‘The House of Asterion’ by Jorge Luis Borges

I am ending, looping back, with more Borges. Borges’ ‘The House of Asterion’ is one of those stories for the always-circling-around-the-Iliad-drain types of people that I am, except it’s about Minos and a very famous labyrinth. It’s sad and beautiful all at once. It is unlikely, given the small extant corpus of examples of Linear A, that there will be some second Michael Ventris incident, and the language will be suddenly deciphered. Probably they are palace or trade inventories, these fragments. I like to pretend though, that this story is what is written on all of them instead. That would be something, wouldn’t it? Like seeing something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky…

First published in Spanish as ‘La casa de Asterión’ in Los Anales de Buenos Aires, 1947 and collected in El Aleph, Editorial Losada, 1949. First translated by James Irby and Donald Yates and collected in Labyrinths, New Directions, 1962, with other translations following.

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