LIVE! Spring 2024 class catalog now online! 🌷

Borges: Crevices of Unreason [Jeff Encke]

Time: - - - PT
Capacity: seat
Member Price: $220.50
General Price: $245.00

In “Avatars of the Tortoise,” Jorge Luis Borges describes the world as a “fabrication of the will,” a highly convincing hallucination that nevertheless retains “crevices of unreason” that hint at its falseness. In this course, we’ll examine how Borges tests this claim with works that examine the tenuous distinction between the imaginative and real. There will be two or three short readings per week, including “The Library of Babel,” “The Book of Sand,” “Funes, the Memorious,” and others.


Week 1 – Choice and Chance

“Avatars of the Tortoise,” “The Garden of Forking Paths,” and “The Lottery in Babylon”

Week 2 – Bibliographic Labyrinths

“The Library of Babel” and “The Book of Sand”

Week 3 – Unlimited Sense and Memory

“The Aleph,” “Funes, the Memorious,” and “Shakespeare’s Memory”

Week 4 – False History and Biography

“Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius” and “The Other Death”

Week 5 – Recursive Ruins

“The Circular Ruins” and “Ibn-Hakkan al-Bokhari, Dead in His Labyrinth”

Week 6 – Author Meets Writer

“Borges and Myself,” “The Other,” and “August 25, 1983”

Most classes are offered at a general and member tuition rates based on instruction hours, with Hugo House members receiving a 10% discount on classes fewer than six sessions.

Early bird discounts are available during the first two weeks of registration and apply to both general and member tuition rates.

To help provide financial accessibility to our class offerings, some classes each quarter are offered with a sliding-scale tuition model, allowing students to pay what they can for the class. For these classes, tuition increments starting at $5 and going up to 125% of the standard pricing will be listed on the page.

Hugo House will only process refund requests that are submitted 5 business days or more before the class start date. To request a refund, log in to your account, go to “My Account,” select the “Orders” tab on the left-hand side, click the appropriate order, and request a refund for your specific class. Administrative fees apply. Please see our full refund policy here.

Class sessions may be recorded if a session falls on a holiday, or if a student has access needs. Class recordings are not guaranteed.

We do not tolerate racist, sexist, homophobic, ableist, transphobic or any other oppressive behaviors, regardless of who commits them. Please check out our full community guidelines by clicking here. If an instance of community guidelines are violated and not resolved within the classroom, students may let us know by filling out the student incident report.

Classes may be cancelled if less than the minimum number of students are enrolled within ten days before the class start date. If Hugo House needs to cancel a class for any reason, students can choose between receiving a full credit toward future classes or full refund.

Make a Donation

Donations made throughout the year help fund our programs and operations.