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When Ibn Rushd Met Borges

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This article both analyzes the East-West dialogue through which Ibn Rushd (Averroës) has been reintroduced to Western and Eastern audiences alike, and contributes to that dialogue. Using Haun Saussy’s concept of the membrane text, through which different cultures are imported, Jabbar Yussin Hussin’s short story “The Day in Buenos Aires” is read in conversation with Jorge Luis Borges’s story “Averroës’s Search.” Each story is rich with layers of meaning; read together, they reverberate against each other exponentially. Borges reveals Ibn Rushd’s writing as the membrane through which Aristotle is brought into Arabic letters, and Hussin, in turn, identifies Borges’s story as the membrane through which Ibn Rushd is introduced to Spanish readers, and also returned to al-Andalus.

Affiliations: 1: Washington University St Louis


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