are actually there just so as to attract attention to their flamboyance, which in way prevents the reader from guessing their much less elegant reason for existing. One is attracted to beauty and strangeness, reality remains more practical and dull, yet that is taken advantage of to trick the poetically inclined.

    -Did you like the story? And why is Borges so morbidly cold and lifeless? Not even sporting a hockey mask.

    Last edited by Kyriakos; June 18, 2018 at 11:18 AM.
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