In his short story Pierre Menard
, autor del Quijote
, Borges describes the extraordinary and paradoxical feat of an imaginary 20th century French writer who recomposes, as it were, part of Cervantes’ early modern masterpiece. Borges’ duplication of the text of the Quijote
is meant to give narrative shape to the acknowledgement that a text acquires different meanings in different epochs. This essay first sets Borges’ approach to the construction of the past within a lineage of authors, which harks back to Nietzsche and points to Foucauldian genealogies. It then renews the endeavour of Borges’ character Menard, as it reproduces significant portions of Foucault’s 1971 paper Nietzsche
, la généalogie
. Whilst the selections of the Foucauldian text are not simply rewritten, as they are given a new English translation, they are also recombined and reconsidered in the light of our contemporary cultural and political context, which underwent significant changes during the apparently short span of time that separates us from the composition of Foucault’s seminal work.
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