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Revista de filosofía

versión On-line ISSN 0718-4360


SAGASTUME, Jorge R. "EL INMORTAL" DE JORGE LUIS BORGES: EL YO, ALEPH ABSOLUTOS Y VOCABULARIOS FINALES. Rev. filos. [online]. 2011, vol.67, pp.269-289. ISSN 0718-4360.

Jorge Luis Borges often consulted Mathematics and Imagination, by E. Kasner and J. Newman, where set theory is addressed (the branch of mathematics that studies the relationship between sets). This theory was proposed by Georg Cantor (1845-1918) and by it transfinite arithmetic is established (beyondfinite arithmetic) and an epistemic system is created to represent different levels of the infinite. This way Cantor labels the different levels of the infinite by assigning to each the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, the Aleph, followed by a number, depending on level of the infinite he is referring to (Aleph-zero, Aleph-one, etc.). Following these ideas, Borges weaves several narratives in which the infinite and the absolute are discussed. An example of such narratives is the collection of stories compiled under the title The Aleph, which opens with "The Immortal" and closes with the story that gives the collection its title. The objective of this paper is to study "The Immortal" under the Cantorian lens to discuss one particular absolute, the self, and to suggest that it is impossible to establish a final vocabulary, or a definite definition, about this topic. This impossibility, Borges proposes, is in part due to the apparent finitude of language while at the same time the fallible attributes of human memory also is crucial when it comes to defining anything. However, as the ironist Borges is, he is capable ofproviding through "The Immortal" a re-description of these issues by means of a transfinite language that resolves some paradoxes while at the same time reveals others. By this way of writing, I propose, Borges fosters the continuation of the dialogue among the different disciplines. Though I will center my analysis on "The Immortal", to develop these ideas I also revisit other stories contained in The Aleph departingfrom a theoretical approach rooted in the philosophy of language.

Palabras clave : Borges; Immortal; Aleph; Cantor; Identity.

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