The Book, Cat, & Cat Book Lovers Almanac

of historical trivia regarding books, cats, and other animals. Actually this blog has evolved so that it is described better as a blog about cats in history and culture. And we take as a theme the advice of Aldous Huxley: If you want to be a writer, get some cats. Don't forget to see the archived articles linked at the bottom of the page.

August 24, 2016

August 24, 1899

Jorge Luis Borges, (August 24, 1899 to June 14, 1986) is arguably the greatest writer of the 20th century. His poem titled "The Golem" gives credence to this position.

There was something too untoward in the Golem
for at his approach the rabbi's cat
would hide. (This cat does not appear in Scholem
but I intuit it across all these years.)

Edna Aizenberg (Borges and His Successors: The Borgesian Impact on Literature and the Arts (1990)) glossea this text this way:

The rabbi's cat -- the harmlessness of the familiar-- strolls into the grave seriousness of the library. Its presence evokes the irony of detail, perhaps also animality's irreducible resistance to culture, like that of Baudelaire's cats.

Of course that's not it. What we have in "The Golem" is an analysis of the interface between the material and the cerebral.

Borges said: "I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library". He died before knowing of this heaven on earth we call the web.

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