Friday, August 24, 2007

The universal writer

"I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library." That is one of the most famous quotes from the prolific and magnificent Argentinian writer José Luis Borges. His birthday is celebrated today around the word with workshops and discussions of his work in universities, libraries and even cafés. This is because Borges work interests everyone who reads it in one way or another. He wrote short stories, poetry, biographies, book reviews, essays, poetry, screenplays, prologues and he was also a translator of English, German and French literature into Spanish. The variety of topics he included in his work is vast: mathematics, theology, mythology, folklore, history and philosophy are some of them. Borges work is not only discussed from the literary point of view; mathematicians, physicist and philosophers often study his works as well.

Several anecdotes also reveal important characteristics of his personality. When Borges was 80 years old he visited Mexico. His schedule was very busy but he managed to have an afternoon free so he asked his editor to take him to pyramids of the Yucatán. His editor told him that it was too far away to go for the afternoon but Borges was not dissuaded. After a long and extenuating trip by plane, jeep and taxi, they finally got to Uxmal. Borges sat down in front of one of the pyramids, stayed there in silence, and after a half an hour stood up and said: "thank you for this afternoon and this unforgettable landscape." Something important to know is that by this time, he was completely blind.

Some of the titles by Borges you can check out from the Austin Public Library are:

A website with useful information about this writer and how to read his work is:


No comments: