A Special Invitation

for Conversation, Dessert, and Borges



in honor of

Dr. Jorge J. E. Gracia

Samuel P. Capen Chair and SUNY Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, SUNY--Buffalo



7:30pm, Wed., Nov. 10, 1999

Dining Room, Jordan Family Language House


Sponsored by the the Humanities Division, the Department of Classical and Modern Languages, the Department of Religion and Philosophy, and the Religious Life Office



In "The Analytical Language of John Wilkins," Jorge Luis Borges (Argentina, 1899-1986) describes "a certain Chinese Encyclopedia," the Celestial Emporium of Benevolent Knowledge, in which it is written that animals are divided into:


1. those that belong to the Emperor,

2. embalmed ones,

3. those that are trained,

4. suckling pigs,

5. mermaids,

6. fabulous ones,

7. stray dogs,

8. those included in the present classification,

9. those that tremble as if they were mad,

10. innumerable ones,

11. those drawn with a very fine camelhair brush,

12. others,

13. those that have just broken a flower vase,

14. those that from a long way off look like flies.


This classification has influenced many writers. According to Michel

Foucault, it "shattered all the familiar landmarks of my thought." Anthropologists and ethnographers, German teachers, postmodern feminists, Australian museum curators, and

artists quote it. The list of people influenced by the list has the same heterogeneous character as the list itself.

You are cordially invited to partake of dessert and discussion (in English) of Jorge Luis Borges's short story, "Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote."


Copies of the short story are available (in English and in Spanish) at the circulation desk, Abell Library.


We hope you will join us for a lively, interdisciplinary, confectionery event!



R.S.V.P. (pduffey@austinc.edu)