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[- Garcia Marquez vs. Borges
By paullloydsargent, Section Filter It Yourself!
Posted on Sat Nov 15th, 2003 at 06:48:27 PM EURODISCORDIA TIME
Here's a silly one: For years now I've noticed new media artists quoting Borges (thanks in no small part I'm sure to Baudrillard) just as I found at art school architects and designers seemed to be so influenced by Calvino. Just for the heck of it, I'm curious what new media work would look like (or at least how we would write about it) if instead of Borges, we'd all read more Gabriel Garcia Marquez! Or Richard Brautigan. Or Donald Barthelme, for that matter. Any thoughts?


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Garcia Marquez vs. Borges | 5 comments
[new] still mulling... (Avg. Score: none / Raters: 0) (#4)
by paullloydsargent ( on Mon Dec 1st, 2003 at 08:17:47 AM EURODISCORDIA TIME
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So I know I posted and ran on this, but I have been thinking about it a lot, despite my horrid end of semester schedule. Wired mag just ran a bit on Philip K. Dick and his influence on sci-fi movies some 20 years after his death. It got me thinking about how often Dick and J.G. Ballard show up not only in sci-fi genre discussions but also in rather weighty, academic new media conversations. There is certainly a lot to be learned from visions of the future as a post-Armageddon dystopia, especially when linked to contemporary concerns regarding simulation, memory, surveillance and other signifiers also common to the sci-fi genre. But I`m also interested in what models for image replication, memory and information collection might lie in the more romantic takes on magical realism of Garcia Marquez. A kinder, gentler "Total Recall," or maybe a "Minority Report" as told via prose poetry, or even a series of haiku? I too read "Invisible Cities" in school (in a seminar along with De Certeau, Deleuze, and others. I believe the class had a title like "Time and the Production of Space" or something). Throughout the class, I was reminded of Barthelme's writing, especially " The Glass Mountain" as we discussed memory and the mapping of subjective spaces through experience and language. Later, as I read and heard more and more references to Borges' map in new media projects, I simply became interested in how art and fiction and pop culture and theory collide. How they influence each other, especially as trends develop. I guess that's exactly what prompted me to post originally: what might the current trend of new media work look like if its makers hadn't all read certain specific texts? I am interested also in Aileen's point about translation. Sadly, I am quite American in my language skills, barely able to read French and helpless in any other. But I am fascinated by translation. I recently reread the Odyssey and the Iliad using a text my mother had from her college days. In "plain English" the jacket declares, this text attempts to retell Homer's stories as the translator believes he would have spoken them: "colloquial, never pedantic, high-flown or cliché-ridden. The funniest part about these "nearest contemporary English equivalent" versions is that they were first published in the 30's, thus that present day language sounds so, well, hokey. It would be easier to swallow, as an 18 year-old student, were it written in "high-flown" Victorian English, me thinks. Ahh alas, to quote Trevor Paglen from a Dept Space and Land Reclamation West announcement: All your space are belong to us! _tangentially_paul_
signs, signs, everywhere signs...

[new] Calvino (Avg. Score: none / Raters: 0) (#2)
by joerabie on Sat Nov 15th, 2003 at 09:52:33 PM EURODISCORDIA TIME
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The reason for architects quoting Calvino comes from his book, "Invisible Cities". This allows architects whose feet are so frequently embedded in concrete to indulge in gravity-free flights of fantasy.

Now as for media artists, I find many with a tendancy to quote George Lucas...

[new] Quoting and translation (Avg. Score: none / Raters: 0) (#1)
by Aileen on Sat Nov 15th, 2003 at 01:54:16 PM EURODISCORDIA TIME
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It doesn't sound at all silly to me, Paul, but as I said in a comment to Saul's post about quotations some time ago, the way people use quotations in their writing often has a significant impact on my work as a translator. The history of the reception of translations of influential (and frequently cited) authors can make a difference in the intelligibility of a translation.
Although I come across Borges and Calvino fairly often, too, I have to admit that Gabriel Garcia Marquez is the only one of the other authors I am at all familiar with, so I am not sure which difference it might make. I would be curious, though, what that difference might look like to people writing about media art and architecture in Spanish, for example.

P.S. Sorry about the current vote status for this post - I had the wrong glasses on and made a mistake, so if this post does not appear on the site soon, I may have to exercise my editorial privileges and move it.

Garcia Marquez vs. Borges | 5 comments

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