Is this Jose Luis Borges’ forgotten masterpiece?
One of the greatest writers of the twentieth century, Jose Luis Borges has been dead for nearly three decades. Though he castigated the novel for its prolixity, news is filtering out that the great literary joker and master of the short story has pulled off another feat, almost as though it were something from one of his fabulous tales. Rumours have reached this hack that the legendary man of letters left behind a novel of some five thousand pages. The title is said to be Omega-Alpha.
Critics and literati are poring over the work right now racing to finish it and to be first to analyze and review it. Far as we know the novel’s principal character, Hyperion – Borges felt indebted to Keats – is a consciousness of demi-godlike powers who is surveying planet Earth’s civilizations and cultures as it decides upon managing its own galaxy.
The big question for the demi-god Hyperion is whether the higher forms of life it will create will become reflexive enough to form language and to explore the manner in which they came into being. Upon encountering lapsarian myths, Hyperion wonders if its creations will also fall into behaviours that are imperfect and murderous. Finally, surveying the idea of God becoming part of creation as human, the demi-god wonders if it too would enter its creation to be humiliated and killed to rise again and point at a reality beyond the temporally perceivable.
But as soon as Hyperion reaches the remote galaxy where it is to commence its work it discovers it is not alone and that other demi-gods are communicating with its consciousness to find more information about creation and about planet Earth, a kind of intellectual jewel. Hyperion realizes that some of the other demi-gods are ‘evil’ and if they could find planet Earth they would experiment with the behaviour of human beings to conduct tests on rational behaviour and destruction.
Hyperion returns to the Milky Way to try to find a way to warn human beings but calculates that any overt form of warning would bring Earth to destruction anyway. It has to find a way to become incarnate and to teach humans how not to give way to evil, how not to give way to their own self-destruction…
As yet this hack has not heard how Omega-Alpha ends. I will report as soon as my contacts in Argentina send me more information.
There are heated debates about the authorship of this work with one party claiming that it is clearly a hoax. However, stylistically, Borges’ authorship seems beyond dispute, unless, as some claim, computer technology is now able not only to imitate with complete accuracy the style of any given author but also to match and even surpass the creativity of humans.