Jorge Luis Borges

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Borges, Jorge Luis

(hôr`hā lo͞oēs` bôr`hās), 1899–1986, Argentine poet, critic, and short-story writer, b. Buenos Aires. Borges has been widely hailed as the foremost contemporary Spanish-American writer. He was educated in Switzerland and afterward lived in Spain, where he became an exponent of ultraísmo, a poetic movement that followed the decline of modernismomodernismo
, movement in Spanish literature that had its beginning in Latin America. It was paramount in the last decade of the 19th cent. and the first decade of the 20th cent.

Modernismo derived from French symbolism and the Parnassian school.
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 after World War I. Ultraísmo advocated the use of bold images and daring metaphors in an attempt to create pure poetry, divorced not only from the past but from reality. Borges, who brought the movement to Argentina, never adhered strictly to its tenets. He helped to found three avant-garde journals and was director of the National Library and professor of English at the Univ. of Buenos Aires.

His poems, collected in Fervor de Buenos Aires (1923), Luna de enfrente (1925), Cuaderno San Martín (1954), Dreamtigers (tr. 1964), A Personal Anthology (tr. 1967), Selected Poems: 1923–1967 (1972), and In Praise of Darkness (tr. 1974), are often inspired by events of daily life or episodes of Argentine history. Characterized by lyricism, imagination, and boldness, they are, he said, "spiritual adventures." His essays, collected in Inquisiciones (1925), Otras inquisiciones (1960, tr. 1964), and the translations in Selected Nonfictions (1999) generally deal with philosophy and literary criticism. His tales, ranging from metaphysical allegories and fantasies (e.g., The Book of Imaginary Beings, 1967; tr. 1969) to sophisticated detective yarns, reveal a wide variety of influences (Kafka, Chesterton, Virginia Woolf) but are nevertheless strikingly original. Major collections of his short stories include Historia universal de la infamia (1935, tr. 1972), Ficciones (1944, tr. 1962), El Aleph (1949, tr. 1970), Extraordinary Tales (1955, tr. 1971), and Dr. Brodie's Report (tr. 1972). Labyrinths (1962) is a collection of translated works, and Collected Fictions (1998) contains his complete stories in translation.


See biographies by J. Woodall (1997) and E. Williamson (2004); R. Burgin, Conversations with Jorge Luis Borges (1969); studies by A. M. Barrenechea (tr. 1965), R. J. Christ (1969), C. Wheelock (1969), J. Alazraki (1971), and G. H. Bell-Villada (1981).

Borges, Jorge Luis


Born Aug. 24, 1899, in Buenos Aires, Argentine writer.

Borges began his literary career in Spain as one of the founders of the modernist school of ultraism, the principles of which he then developed in Argentine poetry (the collections The Fervor of Buenos Aires, 1923; The Facing Moon, 1926). He won wide recognition for his fantastic short stories, which, in keeping with their complicated figurative structure, are filled with the idea of the absurdity of the world. He also writes literary analyses and essays.


Obras completas, [vols. 1–3. Buenos Aires, 1964–65].


Gutiérrez Girardot, R. Jorge Luis Borges: Ensayo de interpretación. Madrid, 1959.
Alazraki, J. La prosa narrativa de J. L. Borges. Madrid [1968]. (Contains a bibliography, pp. 229–40.)


References in periodicals archive ?
Esto plantea una gran dificultad: Liberty, Individuality, and Democracy in Jorge Luis Borges no se puede resumir.
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Jorge Luis Borges es una de las figuras literarias mas importantes e innovadoras del siglo XX.
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De Jorge Luis Borges: "Yo, que tantos hombres he sido, no he sido nunca aquel en cuyos brazos desfallecia Matilde Urbach".
The purpose of this article is to reflect on the possible pursuit of a Jewish identity by Jorge Luis Borges, whose name over the years became of vital importance to world literature in general and to Argentina in particular, as if he were an Aleph where everything begins and everything comes together.
The opening piece, Stephen Gregory's "Anglophilia and Argentinity: The Eccentric Politics of Jorge Luis Borges," offers a complex and wide-ranging exploration of Borges's Englishness in order to explain the writer's controversial political views.
En estas paginas hemos citado de manera constante --aunque parece nunca ser suficiente--las ficciones, reflexiones y opiniones del gran Jorge Luis Borges; sin embargo, una faceta poco explorada de este es la de traductor de autores de la taita de Melville, Faulkner o Kafka.
What does Leonardo Di Caprio have in common with the Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges? You are probably right: nothing, zero, nil, zilch, nada.
Like any good volume of critical essays, Jorge Luis Borges: politicas de la literatura boasts a diversity of voices, styles, and approaches to the subject at hand and this wealth of critical approaches and sensibilities is one of the work's chief strengths.