Jorge Luis Borges, Mariusz Karpowicz (Anthology curated by Jorge Luis Borges with texts by Platone, Cicerone, Th. Wright, Beda, l’Edda, Anonomo anglosassone, O. Vitalis, M. de Cervantes, W. Shakespeare, F. de Quevedo)
1980 / 144 PAGES
The master of visions and dreams, Jorge Luis Borges, selected literary views of the mournful realm of the dead to combine with the otherworldly images painted by humble and anonymous painters for the sumptuous funeral ceremonies of the Polish nobility.
In the endless plains of 17th-18th-century Poland, the death of a magnate was an occasion for lavish ceremonies that could last even months and take place in several places simultaneously. The protagonist of the representation, the Deceased, looked on from above as an effigy at the top of the coffin, towering over immense biers, staring at the astonished bystanders from the portrait specifically painted post mortem by humble and anonymous specialised painters. An art of portraiture governed by strict rules of physiognomic deformation, whose purpose was to make the piercing warning gaze of the Deceased reach the innermost corners of the church. Alongside 49 of these vitreous otherworldly images, presented for the first time to western readers with a historical-critical essay by Mariusz Karpowicz, the greatest Polish specialist on coffin portraits, the master of visions and dreams, Jorge Luis Borges, desired a selection of literary views into the mournful realm of the dead; including one of his short stories, written specifically for this book.