Monday, August 01, 2016

Reader's Diary #1346- Phillip Koch: Borges in Vegas

Being a decently small northern "city," Yellowknife has its advantages for celebrity watchers - if you're the type to consider Canadian writers celebrities. Each year the Northwords Festival brings in an amazing roster and should you be so inclined, you can easily meet and engage in conversation with the likes of Joseph Boyden, Michael Crummey, Kathy Reichs and many more. Having met a few myself, it is now apparent that for better or worse (and I would argue, better), writers tend to be quite down to Earth. Nowhere near as eccentric as you might suppose for those with a career in the arts (some exceptions, of course!).

On that note, Phillip Koch's short story about spending a Vegas stay with Borges, is an interesting one mostly because of the setting. It turns out that Borges just wants to have a good time while the narrator seems disappointed not to be shooting the literary shit at every opportunity. So the question seems to be whether or not Vegas, of all places, has brought out the authentic Borges? Are our "good time selves" our true selves?

(This is a pre-written post to appear while I am vacationing in the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, and San Francisco.)

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