Jorge Luis Borges 24 August 1899 – 14 June 1986

Comments (9)

Jorge Luis Borges belonged to a notable Argentine family in Buenos Aires who had British ancestors. He learned English before he could speak Spanish. Literature was enrooted in him at an early age when he started reading books from his father’s library and decided to make a career in literature when he grew up. In 1914, Borges travelled to Geneva where he earned a B.A. degree from the Collge de Genve. He travelled more to Majorca and mainland Spain where he joined the Ultraist movement before returning to Buenos Aires in 1921. Upon discovering the beauty of his city with a newfound vision, Borges began writing poems in the city’s praise producing his first publication which was a volume of poems entitled Fervor de Buenos Aires, poemas (1923) . Not looking back, Borges published several more volumes of poems, essays and a biography Evaristo Carriego (1930) .
Borges then moved on to writing fiction publishing Historia universal de la infamia in 1935. In 1938, he was appointed at a key post in the Buenos Aires library where he would spend nine years, never happy or satisfied with the work he had to do. In 1978 Borges encountered a severe head injury which affected his speech. He lived for eight more years, losing the battle of life on June 14,1986 in Geneva, Switzerland. The eight years before his death proved to be the most productive in terms of Borges’ literary career. He wrote his best stories, later collected in Ficciones and a volume of English translations The Aleph and Other Stories (1933–69) . Borges also wrote some detective stories in collaboration with another writer under the pseudonym H. Bustos Domecq. The detective stories entitled 'Seis problemas para Don Isidro Parodi' were published in 1942.
another poem by Jorge Luis Borges: Borges and I The other one, Borges, is the one to whom things happen. I wander through Buenos Aires, and pause, perhaps mechanically nowadays, to gaze at an entrance archway and its metal gate; I hear about Borges via the mail, and read his name on a list of professors or in some biographical dictionary. I enjoy hourglasses, maps, eighteenth century typography, etymology, the savour of coffee and Stevenson’s prose: the other shares my preferences but in a vain way that transforms them to an actor’s props. It would be an exaggeration to say that our relationship is hostile; I live, I keep on living, so that Borges can weave his literature, and that literature justifies me. It’s no pain to confess that certain of his pages are valid, but those pages can’t save me, perhaps because good writing belongs to no one, not even the other, but only to language and tradition. For the rest, I am destined to vanish, definitively, and only some aspect of me can survive in the other. Little by little, I will yield all to him, even though his perverse habit of falsifying and exaggerating is clear to me. Spinoza understood that all things want to go on being themselves; the stone eternally wishes to be stone, and the tiger a tiger. I am forced to survive as Borges, not myself (if I am a self) , yet I recognise myself less in his books than in many others, less too than in the studious strumming of a guitar. Years ago I tried to free myself from him, and passed from suburban mythologies to games of time and infinity, but now those are Borges’ games and I will have to think of something new. Thus my life is a flight and I will lose all and all will belong to oblivion, or to that other. I do not know which of us is writing this page.
All Comments