Borges: “before the invasion, we will hear, from the depths of the mirrors, the sound of arms”

Cracked LCD

Borges recounts a myth deriving from the days of the “Yellow Emperor” in the “Canton province” that goes:

“In those days, the world of mirrors and the world of men were not, as they are now, separate and unconnected. They were, moreover, quite different from one another; neither the creatures nor the colors nor the shapes of the two worlds were the same. The two kingdoms — the specular and the human — lived in peace, and one could pass back and forth through mirrors. One night, however, the people of the mirror invaded this world. Their strength was great, but after many bloody battles, the magic of the Yellow Emperor prevailed. The Emperor pushed back the invaders, imprisoned them within the mirrors, and punished them by making them repeat, as though in a kind of dream, all the actions of their human victors. He stripped them of their strength and their own shape and reduced them to mere servile reflections. One day, however, they will throw off that magical lethargy.

…In the depths of the mirror, we shall perceive a faint, faint line, and the color of that line will not resemble any other. Then, other forms will begin to awaken. Gradually they will become different from us; gradually they will no longer imitate us; they will break through the barriers of glass or metal, and this time they will not be conquered….

Others believe that before the invasion, we will hear, from the depths of the mirrors, the sound of arms.”

– Borges, Jorge Luis. The Book of Imaginary Creatures. Buenos Aires: Penguin, 2005. p. 18-19


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~ by dccohen on February 3, 2010.

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