1. One of the main newspapers in Argentina.
2. Jorge Luis Borges, “Funes el memorioso,” in Obras completas (Buenos Aires: Emecé, 2007), vol. 1, pp. 583–590; subsequent quotations from this story are from the same source. Except where otherwise specified, all English translations of Borges in this book are by Juan Pablo Fernández.
3. I am not the first to ref lect on the roots of “Funes the Memorious” and its possible interpretations. In fact, I would like to give credit to those who have previously written on this topic (many of them cited in subsequent footnotes), and although any list I make will end up being unfair, since I will surely forget more than one reference, I would like to mention the essays by Víctor Zonana (“Memoria del mundo clásico en ‘Funes el memorioso’” [Remembrance of the classical world in “Funes the Memori- ous”], whose introduction includes an excellent summary of related work); Roxana Kreimer (“Nietzsche, autor de ‘Funes el memorioso’: Crítica al saber residual de la modernidad” [Nietzsche, author of “Funes the Memorious”: A critique of modernity’s residual knowledge]); Eduardo Mizraji (“Memoria y pensamiento” [Memory and thought], among other essays in the book Borges y la ciencia [Borges and science]); Patricia Novillo-Corvalán (“James Joyce, Author of ‘Funes the Memorious’”); Carlos Baratti (“‘Funes el memorioso’: Ficción que invita a ref lexionar acerca de la neurobiología de la memoria” [“Funes the Memorious”: A fiction that invites ref lection on the neurobiology of memory]); and the books by Iván Izquierdo (El arte de olvidar [The art of forgetting]), Guillermo Martínez (Borges y la matemática [Borges and mathematics]), and Diego Golombek (Cavernas y palacios: En busca de la conciencia en el cerebro [Caverns and palaces: Searching for consciousness in the brain]). Funes is, I would say, a classic reference in any book by an Argentine author on the topic of memory.
4. Jorge Luis Borges, “Fragmento sobre Joyce,” in Jorge Luis Borges en Sur, 1931–1980 (Buenos Aires: Emecé, 1999), pp. 167–169.
5. Jorge Luis Borges: Conversations, ed. Richard Burgin (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1998), p. 166. This passage of the interview has been cited by Patricia Novillo-Corvalán in “James Joyce, Author of ‘Funes the Memorious’.”
6. Most of these characters had been earlier described by Cicero in his Tusculan Disputations. See Cicero, Tusculan Disputations, rev. ed., trans. J. E. King (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press; London: Heinemann, 1960).
7. Pliny, Natural History, vol. 2, trans. Harris Rackham (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1942; London: Heinemann, 1947), pp. 562, 563.
8. Upon receiving the Cervantes Prize in 1979 (“a generous blunder that I shamelessly accept,” he said), Borges commented in an interview that with the prize money—a million pesetas, to be shared with Spanish poet Gerardo Diego—he planned to buy the Espasa Calpe encyclopedia, which he eventually received as a present from the publishers. Borges also had several editions of the Naturalis historia in his library, along with a 1907 edition of Sir Francis Galton’s Inquiries into Human Faculty and Its Development, on whose final page Borges transcribed chapter 24 of book VII of the Naturalis historia in the original Latin (along with a French translation on the first page).
9. In the context of Pliny’s paragraph this phrase can also be translated as “[Through memory] it is possible to repeat with the same words what has been heard.”