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November 20, 1969 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 1969-11-20

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Page Two

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Thursday, November 20, 1969

Page Two THE MICHIGAN DAILY Thursday, November 20, 1969

poetry and prose

Jorge
By MARCIA ABIRAMSON
Jorge Luis Borges is not a
man of conclusions. He does not
write in terms of the definite,
and he does not think in terms
of the definite. As he said last
night, his thought and work are z
built on his belief that "fp
is a parable but we do not know t
what it stands for." Borges is poet
and celebrant of the mystery ;
that is life, and his seemingly
infinite and eternally changing
art cannot help but reach into N
the deep and often hidden part
of us that knows we understand
nothing.<
So, unlike other celebrated or
becoming-celebrated wv r i t e r s,
Borges could not come to Ann Y
Arbor to deliver a manifesto on
aesthetics or creativity or even
a definite interpretation of his
own work.
Instead he presented a simple «
reading of five of his most re-
cent stories and three poems, in-
cluding his "El otro tigre." Af-
ter his translator read each
work (except for one poem),
Borges discussed his o w n
thoughts about it now and dur-
ing its composition.
Often Borges made excuses for
the stories, saying that he had
not made them up but had sim-
ply "worked in a few additions"
to an older tale. His commen-
tary, intensely personal, m a d e this
the whole evening an individual don'
experience -- a conversation, for
not a lecture. Borges is an ex- it s
tremely warm person, and you sym
feel his compassion, his puzzle- self,
ment with life, his struggle to A
accept his blindness and his thro
own weakness. last
His face was filled with a view
marvelous delight when t h e writ
audience of 400-500 laughed at the
one story which satirized t h e shor
sterile pomp and protocol of call
academia. Borges does, after all, worl
believe that despite its s e r - pers
iousness, "you should get a kick favo
out of art," and he wants his Ir
work enjoyed. said
The first story, "Pedro Salva- wor
tore," told of "a secret man" er,
who hid in a cellar for nine Alti
years to escape persecution. The the
story, he said, has three ele- you
ments: the anecdote itself, the - doin
parable of loneliness, and th e like
third factor, the mystery -- H
what we don't know. that
"Life is full of mysteries, and bere

Luis Borges:

In init
merely "adding details' to a
story told to him. But it is a
story he - and I - very much
like. Is it a fable of truth, or
of skepticism? Borges asked.
But of course Borges would and
could not diffuse the ambival-
ence. 'It can be read in many
ways," he said, ,"I wish I could
arrive at some understanding
of the story it has been given
me to write."
His discussions of the three
poems were much the same-
touching on their ambivalence,
their complexity. "El otro tigre"
is about the problems of art,
and no one, including Borges,
has completely explained it
satisfactorily.
Borges himself now feels com-
plete disagreement with another
poem, "Composition written in
a copy of Beowulf," a phenom-
enon which, he said, "generally
happens to me." But he con-
cluded, there is always an im-
mense satisfaction in attempting
the impossible.
And that is, in a sense, the
meaning and power of Borges.
He drags us away from the pro-
saic surface of life, into the
deep seas which underly our
existence. Borges knows he can-
not explain what he cannot un-
derstand - he can only write
what is given to him to write,
and succumb to the mystery of
the words which once created
have a life and a mystery far
beyond what he has conceived.
Borges was a surprise visitor
here-his lecture was announced
only last week. Reportedly he
had been asked to come for some
time and finally was able to
make the trip. Hopefully we will
see him again.
J. D. Salinger once said some-

mysteries

where that a writer should be
someone you want to call up and
talk to any time. And by that
standard-or any other-Jorge
Luis Borges is a writer.
Borges was presented yester-
day afternoon at one of those
little romance languages coffee
hours, replete with cookies and
doughnuts. But the occasion was
not stiff and dull-it could not
be, with Borges there.
Although he must go through
these afternoons all too often,
Borges was fresh and bright and
funny. Re-phrasing answers to
the same questions, Borges tried
always to explain, but, more im-
portantly, to discuss. He always
wanted to know who he was
talking to - an assistant profes-
sor born in Argentina, a grad-
uate student in Spanish liter-
ature. And he wanted to know
what they thought. The gather-
ing clearly was willing to wor-
ship, but Borges would not ac-
cept any such nonsense.
When he was asked if he has
any plans to write his autobi-
ography, Borges laughed. "Me?
What do I have to write about
my life? Reading, studying?
Falling in love? Being jilted or
accepted or any of the other
human experiences? No, I have

nothing to w r i t e my auto-
biography about."
Borges talked about every-
thing, from his family to his
artistic development. He spoke
of how he attempted to be
"baroque" when he was young,
but now is as straightforward as
possible.
Through it all he was inter-
ested, eager to talk. As he was
whisked away for dinner by the
beaming professor who escorted
him, Borges said with a large
smile, "After all, this is my cup
of tea." (And he was at it again
after his lecture, at the Residen-
tial College, probably re-answer-
ing the eternally recurring ques-
tions about himself and about
literature with the same warmth
and enthusiasm. It is hard to re-
member the high places he holds.)
THURS & FRI.-NOV. 20-21
GASL IG H T
Dir. GEORGE CUKOR, 144
Ingrid Bergman plays the
wife, Charles Boyer the
husband trying to drive
her insane in this tense
drama.
"A real gas"
7 & 9 Architecture
662-8871 Auditorium
75c

ALL CAMPUS
THANKSGIVING
MIXER
FULL FAITH & CREDIT
FRIDAY, NOV. 21 9-12
MARY MARKLEY HALL
GUYS 50c GIRLS 10c
U of M ID required

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ANTHONY QUINN

GREGORY PECK

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story is one of them. I
t think I am praiseworthy
setting it down, but I think
hould be remembered as a
bol of the mystery of life it-
" he explained.
n intense humility r a n
ough everything Borges said
night, as it does in inter-
's with him and his o w n
ings about himself. One of
pieces was "A Prayer," a
rt prose work which Borges
ed an attempt to ask t h e
id for real hopes rather than
onal and perhaps impossible
ors.
n his commentary, forges
that lie felt his greatest
k in life had been as a teach-
revealing beauty to others.
hough you cannot know what
universe is doing, he said,
can in some way assist by
ng "something righteous -
teaching beauty.
e said also, in the same vein,
t he would rather be remem-
ed more as a friend " than as
al Congress - Part 1; Botanical
ns, 4:00 p.
artment of Speech (Student Lake
er) - Final lfress Rehearsal and
b' Horow " "r"na ' heater,
, 4:10 p
artment of English Poetir Read-
villiam Stafford, Prof. of EngILh.
and Clark Colle-. Port land, Ore-1
Mutlti-Purpos' Room, Uinidergrad
ry, 4:10 p .
graphv Semilnar: Sarah Rousseau
[tgh \xipple. 'Mixed Media l'ilmis
[i Oi1 the Connui ' 4050 1SA.
ce of Religious Xlfairs Semiar:
w, Putnam, "T1oward a Ch'ri-ian
staiiliig of the H-;.., uii''
Eton M"todit ".7u cli, ,tt
uron, 7:00 pi.mi.
eiera! NOti(CeS
'o shar rmi ( fo imr 1 uima of
Dept. for somie 27 yea si . a
ridial emiblv 2:00 poi . Friday.
1. 1969.
lcations available for atholarships
Allowshipi listed below in the of-
(Continued on Page 10)
NATINAL tNEAI. ORP RA~ON ,

DAILY OFFICIAL
BULLETIN
The Daily Official Bulletin is an
official publication of The Univer-
sity of Michigan. Notices should be
sent in TYPEWRITTEN form to
3528 LSA before 2 p.m. of the day
preceding publication and by 2
p.m. Friday for Saturday and Sutn-
day. Items may appear only once.
Student organization notices a r e
not accepted for publication. For
information, phone 764-9270.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 20
Day Calendar
Physics - Ast ronony: Resonance
Group Lunch Seminar:Sanl Bo W e n,
Univ. Wise., "The Kondo Effect"; 12:00
Nuclear Colloquium: W. P. AI'ord, Univ.
Rochester, "The Validity of Spec'tro-
scopic Factors"; P & A Colloquium Rim,
4:00 p.m.
Piano Department Student Recital:
School of Music Recital Hall, 12:30 p.m.
Mental Health Seminar: Prof. Harold
D. Lasswell, Yale, "Power-Sharing in a
Psychiatric Hospital: Future Studies';
1057 Mental Health Research Inst., 3:45
p.m.
Botany Seminar: Dr. William R a u-
dolph Taylor, "Camera Report on Field
Trip No. 1 of the XI International Bo-
ORGANIZATION
NOT [CES
Univeral lift ( hurch Camnpus i3ene-
fit, Mlehi ;an Union Ballroo, Frida,
Nov. 21, 1969 at 8:30-11:30 p.m. Dance-
Concert, featuring the "Floating
Opera". For more information, please
call Rev. John Neno, at 769-1247.
Bach Club Meeting, 1236 Washtenaw
(at S. Forest). Program: The Goliard
Brass Ensemble will play the Prelude
and Fugue in B Flat Major, Contra-
punctus 1 & 9, Air in G , plus Chorales
and other short pieces. Refreshinents
and fun afterwards No musical know-
ledge needed. For ifo, call 663-2827,
764-9883, or 761-7356.
"A(rJ (cs,- -ro Ipa
DIAL 5-6290
ENDING TONIGHT
The motion picture de-
signed to save the world
from sanity.

tanica
Garte
E Rep,
Theat
"a',
Frieze
.liep
Ing:
Lewis
gon:
Li brat
Gco
and H
Fo usi
14:15 I?
(f11
Lloyd
aid 11
G
1. L o
Econ
memo
Nov. 2
App
and 11

-Dai ly-Jy yCassidy
a poet. "I can never get over
the amazement of being taken
seriously," he explained. "I have
been blundering through my
life." And he asked the audience
not to take his prayer serious-
ly, but rather to try to compose
their own prayers for "real
hopes" rather than possibly un-
obtainable "personal favors."
His own "real hope?" Serenity,
he said.
"The Anthropologist," in many
ways a typical 3orges story, told
of a Texas boy who goes to live
with a primitive Indian tribe in
search of a doctoral thesis on
their secret rites. He learns the
secret, but decides riot to reveal
it.
He tells the astounded doc-
toral chairman that he can live
by it anywhere and will not re-
turn to the Indians. But what
does he do? "Fred married, di-
vorced, and is now a librarian
at Yale."
Again. lBorges in.sisted he was
MIK E'S STEAKS
1313 S. University
Ann Arbor
FRIDAY'S SPECIAL ONLY
FISH & CHIPS
with cole slow, bread & butter
99C
SATURDAY'S SPECIAL
STRIP SIRLOIN STEAK
salad, potatoes, bread & butter
choice of coffee or soft drink
for $1.80 only
BACH CLUB
Present,
GOIUARD BRASS
ENSEMBLE
Program:
* Prelude and Fugue in
B flat
0 Contrapuncti 1 and 9
* Air on the G String
0 and other works
Thurs., Nov. 20, 8 P.M.
1236 Woshtenaw (at S. Forest)
Refreshments and FUN
Everyone Welcome!
(No musical knowledge native)
For further info call 663-2827,
761-7356, or 764-9883

TN
FEA
HI
0)

WIN
TURES DIAL
ELD 8-6416
VIER
LOR , DeLuNe . . AND ... I ' 9
"Stolen Kisses' is a movie I'll cherish
for a very long time. One of Truffaut's
best-strong, sweet, explosively funny.
Delphine Seyrig seduces Leaud in
one of the most erotic, nonsex
scenes I've ever seen in a movie."

CANCIELLE
Sden. Mushie is not able to appear this
Friday. He w i 11lbe rescheduled for
Winter Term

co

Em

M(9

OLIVIER'S
HAMLET
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 23
7:00-9 :30-AUD. A-75c
(No Kidding)
-READ AND USE DAILY CLASSIFIEDS-

Tickets refunded at UAC offices
2nd floor Union

THAT
DOG
ON
WHEELS
IS
COMING

"HAVE A BALL, BABY"
-"Putney Swope"
SEETHE FUNNIEST DOUBLE FEATURE
EVER TO COME TO TOWN!

]ll Fi1BtaY OUSB
THE PAGEANT PLAYERS
* political street theatre from New York City
* performing inside Canterbury & on the streets
® workshop Saturday afternoon
* "Possibly the country's first (street group), formed in 1965"
FRI DAY-SAT U R DAY-S U N DAY-$2.00

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"Provokes uncontrollable laughter."
-Mich. Daily
"For those with the good sense to
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young film makers at work in America
today."
--Newsday
"PUTNEY SWOPE"
"Swope," 6:45, 9:30-"Firemens," 8:1 5 only

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