Thursday, May 26, 2011

Rocky Mountain Review of Language and Literature: Escher and Borges

My purpose is to search the MLA International Bibliography to find a connection between reputed artwork and Jorge Luis Borges' work.

MLA International Bibliography offers a detailed bibliography of journal articles, books, book chapters, and dissertations. Produced by the Modern Language Association (MLA), the electronic version of the contains dates back to the 1920s and contains over 1.8 million citations from more than 4,400 journals and series, and 1,000 book publishers.

I searched the MLA International Bibliography with the term "Borges art." I came up with 49 hits. Some of them had nothing to do with Borges and some of them had nothing to do with art, but I eventually found a fascinating article in a 2001 edition of the Rocky Mountain Review of Language and Literature that compares Escher's art to Borges' literature.

Parker, Allene M. "Drawing Borges: A Two-Part Invention on the Labyrinths of Jorge Luis Borges and M. C. Escher." Rocky Mountain Review of Language and Literature 55.2 (2001): 11-23

Parker uses the definition of "labyrinth" (a maze with only one opening that serves as both entrance and exit) to connect the work of Escher and Borges. In Escher's work, impossible visual loops are formed (for instance, two hands drawing each other), while in Borges' work, the solution to his literary puzzles often only reemphasizes the inexplicable nature of the problem.

I'm thinking of submitting a proposal to the DPLA project that argues that artwork should be linked to/incorporated with the literature that is digitized. Articles like these illustrate the rich intellectual interconnectedness of artwork and literature and offer proof for the argument that they should be presented together for maximum impact of both art forms.


  1. Artwork is able to express ideas that text cannot and vice versa. Artwork is also sometimes able to get a more dramatic emotional response from the viewer, intensifying the reading experience. Your idea for a proposal submission is great; it is a good standpoint that I believe many people would support.

  2. Rachael, I think your idea is really important, and I truly hope you go through with it even if our class project ends up with an eBook. You're doing such great things with your book and your ideas. It's inspirational!