HOME
        TheInfoList






Jorge Francisco Isidoro Luis Borges Acevedo (/ˈbɔːrhɛs/;[2] Spanish: [ˈboɾxes] (About this soundlisten); 24 August 1899 – 14 June 1986) was an Argentine short-story writer, essayist, poet and translator, and a key figure in Spanish-language and universal literature. His best-known books, Ficciones (Fictions) and El Aleph (The Aleph), published in the 1940s, are compilations of short stories interconnected by common themes, including dreams, labyrinths, philosophers, libraries, mirrors, fictional writers, and mythology.[3] Borges' works have contributed to philosophical literature and the fantasy genre, and have been considered by some critics to mark the beginning of the magic realist movement in 20th century Latin American literature.[4] His late poems converse with such cultural figures as Spinoza, Camões, and Virgil.

Born in Buenos Aires, Borges later moved with his family to Switzerland in 1914, where he studied at the Collège de Genève. The family travelled widely in Europe, including Spain. On his return to Argentina in 1921, Borges began publishing his poems and essays in surrealist literary journals. He also worked as a librarian and public lecturer. In 1955, he was appointed director of the National Public Library and professor of English Literature at the University of Buenos Aires. He became completely blind by the age of 55. Scholars have suggested that his progressive blindness helped him to create innovative literary symbols through imagination.[Note 1] By the 1960s, his work was translated and published widely in the United States and Europe. Borges himself was fluent in several languages.

In 1961, he came to international attention when he received the first Formentor Prize, which he shared with Samuel Beckett. In 1971, he won the Jerusalem Prize. His international reputation was consolidated in the 1960s, aided by his works being available in English, by the Latin American Boom and by the success of García Márquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude.[5] He dedicated his final work, The Conspirators, to the city of Geneva, Switzerland.[6] Writer and essayist /ˈbɔːrhɛs/;[2] Spanish: [ˈboɾxes] (About this soundlisten); 24 August 1899 – 14 June 1986) was an Argentine short-story writer, essayist, poet and translator, and a key figure in Spanish-language and universal literature. His best-known books, Ficciones (Fictions) and El Aleph (The Aleph), published in the 1940s, are compilations of short stories interconnected by common themes, including dreams, labyrinths, philosophers, libraries, mirrors, fictional writers, and mythology.[3] Borges' works have contributed to philosophical literature and the fantasy genre, and have been considered by some critics to mark the beginning of the magic realist movement in 20th century Latin American literature.[4] His late poems converse with such cultural figures as Spinoza, Camões, and Virgil.

Born in Buenos Aires, Borges later moved with his family to Switzerland in 1914, where he studied at the Collège de Genève. The family travelled widely in Europe, including Spain. On his return to Argentina in 1921, Borges began publishing his poems and essays in surrealist literary journals. He also worked as a librarian and public lecturer. In 1955, he was appointed director of the National Public Library and professor of English Literature at the University of Buenos Aires. He became completely blind by the age of 55. Scholars have suggested that his progressive blindness helped him to create innovative literary symbols through imagination.[Note 1] By the 1960s, his work was translated and published widely in the United States and Europe. Borges himself was fluent in several languages.

In 1961, he came to international attention when he received the first Formentor Prize, which he shared with Samuel Beckett. In 1971, he won the Jerusalem Prize. His international reputation was consolidated in the 1960s, aided by his works being available in English, by the Latin American Boom and by the success of García Márquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude.[5] He dedicated his final work, The Conspirators, to the city of Geneva, Switzerland.[6] Writer and essayist J. M. Coetzee said of him: "He, more than anyone, renovated the language of fiction and thus opened the way to a remarkable generation of Spanish-American novelists."[7]

Martín Fierro, a poem by José Hernández, was a dominant work of 19th century Argentine literature. Its eponymous hero became a symbol of Argentine sensibility, untied from European values – a gaucho, free, poor, pampas-dwelling.[115]

The character Fierro is illegally drafted to serve at a border fort to defend it against the indigenous population but ultimately deserts to become a gaucho matrero, the Argentine equivalent of a North American western outlaw. Borges contributed keenly to the avant garde Martín Fierro magazine in the early 1920s.[citation needed]

As Borges matured, he came to a more nuanced attitude toward the Hernández poem. In his book of essays on the poem, Borges separates his admiration for the aesthetic virtues of the work from his mixed opinion of the moral virtues of its protagonist.[116] In his essay "The Argentine Writer and Tradition" (1951), Borges celebrates how Hernández expresses the Argentine character. In a key scene in the poem, Martín Fierro and El Moreno compete by improvising songs on universal themes such as time, night, and the sea, reflecting the real-world gaucho tradition of payadas, improvised musical dialogues on philosophical themes.[115][117] Borges points out that Hernández evidently knew the difference between actual gaucho tr

The character Fierro is illegally drafted to serve at a border fort to defend it against the indigenous population but ultimately deserts to become a gaucho matrero, the Argentine equivalent of a North American western outlaw. Borges contributed keenly to the avant garde Martín Fierro magazine in the early 1920s.[citation needed]

As Borges matured, he came to a more nuanced attitude toward the Hernández poem. In his book of essays on the poem, Borges separates his admiration for the aesthetic virtues of the work from his mixed opinion of the moral virtues of its protagonist.[116] In his essay "The Argentine Writer and Tradition" (1951), Borges celebrates how Hernández expresses the Argentine character. In a key scene in the poem, Martín Fierro and El Moreno compete by improvising songs on universal themes such as time, night, and the sea, reflecting the real-world gaucho tradition of payadas, improvised musical dialogues on philosophical themes.[115][117] Borges points out that Hernández evidently knew the difference between actual gaucho tradition of composing poetry versus the "gauchesque" fashion among Buenos Aires literati.[citation needed]

In his works he refutes the arch-nationalist interpreters of the poem and disdains others, such as critic Eleuterio Tiscornia, for their Europeanising approach. Borges denies that Argentine literature should distinguish itself by limiting itself to "local colour", which he equates with cultural nationalism.[117] Racine and Shakespeare's work, he says, looked beyond their countries' borders. Neither, he argues, need the literature be bound to the heritage of old world Spanish or European tradition. Nor should it define itself by the conscious rejection of its colonial past. He asserts that Argentine writers need to be free to define Argentine literature anew, writing about Argentina and the world from the point of view of those who have inherited the whole of world literature.[117] Williamson says "Borges's main argument is that the very fact of writing from the margins provides Argentine writers with a special opportunity to innovate without being bound to the canons of the centre, ... at once a part of and apart from the centre, which gives them much potential freedom".[115]

Borges focused on universal themes, but also composed a substantial body of literature on themes from Argentine folklore and history. His first book, the poetry collection Fervor de Buenos Aires (Passion for Buenos Aires), appeared in 1923. Borges's writings on things Argentine, include Argentine culture ("History of the Tango"; "Inscriptions on Horse Wagons"), folklore ("Juan Muraña", "Night of the Gifts"), literature ("The Argentine Writer and Tradition", "Almafuerte"; "Evaristo Carriego"), and national concerns ("Celebration of the Monster", "Hurry, Hurry", "The Mountebank", "Pedro Salvadores"). Ultranationalists, however, continued to question his Argentine identity.[118]

Borges's interest in Argentine themes reflects, in part, the inspiration of his family tree. Borges had an English paternal grandmother who, around 1870, married the criollo Francisco Borges, a man with a military command and a historic role in the Argentine C

Borges's interest in Argentine themes reflects, in part, the inspiration of his family tree. Borges had an English paternal grandmother who, around 1870, married the criollo Francisco Borges, a man with a military command and a historic role in the Argentine Civil Wars in what is now Argentina and Uruguay.[citation needed]

Spurred by pride in his family's heritage, Borges often used those civil wars as settings in fiction and quasi-fiction (for example, "The Life of Tadeo Isidoro Cruz," "The Dead Man," "Avelino Arredondo") as well as poetry ("General Quiroga Rides to His Death in a Carriage"). Borges's maternal great-grandfather, Manuel Isidoro Suárez, was another military hero, whom Borges immortalized in the poem "A Page to Commemorate Colonel Suárez, Victor at Junín".[citation needed]

His non-fiction explores many of the themes found in his fiction. Essays such as "The History of the Tango" or his writings on the epic poem "Martín Fierro" explore Argentine themes, such as the identity of the Argentine people and of various Argentine subcultures. The varying genealogies of characters, settings, and themes in his stories, such as "La muerte y la brújula", used Argentine models without pandering to his readers or framing Argentine culture as "exotic".[118]