Thursday, March 17, 2011

Jorge Luis Borges

The poetry of Jorge Luis Borges has always held a deep fascination for me. A favourite concept of mine, the oneiric (or the dream like) aptly sums up Borges poetic output. Borges wrote many works of varied style and form, from prose to essays to reviews, but his poetry best depicts this mode of expression. Borges, who went blind later in his life, used this period of visionary darkness to focus on his poetry to great effect.

A very important turning point of Borges' early life came when he was given access to his grandfathers very large library. He mentions this as a crucial stage in his fledging literary development. My own father, when I was quite young, said to me I could buy any book I liked, and he would pay for it. These events can be crucial.

Borges executed a number of literary hoaxes and forgeries in his time. He wrote original works and claimed they were works he had chanced upon, and passed them off in this fashion. He also wrote reviews for non-existent works.

Borges was never awarded to the Nobel Prize for Literature, which always grated upon him. There is some speculation that it was his conservative political views which held him back. But the power of his literary output should not be denied. He is considered one of the great writers of the modern epoch.

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