by Jorge Luis Borges
Jorge Luis Borges, one of the indisputably great writers of the twentieth century, was born in Buenos Aires in 1899. Never having been awarded the Nobel Prize, which his readers worldwide believed he deserved, this story writer, poet, essayist, and man of letters died at age eighty-six.
This anthology of interviews with him features more than a dozen conversations that cover all phases of his life and work.
Conducted between 1964 and 1984, the interviews reveal Borges to be a remarkably candid, humorous man, by turns skeptical and enthusiastic, and always a singularly incisive and adventurous thinker.
He discusses his blindness, his family and childhood, early travels, literary friends, and struggles to find his literary identity. In depth he examines the meanings and intentions of his own famous stories and poems, and he speaks of the writers whose works he has loved-Dante, Cervantes, Emerson, Dickinson, H. G. Wells, Kafka, Stevenson, Kipling, Whitman, Frost, and Faulkner-and of those whom he disliked, such as Hemingway and Lorca. Borges expresses his contempt for P ron and assesses the tumultuous politics of Argentina. He speaks also of the imagination as a type of dreaming, about issues of collaboration and translation, about philosophy, and about time.
Many of the interviews were conducted by notable figures, including Alastair Reid, Willis Barnstone, and Ronald Christ.
As Borges speaks in these conversations, readers who have fallen under the spell of his magical prose and poetry will find additional sustenance.
Richard Burgin's books include the story collections "Feat of Blue Skies," "Private Fame," and "Man without Memory." In his first book on Borges, "Conversations with Jorge Luis Borges" (now out of print), he was the sole interviewer. Burgin is the editor of "Boulevard" magazine and an associate professor of communication and English at Saint Louis University.
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