Get 20M+ Full-Text Papers For Less Than $1.50/day. Start a 14-Day Trial for You or Your Team.

Learn More →

Editors' Introduction

Editors' Introduction Borges’s Map of Empire recalls an ideal of representation that, in retrospect, we associate with Cold War intelligence and academic disciplines centered on nations, areas, and regions; it was about mapping and knowing the enemy, point for point, as it were—and the ally as well, for one never knows when an ally might prove detrimental. Cold War strategic knowledge embraced point-for-point knowledge of peoples and of the history, psychology, and culture of potential enemies, that is, of whoever happened to play the role of “the rest” to the West. It involved constant fuss about detailed intelligence and in-depth coverage, about filling gaps and mapping the world. There was a sense that in time one might gather sufficient intelligence to know the world and consequently to predict and forestall the outbreak of hostilities. After all, professors were there to provide knowledge about every imaginable culture and territory in the world, while journalists reported on location and undercover operatives blended like chameleons into any possible environment, all apprising the West of what the rest were really doing. Of course, with his image of the imperial map rotting over its territory, Borges exposed an ideal whose full absurdity and naïveté only http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png positions asia critique Duke University Press

Loading next page...
 
/lp/duke-university-press/editors-introduction-00lMiRtsrE
Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2005 by Duke University Press
ISSN
1067-9847
eISSN
1527-8271
DOI
10.1215/10679847-13-1-1
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Borges’s Map of Empire recalls an ideal of representation that, in retrospect, we associate with Cold War intelligence and academic disciplines centered on nations, areas, and regions; it was about mapping and knowing the enemy, point for point, as it were—and the ally as well, for one never knows when an ally might prove detrimental. Cold War strategic knowledge embraced point-for-point knowledge of peoples and of the history, psychology, and culture of potential enemies, that is, of whoever happened to play the role of “the rest” to the West. It involved constant fuss about detailed intelligence and in-depth coverage, about filling gaps and mapping the world. There was a sense that in time one might gather sufficient intelligence to know the world and consequently to predict and forestall the outbreak of hostilities. After all, professors were there to provide knowledge about every imaginable culture and territory in the world, while journalists reported on location and undercover operatives blended like chameleons into any possible environment, all apprising the West of what the rest were really doing. Of course, with his image of the imperial map rotting over its territory, Borges exposed an ideal whose full absurdity and naïveté only

Journal

positions asia critiqueDuke University Press

Published: Mar 1, 2005

There are no references for this article.