Bookclub: The Aleph - Jorge Luis Borges

In this bookclub we'll discuss The Aleph by Jorge Luis Borges. The session will be hosted by Emilio and the discussion will be in English.

The Aleph is a collection of short stories by Argentine author Jorge Luis Borges, first published in 1949.

The Aleph, the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet (א) and a symbol of genesis, stands not only for the main short story of the collection but also for the role of literature itself. This role is a cornerstone of Borges’ work and postmodern literature. In the title story, the narrator, Borges “himself,” mourns the death of his beloved and visits the home of her cousin, Carlos Argentino Daneri, seeking closure. Daneri is writing an epic poem that attempts to describe every place on earth—a fascinating but seemingly impossible endeavor for Borges, until Daneri reveals a mysterious object in his basement: the Aleph, a point in space that contains all other points. Through the Aleph, one can see the entirety of the universe simultaneously, in all its infinite detail. Why shouldn’t it be possible, then, to contain everything within literature if literature (or more precisely, literature within literature) is capable of doing so? But can we trust Borges, both a character and a narrator, who may never have seen the Aleph? Can we believe someone who claims to have seen everything, everywhere, at the same time?

The Aleph is not just a journey through Borges’ literary genius but also an exploration of how literature can contain the whole universe and yet be incapable of containing and therefore giving meaning to the universe. It is considered one of the best books ever written in Spanish, and it is also a book I always return to, searching for meaning. Different readings at different moments always provide different answers. My question to you is, does the Aleph always stay the same?

Practical information:

- Saturday 21 September from 10h30 till 12h30
- Participation is free, free contribution is appreciated
- Registration required via button at the top or mail to Register separately for every meeting.

Bookclub: The Aleph - Jorge Luis Borges
21 sep. 2024
Boekhandel De Groene Waterman
Boekhandel De Groene Waterman
Wolstraat 7, Antwerpen