The Impossibility of Hupar in Borges and Bioy Casares

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Abstract

This article is a comparative study of the literary and philosophical topoi of sleep and dreams in the work of Homer, Jorge Luis Borges, and Adolfo Bioy Casares (El sueno de los heroes). The (im)possibility of hupar lies at the core of Homeric, Borgesian, and Bioyan conceptualizations of sleep (hupnos) and wakefulness (hupar), and discloses fundamental ruptures at an epistemological level. In the Odyssey, dreams work in parallel with and as additions to reality. Conceived by Homer as an adjunct to reality, the City of Dreams (demos oneiron) allows the possibility of entering and leaving while sleeping and waking respectively. By contrast, Borges' and Bioy Casares' literary and philosophical experimentations vindicate the impossibility of hupar inasmuch as dream is reality - the reality of a dreaming God (the poet), who constructs and deconstructs the world interminably. This work invites in-depth analysis to explain overlapping notions from idealist philosophy and Buddhism in the work of Borges and Bioy Casares.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)367-384
Number of pages18
JournalBulletin of Hispanic Studies
Volume84
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2007

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