He told me the fellow in the alleyway was one Ireneo Funes, known for certain peculiarities such as avoiding contact with peo~. pIe and always knowing what. Highbrow, dandy, city slicker—Funes did not utter those insulting words, but I know He told me that the boy in the narrow street was one Ireneo Funes, and. IN “FUNES, T he Memorious,” Borges embarks upon an examination of the nature of communication. Ireneo Funes, the object of this fictional testimonial, is.

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The Mind of a Mnemonist”. As he enters, Borges is greeted by Funes’s voice speaking perfect Latin, reciting kreneo first paragraph of the twenty-fourth chapter of the seventh book of the Historia Naturalis ” by Pliny the Elder. Funes enumerates to Borges the cases of prodigious memory cited in the Historia Naturalisand adds that he marvels that those are considered marvellous.

He reveals that, since his fall from the horse, he perceives everything in full detail and remembers it all. The narrator, a version of Borges himself, meets Ireneo Funes, a funse boy who lives in Fray BentosUruguayin Funes may be compared to an autistic savantin that he has acquired an extraordinary ability, memorywithout the obvious need for study or practice. As he packs, he remembers the books and goes to Funes’s house.

The unheeded marvel is a common theme in Borges’s writing. Funes sits in a dark room and goes over the events in his past. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The narrator argues that a positional number system is a better tool for abstraction.

Because “memorious” is a rare word in modern English, some translators opt for this alternate translation.


By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. As narrative this can be seen as extended version of insomnia. In the overly replete world of Funes, there were nothing but irendo.

Borges spends the whole night talking to Funes in the dark. Further Skywriting on this funrs. Borges’s cousin asks the boy for the time, and Funes replies instantly, without the aid of a watch and accurate to the minute.

He learns that Ireneo Funes has meanwhile suffered a horseback riding accident and is now hopelessly crippled.

The scientific term for their unique condition is ” hyperthymestic syndrome “, more recently known as highly superior autobiographical memory HSAM. Borges returns to Buenos Airesthen in comes back to Fray Bentos, intending to relax and study some Latin.

It is a fantastical presentation of a common human complaint. The early death of Funes echoes the idea of unfulfilled potential, the wasted miracle of a plainsman with phenomenal abilities who lives and dies in obscurity. This page was last edited on 24 Septemberat Funes has an immediate intuition of the mane of a horse or the form of a constantly changing flame that is comparable to our normal people’s intuition of a simple geometric shape such as a triangle or square.

Borges correctly points out to him that this is precisely the opposite of a system of enumeration, but Funes is incapable of such understanding. Soon enough, Borges receives a note from Funes, requesting that the visitor lend him some of his Latin books and a dictionary. Solomon Shereshevskiia stage memory-artist mnemonist with a condition known as “hypermnesia”, [5] is described by the Russian neuropsychologist Alexander Luria in his book, The Mind of a Mnemonist[6] which some speculate was the inspiration for Borges’s story.

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Funes the Memorious – Wikipedia

British-American neurologist and writer Oliver Sacks cites Luria’s book runes the inspiration for his own book, Awakeningswhich is dedicated to Luria. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Jill Pricealong with 10 others, can remember with great accuracy most days of their lives starting from the average age of When dawn reveals Funes’s face, only 19 years old, Borges sees him “as monumental as bronze, more ancient than Egypt, anterior to ideneo prophecies and the pyramids”.


Even in these cases, however, the memory is not eidetic as, while exceptional, it only contains personally-relevant autobiographical information [3]. Funes, we are told, is incapable of Platonic ideas, of generalities, of abstraction; his world is one of intolerably uncountable details.

Funes the Memorious

Price has stated that she, like Funes, views her memory as a curse. Views Read Edit View history.

Borges himself states the tale is a metaphor for this in the prologue to Artifices. This is stated in the line “To think is to forget a difference, to generalize, to abstract. The very existence of eidetic memory is controversial, although hyperthymesianow known as highly superior autobiographical memory HSAMthe ability to recall one’s past day-by-day, has been confirmed to exist by some neuroscientists Irfneo et al. Borges explores a variety of topics in the text, such as the need of irejeo and abstraction to thought and science.

Aust N Z J Psychiatry. The real-life case of Daniel Tammet b. Borges, disconcerted, sends Funes what he deems the most difficult works “in order fully to undeceive him”.