Two New Books About Jorge Luis Borges : The New Yorker

Borges’s fictional universe is relentlessly, oppressively male. He wrote very few female characters, and there is a vision of masculinity—violent, fearless, austere—that exists in his work as a counterpoint to its obsessive bookishness, and neither ideal has much room for the presence of women, writers or otherwise. His abstraction meant, among other things, a removal from the heat and chaos of human relationships. There is very little love in his work, very little emotional intensity; its richness and complexity is that of philosophical problems, of theology and ontology, not of human relationships.

Two New Books About Jorge Luis Borges : The New Yorker

Borges and the Sharknado Problem

Borges:

Some books better left unwritten! Oh, but here again I will recommend Imaginary Magnitude, which I shortlisted last year:

A collection of introductions to fictional books covering, among other things, x-ray pornograms, computer-generated literature, and a biography of a sentient, moody super-computer. If you like the Borges above [Dreamtigers], or Borges in general, or strange science fiction, or strange conceptual writing in general, this is absolutely a book for you.

Borges and the Sharknado Problem

Some that will never be read

maudnewton:

Limits

There is a line of Verlaine I will never remember

There is another street I can no longer walk down

There is a face in the mirror I have seen for the very last time

There is a door that is closed until the end of the world.

Among the books of my library (I am seeing them now)

There are some that will never be read.

This summer I will be fifty: 

Death consumes me, constantly. 

 —Jorge Luis Borges, trans. Rebecca Walker; original

Image of Borges, Hôtel des Beaux Arts, Paris, by Pepe Fernández, 1969

Borges auto-reblog rule in effect.

God with magnificent irony / gives me at once both books and night.

Jorge Luis Borges, in Poem About Gifts. Disclaimer: translated, paraphrased. He almost certainly has blindness in mind when referring to night, but it reminded me of me complaining on Twitter:

Every night the same fruitless bedtime prayer: “Dear God, please let me stop getting sleepy so I can read more. Amen.”

There are cases were poetry creates itself. […] Let us take the title of one of the most famous books in the world, El ingenioso hidalgo don Quijote de la Mancha. […] “De la Mancha” – now this sounds noble and Castilian to us, but when Cervantes wrote it down he intended the word to sound perhaps as if he wrote “Don Quixote of Kansas City” […]. You see how those words have changed, how they have been ennobled.

Jorge Luis Borges in “The Riddle of Poetry” segment of his Norton Lectures. File under Borges.

Besides, I am destined to perish, definitively, and only some instant of myself can survive in him. Little by little, I am giving over everything to him.

From Borges’ short story Borges and I, which, even though it’s so short, I’ve tumbled before. My reading of his work has been scattered (I picked up a few different collections to fix that), but it almost always hurts my brain in a good way. For the volume of imagination and inventiveness and ideas in such efficient form, I remain convinced that the right Borges at the right time can be more worthwhile than entire literature classes.

Besides, I am destined to perish, definitively, and only some instant of myself can survive in him. Little by little, I am giving over everything to him.

From Borges’ short story Borges and I, which, even though it’s so short, I’ve tumbled before. My reading of his work has been scattered (I picked up a few different collections to fix that), but it almost always hurts my brain in a good way. For the volume of imagination and inventiveness and ideas in such efficient form, I remain convinced that the right Borges at the right time can more worthwhile than entire literature classes.

Nowadays, while literary men seem to have neglected their epic duties, the epic has been saved for us, strangely enough, by the Westerns.

Jorge Luis Borges in an otherwise somewhat disappointing Paris Review interview.