In , the great Argentinean writer Jorge Luis Borges (–) published Funes the Memorious. It is the fictional story of Ireneo Funes. IN “FUNES, T he Memorious,” Borges embarks upon an examination of the nature of communication. Ireneo Funes, the object of this fictional testimonial, is. Highbrow, city slicker, dude: Funes never spoke these injurious words, but I am sufficiently certain I represented for him those misfortunes. Pedro Leandro.

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Bernardo cried to him unexpectedly: I did not know whether to attribute funss insolence, ignorance or stupidity the idea that the arduous Latin tongue should require no other instrument than a dictionary; to disillusion him fully, I sent him the Gradus ad Parnassum of Quicherat and the work by Pliny. Funes sits in a dark room and goes over the events in his past.

British-American neurologist and writer Oliver Sacks cites Luria’s book as the inspiration for his own book, Awakeningswhich is dedicated to Luria. My first memory of Funes is very perspicuous. Without the slightest change of voice, Ireneo told me to come in. The room smelled vaguely of dampness. Funes, we are told, is incapable of Platonic ideas, of generalities, of abstraction; his world is one of intolerably uncountable details. My cousins assured me that was not the case, that these were peculiarities of Ireneo.

Commentary The consequences for Funes of his precise memory are interesting, particularly when one considers that experiment of nature that A. Everything becomes public in a small town; Ireneo, in his house on the outskirts, did not take long to learn of the arrival of these anomalous books.

Views Read Edit View history. He reveals that, since his fall from the horse, he perceives everything in full detail and remembers it all.

I never saw him more than three times; the last was in I clearly remember his voice: In order to pass the time, Funes has engaged in projects such as reconstructing a full day’s worth of past memories an effort which, he finds, takes him another full dayand constructing a “system of enumeration” that gives each number a different, arbitrary name.


Borges himself states the tale is a metaphor for this in the prologue to Artifices.

I was returning from the San Francisco ranch with my cousin Bernardo Haedo. As he packs, he remembers the books and goes to Funes’s house.

Paris Review – Funes the Memorious

She told me Ireneo was in the back room and I should not be surprised to find fujes in the dark, because he knew how to pass the idle hours without lighting the candle. Borges spends the whole night talking to Funes in the dark. The Mind of a Mnemonist”. Jill Pricealong with 10 others, can remember with great accuracy most days of their lives starting from the average age of I remember him I have no right to utter this sacred verb, only one man on earth had that right and he is dead with a dark passion flower in his hand, seeing it as no one has ever seen it, though he might look at it from the twilight of dawn till that of evening, a whole lifetime.

He was on his cot, smoking.

By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. The Roman syllables resounded in the earthen patio; my fear took them to be indecipherable, interminable; afterwards, in the enormous dialogue of that night, I learned they formed the first paragraph of the twenty-fourth chapter of the seventh book of the Naturalis historia.

Funes never spoke these injurious words, but I am sufficiently certain I represented for him those misfortunes. I was astonished to find the evening no less oppressive than the day had been. Funes did not understand me, or did not wish fuens understand me” Borges returns to Buenos Airesthen in comes back to Fray Bentos, intending to relax and study some Latin.

Funes the Memorious

The real-life case of Daniel Tammet b. Luria encountered and described in his book, The Mind of a Mnemonist: I crossed the tile patio, the little passageway; I reached the second patio. At first I naturally feared a joke. He finds it very difficult to sleep, since he recalls “every crevice and every moulding of the various houses which [surround] him”. Because “memorious” is a rare word in modern English, some translators opt for this alternate translation.


He told me the fellow in the alleyway was one Ireneo Funes, known for certain peculiarities such as avoiding con-tact with people and always knowing what time it was, like a clock. The unheeded marvel is a common theme in Borges’s writing. It was urged on by southern wind, the trees were already going wild; I was afraid I was hopeful that the elemental rain would take us by surprise in ths open. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.

He lived with his mother, around the corner from thf Laureles house. His handwriting was perfect, very sharply outlined; his orthography, of the type favored by Andres Bello: Days later, Borges receives a telegram from Buenos Aires calling for his return due to his father’s ill health.

His voice was speaking in Latin; his voice which came from the darkness was articulating with morose delight a speech or prayer or incantation. I remember his baggy gaucho trousers, his rope-soled shoes.

Borges’s cousin asks the boy for the time, and Funes replies instantly, without the aid of a watch and accurate to the minute. Place Published New York. In mathematical terms, Funes had treated each number as a prime, a unique integer without relation to other unique integers. I remember the sensation of uneasy magic the news produced in me: Not without a certain vaingloriousness, I had begun at that time my methodical study of Latin.

In the overly replete world of Funes, there were nothing but details. In eighty-seven I returned to Fray Bentos. This story it is well the reader know it by now has no other plot than that dialogue which took place half a century ago.