Of flayed flesh and marble slabs. Jorge Luis Borges and language

Carol Ayres explores ‘a peculiar poem even for Borges and finds his remoteness of language at odds with the imagery, which references butchers and prostitutes (and witches)—the working class, that is, which is usually associated with plain speech not abstruse or rarefied language. This contrast—between form and content, as well as between the quotidian reality of the butchers and prostitutes and the language used to describe it—introduces one of the primary tensions of the poem.