Jorge Luis Borges

He is the father – or possibly grandfather – of magical realism. Tweed-clad and avant-garde, Jorge Luis Borges is one of the more internationally renowned, Argentinian writers and essayist. He was born in 1899 in a home with literary and international flair; he spent World War I in Switzerland and the following years in Spain, before returning to Argentina in 1921.

Jorge Luis Borges wasn’t a literary prodigy, writing literary masterpieces before completing school, but spent years writing for journals. His major books consisting of short stories and essays were published in the 1940s.

In 1955, Jorge Luis Borges become the director of the National Public Library and professor of English Literature at the University of Bueno Aires, so his hard work paid off eventually. Jorge Luis Borges become completely blind at the age of 55 and for some reason never learned Braille. He was unable to read, but kept writing with his mother as his personal secretary. Some critics have suggested that his blindness contributed to create innovative literary symbols through imagination.

I have a view of Jorge Luis Borges as a difficult writer and something of a philosopher. To be completely open, I have shied away from him thus far. However, he has lived through the very interesting 20th century and been present in the very pages of history books: Europe during World War I, Spain in the aftermath of the war, and Argentina through the 50s, 60s, and 70s, where political and ideological change and revolution were headlines. On a personal level, Jorge Luis Borges was born the same year as my great-grandmother, and through the images of her time, I get glances of Jorge Luis Borges’.

One Comment

  1. The Brain in the Jar

    Magical Realism seems to be popular in Middle America to South American literature. Junot Diaz and Gabrielle Marquez are other famous guys. Both wrote some of the worse books I ever read. This guy sounds just as dense, but ambition often means big failures and big successes.

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