Download Borges and His Fiction: A Guide to His Mind and Art by Gene H. Bell-Villada PDF

By Gene H. Bell-Villada

Considering that its first ebook in 1981, "Borges and His Fiction" has brought the lifestyles and works of this Argentinian master-writer to a whole iteration of scholars, highschool and faculty academics, and basic readers. Responding to a gradual call for for an up-to-date version, Gene H. Bell-Villada has considerably revised and increased the publication to include new details that has turn into to be had for the reason that Borges' dying in 1986. specifically, he bargains a extra entire examine Borges and Peronism and Borges' own reports of affection and mysticism, in addition to revised interpretations of a few of Borges' tales. As ahead of, the booklet is split into 3 sections that study Borges' lifestyles, his tales in Ficciones and El Aleph, and his position in global literature. the writer of numerous works of feedback and fiction, Gene H. Bell-Villada is Professor and Chair of Romance Languages at Williams collage in Massachusetts.

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Example text

He penned his first story, ‘‘La visera fatal’’ (‘‘The Fatal Vizor’’), when he was seven years old; at age nine, he did a translation of Oscar Wilde’s fairy tale ‘‘The Happy Prince,’’ which, after being printed in the Uruguayan newspaper El Paı´s, was mistakenly read by a family friend as the handiwork of Borges’s father; and in his thirteenth year, he published his first original piece, a story entitled ‘‘El rey de la selva’’ (‘‘King of the Jungle’’), narrated from the point of view of a proud tiger who is being preyed upon by a distant and shadowy huntsman (the form of the action thus clearly anticipating ‘‘The House of Asterion’’ in El Aleph).

Among the best-known of these is the fact of his blindness, which became nearly total in his sixties. The ailment was a hereditary one from the English branch of the family; a great-grandfather of Borges suffered from so unusual an eye condition that, in the early nineteenth century, an article about his case appeared in the British medical journal Lancet. Father Borges, as we have seen, was similarly afflicted. Borges the son, always severely nearsighted, felt the worst to be imminent in the 1920s.

Among Borges’s cohorts was Guillermo de Torre, today known for his panoramic survey of the European avant-garde,6 but at that time a roving young Spanish journalist whose contacts in publishing also helped Borges’s poems see print in anthologies and books. In the process, the poet gained a relative, for de Torre eventually courted and married Borges’s sister Norah. The union did cause some dissension, not least because of anti-Spanish prejudices within the family ranks. The prime intellectual influence on Borges back home was a slight, graying man with a huge forehead, a perpetual bowler hat, and a Mark Twain moustache.

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