View Poll Results: Is the kind of trick described in the OP ehtical, or even a good idea for storywork?

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Thread: An interesting guote by a translator of Borges

  1. #1
    Executioner, protect me Kyriakos's Avatar
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    An interesting quote by a translator of Borges

    This time not a quote by Borges himself, but of one of his most notable (in fact by far the most notable) translators of his work into Greek.

    According to which "a labyrinth is that which its creator knows to be finite, but also that which the person lost in it mistakes for being infinite in its variations".

    I think that this is a very nice quote. And i was thinking of something relevant, since half an hour ago i finished a 3-pages very short story. In it something horrible may be happening, but at the same time it is not evident if it is happening.

    And i wondered if a reader could read the story, do not pick up its hidden meaning, but feel horrified nonetheless since some deeper part of his psyche will have computed it perfectly well (it just would not be conscious).

    Is it ethical, in your view, for a writer to deliberately play such games with the reader's mind? And could it be dangerous? Spoiler for more information particular to the labyrinth in this story:

    Spoiler follows:

    It is narrated by someone who seems to be perpetually in a hospital, visiting a friend, and then doing the same circular movements, walking out of the corridors and rooms and having a walk in the garden of the hospital.
    Then he returns to the room of his friend, who just wakes up once more, and they have a little discussion.
    Now the hidden meaning of the story, which i sought to craft, is that narrator and friend may well be the same person, and this would explain the circular moves, since the narrator is confined to his bed in the room, but has fooled himself into thinking he is merely a visitor there.
    The labyrinth has a minotaur as well, since the narrator (but not the friend) appear to know that the friend has had one of his legs amputated.

    So, if you want to, have a look at the spoiler, and reply if you believe this kind of crafting in a story to be potentially ominous, and not a very good idea
    Last edited by Kyriakos; 01-19-2012 at 03:36 PM.

  2. #2
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    Jun 2011
    So whats the purpose of the story other than just a mind****?

  3. #3
    Executioner, protect me Kyriakos's Avatar
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    It did not have much, i ended up writing it but i probably won't keep it...

    I thought that there might have been a good effect of ambiguity and hopelessness, with all the circular movements and possible sad explanation of what was going on.

    Thank you for replying

  4. #4
    In the fog Charles Darnay's Avatar
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    Dec 2005
    trapped in a prologue.
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    Borges used the concept of a labyrinth in his stories not for the express purpose of messing with his readers mind, but rather to explore certain concepts relating to space, time, and reality (metaphysics in short).

    Ethics does not so much enter into it.
    I wrote a poem on a leaf and it blew away...

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