Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Remembering Jorge Luis Borges

“Writing long books is a laborious and impoverishing act of foolishness: expanding in five hundred pages an idea that could be perfectly explained in a few minutes. A better procedure is to pretend that those books already exist and to offer a summary, a commentary.”– Jorge Luis Borges

"My father was very intelligent, and like all intelligent men, very kind."-- Borges

Alice C. Linsley

Jorge Luis Borges was one of the most unique literary figures of the twentieth century. He blended realism with metaphysics and loved stories that evoked wonder. He penned stories about the gauchos of Argentina, tales with an Eastern flavor, and he lectured on everything from Chinese mysticism to Germanic and Icelandic epics.

It is a great injustice that he died without having received a Nobel Prize for literature. After winning the coveted award in 2010, Peruvian novelist Mario Vargas Llosa said: “It makes me a little ashamed to receive the Nobel Prize, given that Borges didn’t receive it.”

Jorge Luis Borges

Around the time that Borges was named Director of the National Library in Buenos Aires he lost his eyesight completely. In "Poem of the Gifts" he celebrates the splendid irony of being given a vast library and blindness.

His poems commemorate the unique culture and traditions of Buenos Aires, where he was born and where he died in 1986.

In the prologue to his 1975 collection of poems, The Unending Rose, Jorge Luis Borges wrote that "verse should have two obligations: to communicate a precise instance and to touch us physically, as the presence of the sea does." The Borges poems that clearly meet these two obligations are "Plainness" and "Limits."

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