Happiness by Jorge Luis Borges

Poet: | Nationality: | Filmmaker:

Today’s Google Doodle commemorates the birth of Borges:

“Wishing Jorge Luis Borges a happy 112th birthday!” Google tweeted early this morning, adding a well-known Borges quote: “I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library.”

I shudder to think what this arch-conservative and biobliophile would’ve said about videopoetry, let alone digital texts. But thanks to a Facebook contact, I saw this video and thought it worth sharing. It appears to be a quite illegal upload (and re-branding) of a snippet from the documentary Art, Poetry and Particle Physics, narrated by John Berger and directed by Ken McMullen. However, the uploaders do at least acknowledge the theft, and also reproduce the text of the translation by Stephen Kessler used in the documentary. [The YouTube user account was terminated for copyright violations. I swapped in a DailyMotion version on 15 August 2014.] And it’s a very effective selection, I thought — it works well on its own as a videopoem, even with the apparent non sequitur by Berger at the end about Borges’ lack of interest in 20th-century science.

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