On Exactitude in Science


... In that Empire, the Art of Cartography attained such Perfection that the map of a single Province occupied the entirety of a City, and the map of the Empire, the entirety of a Province. [...]

J.L. Borges' work of literary forgery, On Exactitude in Science almost fooled me, but it does evoke feelings of regret and dismay in me to sometimes remember the arts we have slowly lost over time.

On a related, yet unrelated note, this is an amazingly powerful story which is told in an extremely succinct way, and paints of a nostalgic and a better time when fine arts like Cartography or Geography were honoured. Am I wrong? What does this say against the backdrop of Google Earth and Google Maps?

I truly commend Señor Borges. Borges is said to embrace unreality in his literature, and it is this that I'm also interested in — that division between what is real vs. what is just a dream or the imagination. Why I don't know, but perhaps because I fall asleep so often it can be hard for me too to tell if something has happened or if I'd just dreamed it (whoops). Maybe I'll be able to write something like this one day that can fool gullible people like me... In any case, definitely one of the more enjoyable readings of this semester, ahem.