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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1959.3/1136
- 'The world will be Tlön' : mapping the fantastic onto the virtual
- Tofts, Darren
- This essay revisits one of the key texts of the fantastic, Jorge Luis Borges' classic 1940 short fiction, "Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius." Borges' short parable of an entirely simulated, fictitious world has become one of the key texts of postmodernism, a touchstone in our understanding of the blurry lines of demarcation between reality and its copies. But it also has much to teach us about our current preoccupation with the creation of virtual worlds in the digital age. To this end, the paper will discuss the capacity of the digital to create virtual worlds that, like the fabulatory world of Tlön, are excessive, "too real." In our contemporary virtual culture, the troubling question at the heart of Borges' fiction is still as urgent--do we need reality any more? The essay also examines the uncanny cultural fallout of the virtual in terms of the publication of a literary hoax by Australian journalist Guy Rundle. Rundle's piece, ostensibly a homage to the power of Borges' writing to convince us of the reality of the unreal, concerned a purported but little known journey Borges took to Melbourne in 1938. In pursuing Borges' imaginary footsteps, a peculiar and unsettling reality starts to emerge.
- Publication type
- Journal article
- Research centre
- Swinburne University of Technology. School of Social and Behavioural Sciences
- Postmodern Culture, Vol. 13, no. 2 (Jan 2003)
- Publication year
- Johns Hopkins University Press
- Publisher URL
- Copyright © 2003 Darren Tofts.
- Peer reviewed