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Jorge Luis Borges

  Argentine poet, essayist, and short-story writer whose tales of fantasy and dreamworlds are classics of the 20th-century world literature. Borges was profoundly influenced by European culture, English literature, and such thinkers as Berkeley. Most of Borges's tales can only be understod in universal terms - the circular labyrinth as symbol of life is found in several of his works. International fame Borges gained when he shared the International Publishers' Formentor Prize along with Samuel Beckett. Although his name was mentioned in speculations about Nobel Prize, Borges never became a Nobel Laureate.

"When the end draws near, there no longer remain any remembered images; only words remain. It is not strange that time should have confused the words that once represented me with those that were symbols of the fate of he who accompanied me for so many centuries. I have been Homer; shortly, I shall be On One, like Ulysses; shortly, I shall be all men; I shall be dead." (from 'The Immortal')

 

  Collected Fictions Although Jorge Luis Borges published his first book in 1923--doling out his own money for a limited edition of Fervor de Buenos Aires--he remained in Argentinian obscurity for almost three decades. In 1951, however, Ficciones appeared in French, followed soon after by an English translation. This... Read more


  Selected Non-Fictions Jorge Luis Borges was our century's greatest miniaturist, perpetually cramming entire universes onto the head of a pin. Yet his splendid economy, along the wafer-thin proportions of such classic volumes as Ficciones and Labyrinths, has given readers the impression that Borges was miserly with his... Read more


  Labyrinths; Selected Stories and Other Writings If Jorge Luis Borges had been a computer scientist, he probably would have invented hypertext and the World Wide Web.

Instead, being a librarian and one of the world's most widely read people, he became the leading practitioner of a densely layered imaginistic writing style that has been imitated... Read more


  Ficciones (English Translation) Reading Jorge Luis Borges is an experience akin to having the top of one's head removed for repairs. First comes the unfamiliar breeze tickling your cerebral cortex; then disorientation, even mild discomfort; and finally, the sense that the world has been irrevocably altered--and in this case,... Read more


Everything & Nothing Some of the most witty, uncannily original short fiction in Western Literature. Read more


articles and reviews
from THE NEW YORK TIMES - October 6, 1999

So Close, Borges's Worlds of Reality and Invention

By Richard Bernstein


SELECTED NONFICTIONS


Jorge Luis Borges was the master of the short, erudite mysterious story. He loved paradox, the search for meaning in things, the labyrinth as a symbol of human perplexity; he probed the diabolical; he invented perfect murders. He was, in short, strange in his determined quest for arcane knowledge and his use of that knowledge in the creation of a literary universe... [more]


from THE NEW YORK TIMES - September 9, 1998

Savoring a Borges Blend of Imaginings

By Richard Bernstein
COLLECTED FICTIONS

The story ''Ibn-Hakam al-Bokhari, Murdered in His Labyrinth,'' roughly in the middle of this marvelous new collection of stories by Jorge Luis Borges, is as good a place as any to start an appreciation of one of the most remarkable writers of our century. A king flees the ghost of his vizier, whom he has killed, taking refuge in a labyrinth he builds on the moors of Cornwall. But the ghost, or what seems to be a ghost, catches up with him, and the king is murdered within his own hiding place.

It is not one of Borges's greatest stories, but many of the familiar elements of his work are here: arcane knowledge, characters that emerge from some combination of mythology and scholarship, images of labyrinths, a lightly satirical Homeric tone, blood and vengeance, the blending of murder and metaphysics, and an interplay of appearances and apparitions in which reality and illusion are almost indistinguishable...[more]

resources

    "Borges and I" - Borge's own words on Borges--an e-text version and an annotated hypertext version as well.

    The Garden of Forking Paths - An extensive and excellent site devoted to Borges and his writings. Includes a biography, a complete bibliography (including works in Spanish), photos and images, a list of books Borges never wrote, links to other Borges resources on the Internet, including scholarly papers.

    Coleccion Jorge Luis Borges - "The Jorge Luis Borges Collection is a very comprehensive archive of materials related to Borges' life and works." In Spanish.

    The Garden of Jorge Luis Borges - Includes several texts of Borges' stories and poems, critical appraisals, and a fairly detailed biography.

    Jorge Luis Borges - A short biography of the poet and author, from the "Empire:ZINE" website. Includes photos and Borges' poem "1964."

    The Jorge Luis Borges Center, University of Aarhus - ". . . an academic organization based at The University of Aarhus in Denmark, dedicated to the research of works by J. L. Borges, and the study of themes and the style of thinking found in his work . . . ." Nicely designed. Available in English, Spanish and French versions.

    The Library of Babel - An image inspired by Borge's story, accompanied by the text of the story itself with its original footnotes done with hypertext.

    Fantastic Philosophy - "A WWW Site devoted to Jorge Luis Borges, Italo Calvino, and Stanislaw Lem."

    Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986) - A brief biographical sketch of Borges, with a link to a bibliography of his works in Spanish.

    Borges, a Blind Writer with Insight - An informal profile of Borges. (Site requires free membership "registration" to access.)

    Who Needs Poets? - A brief essay by Borges, originally printed in the New York Times.

    Jorge Luis Borges, a Master of Fantasy and Fable, Is Dead - The New York Times' obituary for Borges. [Sight requires free "registration" before users can access hosted material.]

    The Jorge Luis Borges Center for Studies and Documentation - An academic organization based at The University of Aarhus in Denmark, dedicated to the research of works by J. L. Borges, and the study of themes and the style of thinking found in his work.

    Webmaster Borges - "The greatest influence on the Argentine writer was a phenomenon invented after his death." A short article on the author at Salon.com.

    The Jorge Luis Borges Center for Studies and Documentation - This site is dedicated to the research of works by J. L. Borges, and the study of themes and the style of thinking found in his work.


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