February 20, 2004

Real Genius

Category: Miscellaneous,Uncategorized :: Permalink

Another snippet from Borges‘ “Autobiographical Essay.” He’s been talking about a friend of his, a philosopher and conversationalist of a rather eccentric bent:

Macedonio was fond of composing small oral catalogs of people of genius, and in one of them I was amazed to find the name of a very lovable lady of our acquaintance, Quica Gonzalez Acha de Tomkinson Alvear. I stared at him open-mouthed. I somehow did not think Quica ranked with Hume and Schopenhauer. But Macedonio said, “Philosophers have had to try and explain the universe, while Quica simply feels and understands it.” He would turn to her and ask, “Quica, what is Being?” Quica would answer, “I don’t know what you mean, Macedonio.” “You see,” he would say to me, “she understands so perfectly that she cannot even grasp the fact that we are puzzled.” This was his proof of Quica’s being a woman of genius. When I later told him he might say the same of a child or a cat, Macedonio took it angrily (pp. 229-230).


Posted by John Barach @ 1:53 pm | Discuss (0)

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