Representing the human condition : a comparative study of the works of Jorge Luis Borges and Italo Calvino
The thesis aims to explore the issue of representation and its limits in the works of Jorge Luis Borges and Italo Calvin. It focuses on the authors' treatments of the relationships between representational practices and the constraining limits of the human condition in perceiving reality. The introduction aims to discuss the methodology of the thesis and the theoretical positions of contemporary theorists regarding these relationships in order to contextualise and place the thesis in perspective. The conflictual tension between representation and the human condition will then be organised around five major themes, i. e. language, cognition, hermeneutics, spatial forms, and games, each of which will be a focal point of a chapter. While the first two chapters set out to describe how language and cognition prevent humans from attaining the real in its absolute state, the next three chapters will mainly discuss the implications and consequences of the unattainable real and human inadequacies. Each of these five chapters, in its different yet interconnected direction, features an extensive discussion of the issue of representational limits and a comparative analysis of what the authors manage to do in face of the issue. A final conclusion will summarise the similarities and differences in the ways both authors deal with the critical interactions between representation and the limits of the human condition.