Ireneo Funes, subject of the fictional memoir Funes el memorioso by Jorge Luis Borges. Published in 1944 in Artifices, the second part of the book Ficciones.

Several English versions of this story are readily available:
Funes, the Memorious, translated by James E. Irby, in Labyrinths: Selected Stories & Other Writings, New Directions, 1964, ISBN 0-08112-0012-4, and
Funes, His Memory, translated by Andrew Hurley, in Jorge Luis Borges: Collected Fictions, Viking, 1998, ISBN 0-670-84970-7.

Funes practices the art of memory involuntarily, ever since he was paralyzed by a fall from a half-broken horse. He can call up eidetic images from his past, even of experiences from before his fall. He has assigned unique names to all the integers up to 24,000. Borges explains to him that this inability to abstract or generalize makes it impossible to do arithmetic, or indeed to think at all, but Funes cannot or will not understand.

Funes quotes a passage from Pliny the Elder to Borges: ut nihil non iisdem verbis redderetur auditum. This comes from Pliny's Naturalis Historia, Book VII, Chapter 24, on memory. The full passage is ars postremo eius rei facta et inventa est a Simonide melico, consummata a Metrodoro Scepsio, ut nihil non iisdem verbis redderetur auditum, which means that an art of memory was devised by the poet Simonides and perfected by Metrodorus of Scepsis, so that nothing heard is not repeated in the same words (H. Rackham's translation in the Loeb Classical Library version is better, but possibly ©1942).

The passage from Pliny discusses several cases where memory was impaired by an injury, but none where it was enhanced.

In his preface to Artifices, Borges says that this story is "one long metaphor for insomnia".

Can somebody find or make an English translation of Roxana Kreimer's intriguingly titled article Nietzsche, autor de "Funes el memorioso": Crítica al saber residual de la modernidad?

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