My presentation will address the question of fetching the New Orientalistic tenets in Gorge Louis Borges postmodern fiction, mainly in the Hakim of Merv, the Enigma of Fitzgerald, and Averroes Search. Our claim in this hypothesis is that Borges in many of his 20th century art fiction has preoccupied much of his short stories with highly Islamic themes which were inspired from the theorizations of the early Orientalists and the legacy of the Arabian Nights. Borges fascination with the western Imagination about Islam is instantly tasted when one ruminates his pictorial representation of the Islamic civilizational frameworks. Starting with The Aleph, Averroes Search, and passing by The Zahir, The Approach to Al-Mu’tasim, and ending with The Hakim of Merv, and the Enigma of Fitzgerald, Borges has established a mosaic of heavily weighed cultural oeuvre that circumscribed a nation’s heritage. In each of the selected texts, he displays different attitude towards Islam. The tone of the narrator, in each story that traces an Islamic thematic concern, varies in the implemented voice; he is on the one hand, the patronizing, uncomprehending, and cynical, and on the other hand, the sympathetic, and the informative. Therefore, our claim in this presentation stems from the two following questions: what is the Islam that Borges the new orientalist draws? What are the new orientalistic aspects in Borges’s selected works? In parallel, our subject matter will be scrutinized from a postmodern perspective.
Long abstract of your presentation
Main author information