Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Jorge Luis Borges

Jorge Francisco Isidoro Luis Borges Acevedo (August 24, 1899 – June 14, 1986), best known as Jorge Luis Borges, was an Argentine writer, essayist, and poet born in Buenos Aires. In 1914 his family moved to Switzerland where he attended school and traveled to Spain. On his return to Argentina in 1921, Borges began publishing his poems and essays in surrealist literary journals. He also worked as a librarian and public lecturer. In 1955 he was appointed director of the National Public Library (Biblioteca Nacional) and professor of Literature at the University of Buenos Aires. In 1961 he came to international attention when he received the first International Publishers' Prize, the Prix Formentor. His work was translated and published widely in the United States and in Europe. Borges himself was fluent in several languages. He died in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1986.


His work embraces the "chaos that rules the world and the character of unreality in all literature." His most famous books, Ficciones (1944) and The Aleph (1949), are compilations of short stories interconnected by common themes: dreams, labyrinths, libraries, fictional writers and works, religion, God. His works have contributed significantly to the genre ofmagical realism, a sub-genre of Hispanic American fiction that reacted against therealism/naturalism of the nineteenth century. Scholars have noted that Borges's progressive blindness helped him to create innovative literary symbols through imagination since "poets, like the blind, can see in the dark". The poems of his late period dialogue with such cultural figures as Spinoza, Luís de Camões, and Virgil.


His international fame was consolidated in the 1960s, aided by the "Latin American Boom" and the success of Gabriel García Márquez's Cien Años de Soledad. Writer and essayist J. M. Coetzee said of him: "He, more than anyone, renovated the language of fiction and thus opened the way to a remarkable generation of Spanish American novelists."


Wikipedia

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