He told me the fellow in the alleyway was one Ireneo Funes, known for certain peculiarities such as avoiding contact with peo~. pIe and always knowing what. Highbrow, dandy, city slicker—Funes did not utter those insulting words, but I know He told me that the boy in the narrow street was one Ireneo Funes, and. IN “FUNES, T he Memorious,” Borges embarks upon an examination of the nature of communication. Ireneo Funes, the object of this fictional testimonial, is.

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Solomon Shereshevskiia stage memory-artist mnemonist with a condition known as “hypermnesia”, [5] is described by the Russian neuropsychologist Alexander Luria in his book, The Mind of a Mnemonist[6] which some speculate was the inspiration for Borges’s story. The narrator mentions that Locke postulated then rejected an impossible idiom “in which each individual thing, each stone, each bird and each branch would have its own name; Funes once projected an analogous language, but discarded it because it seemed too general to him, too ambiguous” [4] since it did not take time into account: When dawn reveals Funes’s face, only 19 years old, Borges sees him “as monumental as bronze, more ancient than Egypt, anterior to the prophecies and the pyramids”.

Because Funes can distinguish every physical object at every distinct time of viewing, he has no clear need of generalization or detail-suppression for the management of sense impressions. The narrator claims that this prevents abstract thought, given that induction and deduction rely on this ability.

The unheeded marvel is a common theme in Borges’s writing. As narrative this can be seen as extended version of insomnia. It is a fantastical presentation of a common human complaint. Retrieved from ” https: The very existence of eidetic memory is controversial, although hyperthymesianow known as highly superior autobiographical memory HSAMthe ability to recall one’s past day-by-day, has been confirmed to exist by some neuroscientists Parker et al.

This is stated in the line “To think is to forget a difference, to generalize, to abstract. Days later, Borges receives a telegram from Buenos Aires calling for his return due to his father’s ill health.


Borges himself states the tale is a metaphor for this in the prologue to Artifices. As he enters, Borges is greeted by Funes’s voice speaking perfect Latin, reciting “the first paragraph of the twenty-fourth chapter of the seventh book of the Historia Naturalis ” by Pliny the Elder.

As he packs, he remembers the books and goes to Funes’s house. Soon enough, Borges receives a note from Funes, requesting that the ifeneo lend him some of his Latin books and a dictionary.

Funes the Memorious

Funes, we are told, is incapable of Platonic ideas, of generalities, of abstraction; his world is one of intolerably uncountable details. May Learn how and when to remove this template message. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Views Read Edit View irenoe. Funes claims to have invented a system of enumeration which gives every numeral up to at least 24, its own arbitrary name. The narrator argues that a positional number system is iireneo better tool for abstraction.

The story raises the unresolved question of how much unfulfilled potential the human brain truly contains. Even in these cases, however, the memory is not eidetic as, while exceptional, it only contains personally-relevant autobiographical fnes [3]. The early death of Funes echoes the idea of unfulfilled potential, the wasted miracle of a plainsman with phenomenal abilities who lives and dies in obscurity.

He learns that Ireneo Funes has meanwhile suffered a horseback riding ireeneo and is now hopelessly crippled. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Funes sits in a dark room and goes over the events in his past. Borges spends the whole night talking to Funes in the dark. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The Mind of a Mnemonist”. The scientific term for their unique condition is ” hyperthymestic syndrome “, more recently known as highly superior autobiographical memory HSAM.

Funes’s mother escorts him to a patio where the youth usually spends his dark hours. He remembers, for example, the shape of clouds at all given moments, as well as the associated perceptions muscular, thermal, etc.

He finds it very difficult to sleep, since he recalls “every crevice funds every moulding of the various houses which [surround] him”. All articles with unsourced statements Articles with unsourced statements from August All articles with dead external links Articles with dead external links from January Articles with permanently dead external links Articles with Russian-language external links Articles needing additional references from May All articles needing additional references.


Aust N Z J Psychiatry. Borges explores a variety of topics in the text, such as the need of generalization and abstraction to thought and science.

Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Jill Pricealong with 10 others, can remember with great accuracy most days of their lives starting from the average age of In the overly replete world of Funes, there were nothing but details.

A poor, ignorant young boy in the outskirts of a small town, he is hopelessly limited in his possibilities, but says Borges his absurd projects reveal “a certain stammering greatness”. Funes has an immediate intuition of the mane of a horse or the form of a constantly changing flame that is comparable to our normal people’s intuition of a simple geometric shape such as a triangle or square.

Price has stated that she, like Funes, views her memory as a curse. British-American neurologist and writer Oliver Sacks cites Luria’s book as the inspiration for his own book, Awakeningswhich is dedicated to Luria. Funes enumerates to Borges the cases of prodigious memory cited in the Historia Naturalisand adds that he marvels that those are considered marvellous.

Funes the Memorious – Wikipedia

This section needs additional citations for verification. Borges, disconcerted, sends Funes what he deems the most difficult works “in order fully to undeceive him”.

The narrator, a version of Borges himself, meets Ireneo Funes, a teenage boy who lives in Fray BentosUruguayin He reveals that, since irwneo fall from the horse, he perceives everything in full detail and remembers it all.

The real-life case of Daniel Tammet b.