Life imitates Art

Posted in Borges by Mike Stay on 2010 March 8

In “Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius“, Borges describes a group of dedicated people who describe a world, Tlön, in such detail and produce enough forged artifacts that the whole world adopts their vision and begins to convert itself into Tlön. I attributed a farcical version of Borges’ story “Death and the Compass” to a pseudonymous Umberto Eco in the last post; in that story, the detective’s supposition that there is a pattern induces his prey to begin using the pattern in order to entrap him. In fact, Eco borrowed that idea for his own detective story, The Name of the Rose. The Bible formed the basis for the production of thousands of fraudulent relics, and the Book of Mormon inspired Mark Hoffmann to create forgeries of letters from the early Mormon community (though his were designed to destroy the community instead of build it). Cellphones look like Star Trek communicators, and Bluetooth headsets look like Uhura’s earpiece. Of course, there’s all the merchandising from Star Wars and Lord of the Rings. And my brother David just gave my brother Doug a set of the six signs from Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising sequence.

What story has motivated you to create your own artifacts?


One Response

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  1. Lunkwill said, on 2011 January 17 at 12:58 pm

    I made an aluminum casting of the Summoning Dark and the Guarding Dark for my brother and sister-in-law.

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