Unit 2 / Post 2 / Leen Khasawneh

Properties of hrönir, based on my understanding of the reading:

  1. Hrönir are duplicates of lost things (although appear somewhat larger in size than the ‘original’),
  2. Consciousness appears to be a central element in the production of hrönir,
  3. Duplicates of duplicates can exist.
Image: Alma Haser – URL https://fstoppers.com/fine-art/portraits-puzzles-study-identical-twins-223804

An example to illustrate this:  Let’s say my grandmother visits her home town that she has not set foot in for decades. During her visit, she recalls a tree that she used to climb as a child. Unaware that that tree had been cut down years before her visit, she goes out searching for it and eventually finds the exact tree she was looking for. The tree she finds would be an example of a hrönir; since it is not an original but a duplicate of the tree that she was searching for. The abstract and mythical flavor of this concept could prompt us to ask whether knowledge of the hrönir would have been considered a subject of magia naturalis in Europe of the 13th century.

Connecting the Two Readings for Tuesday:

It can be argued that Plato’s take on objects of knowledge functions in a similar manner to Borge’s discussion regarding physical objects. On page 26, Borge examines how, although not visibly observed by anyone, the coins exist “in some secret way” in the space between the day they were dropped and their rediscovery. This way of thinking fits into Plato’s division between the visible realm and the intelligible realm in his Allegory. “According to Plato’s metaphysical theory, there is an aspect of reality beyond the one which we can see,” just like the hrönir before we discover them. This unseen/intelligible realm is considered “an aspect of reality even more real than the one we see” that can only become ‘unhidden’ through the powers of our intellect. On another note, I feel that consciousness/intellect and the idea of multiple realities coinciding are core elements of both Plato’s allegory and Borges’ hrönir discussion. Therefore it can also be argued that Plato might view Borges’ hrönir as the mediators between the visible and the intelligible; allowing our minds and thoughts to manifest material realities. The source I quote in this paragraph: http://sites.millersville.edu/tgilani/pdf/Fall%202017/PHYS%20302/Plato’s%20Republic-2.pdf


In the same way that the ideas of ‘The New World’ and the identity of ‘The New White Man’ are central to Morrison’s argument on enlightenment, I found that Principe’s book, although very ‘colour-blind’, holds a similar recurring emphasis on this common idea of ‘The New World’ in the way that the author unfolds his version of ‘enlightenment’ to the readers.

Leave a Reply