Author of Pierre Menard

India ink on paper, 11 papers framed, 25 x 18 cm each one, 2015.
Drawing made letter by letter of the short storie Pierre Menard, Author of Don Quixote, by Jorge Luis Borges.

“... truth, whose mother is history, rival of time, depository of deeds, witness of the past, exemplar and adviser to the present, and the future's counselor.”

Author of Pierre Menard is an artistic action that results in a new version of the short story Pierre Menard, author of D. Quijote. The strategy to reach such a result was to recreate by hand drawing, letter by letter, the first edition of the story – highlighting the material consistency of the text, in addition to its statement.

It was an intense process of almost 6 months, not only of manual works, but of a material understanding of the story and its radical defense of shared originality.

Inspired by Harold Bloom’s concept of literature as a mechanism of infinite minor commentaries that legitimate their center of dispersion, as well as by Michel Foucault’s writing that Quixote was “as thin as a letter”.

In Pierre Menard, Author of Don Quijote, a short story by Argentinean writer Jorge Luis Borges published on his anthology Fictions, the narrator names the “visible oeuvres” of the alleged writer that gives title to the story. It lists his monographs, translations, prefaces, books and even “a technical article on the possibility of improving the game of chess, eliminating one of the rook’s pawns.” (BORGES, 1998, p. 491)

Nevertheless, none of the listed items holds any relevance compared to what Borges considers Menard’s “subterranean, the interminably heroic, the peerless” work (Ibid., p. 492): his attempt to compose another Don Quixote, an experience that Borges does not consider a copy or plagiarism, despite the fact that Menard’s work coincides letter by letter with the first version of the work, written by Cervantes.

“He did not want to compose another Quixote – which is easy – but the Quixote itself. Needless to say, he never contemplated a mechanical transcription of the original; he did not propose to copy it. His admirable intention was to produce a few pages which would coincide – word for word and line for line – with those of Miguel de Cervantes.” (Ibid., p. 491)

Sesc Belenzinho, São Paulo, BR. 2016.

This leveling of language that reduces it to pure object status...

Writing technique: Nanjing pen 0.1 and 0.05 on paper.

In support of Pablo Katchadjian, writer that was sued by Borges widow for writing a longer version of The Aleph.

#HackingBorges Vale todo!