verily he has looked on the Tiger

Re-read The Zahir, a short story from Borges’ labyrinths, and stopped again by that phrase, which is supposed to have been overheard, and used to signify madness or saintliness. The text reads “He was informed that the reference was to a magic tiger which was the ruin of whoever beheld it, even from far away, since the beholder continued to think about it to the end of his days..” It goes on to give details of specific hauntings, referring to the apparition as “a kind of infinite Tiger.” Speaking of his personal haunting, involving the Zahir, Borges explains how the condition has only worsened with time, and states: “There was a time when I could visualize the obverse, and then the reverse. Now I see them simultaneously.” He considers the blurring of dreams and reality, and asks when all on earth think, day and night of (insert your Tiger here), which will be a dream and which a reality-the earth or (T—)…

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