Borges: “Ortega y Gasset says that the epic is the genre that is about other times and which is completely distant from our lives. To its own, one will want to say. What a lack of imagination. How does he not see that the epic is there continually in life; how he doesn’t describe it in the Spanish Civil War. He says that of Achilles and Ulysses we do not know if they were men or gods. Why does he say this? Because he doesn’t reflect over that which he is going to write and think about? Like Valéry, he doesn’t document himself. A critic called Dallas characterizes so the genres: “The lyric corresponds to the first person and to the future; drama to the second person and to the present; the epic to the third person and to the past.” Very neat, but without feeling.”Considering that every now and then that there is some argument somewhere on the blogosphere about what constitutes "epic" or "heroic" fantasy, I found their brief talk about this to be interesting, since I never really considered how traditionally the narrative voice and temporal tense can play such an important role in separating the Epic form from other narrative stories. Anyone want to add their 2¢ on this?
Bioy: “All these people sees in the epic the theme of the origins of villages and not the impulse and the magnamity of courage.”
Edit: Hal Duncan has written a post riffing on this translation of mine that I think raises some very important issues for us to consider. I'll comment over there later, but for the most part, I agree with what he is saying.