Epilogue Space is the breath of art. — Frank Lloyd Wright1 While space is obviously the ‘breath of art’ in architecture, we may conclude from the foregoing chapters that it also breathes life into literary products, and in particular, into narrative works. Literature creates meaningful spaces, realms of the imagination within which human stories unfold, so that sequences of events, developments of plot and idea, and life’s vicissitudes are traced not only by temporal means but also spatially. Ultimately, this bespeaks a relation with ‘reality’ that is inescapable. There is a convention- ally-accepted view of Borges as a highly-literate pedant, absorbed in abstract thought, oblivious of the world around him and unconcerned with the practicalities of living. This caricature, encouraged by much of what Borges wrote about himself, contains a germ of truth. Borges’s background and upbringing meant that he had little need to bother about how to provide a living for himself, and he lived at one remove from practical domestic issues; Wilson (2006: 112), for instance, observes that Borges ‘never went shop- ping or did the laundry or cooked’. The fact that Borges’s most significant writings include so many stories centring on philosophical speculations also reinforces this image of the writer, and ensures that he is frequently viewed as being out of touch with reality. One of the aims of the preceding chapters has been to demonstrate how, contrary to that prevailing view of Borges, our author manages to write material that comments, adroitly and insightfully, on the actual...
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