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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Funes the Memorious (Funes el Memorioso)

Without the slightest change of voice, Ireneo told me to come in. His handwriting was perfect, very sharply outlined; his orthography, of the type favored by Andres Bello: The story raises the unresolved question of how much unfulfilled potential the human brain truly contains. I remember his baggy gaucho trousers, his rope-soled shoes. His voice was speaking in Latin; his voice which came from the darkness was articulating with morose delight a speech or prayer or incantation.

Highbrowcity slickerdude: Funes has an immediate intuition of the mane of a horse or the form of a constantly changing flame that is comparable to our normal people’s intuition of a simple geometric shape such as a triangle or square.

We entered an alleyway that sank down between two very high brick sidewalks. I remember him, with his face taciturn and Indian-like and singularly remotebehind the cigarette.

His memory is so precise, so individual in detail that he develops a unique numbering system and that “in a very few days he had gone beyond twenty-four thousand” Retrieved from ” tunes The narrator mentions that Funss postulated then rejected an impossible idiom “in which each individual thing, each stone, each bird and each branch would have its own name; Funes once projected an analogous language, but discarded it because it tne too general to him, too ambiguous” [4] since it did not take time into account: Funes claims to have invented a system of enumeration which gives every numeral up to at least 24, its own arbitrary name.

Borges, disconcerted, sends Funes what he deems the most difficult works “in order fully to undeceive him”. The unheeded marvel is a common theme in Borges’s writing.


He reveals that, since his fall from the horse, he perceives everything in full detail and remembers it all. When dawn reveals Funes’s face, only 19 years old, Borges sees him “as monumental as bronze, more ancient than Egypt, anterior to the prophecies and the pyramids”. Soon enough, Borges receives a note from Funes, requesting that the visitor lend him some of his Latin books and a dictionary. He told me the fellow fuens 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.

My deplorable status as an Argentine will prevent me from indulging in a dithyramb, an obligatory genre in Uruguay whenever the subject is an Uruguayan. In the overly replete world of Funes, there were nothing but details. Views Read Edit View history.

Funes the Memorious

Days later, Borges mmorious a telegram from Buenos Aires calling for his return due to his father’s ill health. My father, that year, had taken me to spend the summer in Fray Bentos. I remember I think his angular, leather-braiding hands. He carried his pride to the point of acting as if the blow that had felled him were beneficial.

She told me Ireneo was in the back room and I should not be surprised to find him in the dark, because he knew how to pass the tge hours without lighting the candle. This section needs additional citations for verification. Funes never spoke fues injurious words, but I am sufficiently certain I represented for him those misfortunes. Funes, we are told, is incapable of Platonic ideas, of generalities, of abstraction; his world is one of intolerably uncountable details. I was told he had been thrown by a half-tamed horse on the San Francisco ranch and was left memoeious paralyzed.

My cousins assured me that was not the case, that these were peculiarities of Ireneo. As narrative this can be seen as extended version of insomnia.

Borges correctly points out to him that this is precisely the opposite of a system of enumeration, but Funes is incapable of such understanding. Because “memorious” is a rare word in modern English, some translators opt for this alternate translation.

The Mind funew a Mnemonist”. I remember him I have no right to utter ,emorious 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.


Miscellaneous Introduction by Anthony Kerrigan. I was astonished to find the evening no less oppressive than the day had been. Funes was, “let us not forget, almost incapable of general, platonic ideas. Twice I saw him behind the iron grating of the the window, which harshly emphasized his condition as a perpetual prisoner: During the years eighty-five and eighty-six we spent the summer in Montevideo.

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There was a grape arbor; the darkness seemed complete to me. Luria encountered and described in his book, The Mind of a Mnemonist: The narrator claims that this prevents abstract thought, given that induction and deduction rely on this ability. Place Published New York. This is stated in the line “To think is to forget a difference, to generalize, to abstract. He learns that Ireneo Funes has meanwhile suffered a horseback riding accident and is now hopelessly crippled.

I never saw him more than three times; the last was in The consequences for Funes of his precise memory are interesting, particularly when one considers that experiment of nature that A. As he packs, he remembers the books and goes to Funes’s house. It is a fantastical presentation of a common human complaint. He lived with his mother, around the corner from the Laureles house. I remember the cigarette in his hard face, against the now limitless storm cloud. In mathematical terms, Funes had treated each number as a prime, a unique integer without relation to other unique integers.

Later, when the narrator inquired what had become of Funes, he was told that the latter “had been thrown by a wild horse at the San Francisco ranch, and that he been hopelessly crippled”