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Articles tagged "Jorge Luis Borges"

Requiem

That day—I remember it clearly, I had decided while I was waiting for the bus into town: I would steal a book. When it finally came, I sat next to a woman who was coming from the hot springs; so I turned on my Walkman and listened to Charly García for the fifteen minutes it took us to get to the business district, along the Avenida Bolívar. At the bookstore I greeted the owner; as usual, he asked after my dad. “Good, Fernández, we're all...

Contraband Forms: An Interview with Ernesto Pérez Zúñiga

Jonathan Blitzer:  You have written three books of poems, two short-story collections, and three novels.  But for the first part of your career—and while you lived in Granada, where you grew up—you dedicated yourself almost exclusively to poetry.  When, and why, did you turn to prose?  And does it have anything to do with your relocating to Madrid? Ernesto Pérez Zúñiga:  During the months I was living in Línea de la...

from “Gombrowicz in Argentina”

Rita Gombrowicz’s Gombrowicz in Argentina (Gombrowicz en Argentine, 1984) and Gombrowicz in Europe (Gombrowicz en Europe, 1988) pull together her years of research into Witold Gombrowicz's life and work, along with her recently launched Web site on the author, www.gombrowicz.net. The books are structured as a unique biographical pastiche, comprised of interviews, commentary, photographs, and other ephemera tracing the writer's path from Poland to Argentina, where he...

Borges’s Secretary

I don’t know when she discovered that I could no longer see.  Not even I had completely discerned this; I would look at books and judged that I could still see the pages, read them, understand them.  She, knowing the truth, was already devising her plan.  The process of distancing myself from books lasted many years.  And yet I felt closer and closer to them.  I read less each day, but since I worked in a library, I could feel them, smell them, leaf through...

Bitte, Ich Spreche Nur Amerikanisch

                                                             For Yakov, Enrica, and Tanya I’d like to bracket these observations between two half-remembered New Yorker cartoons. The...

from “Why Translation Matters”

Why translation matters: the subject is so huge, so complex, and so dear to my heart that I have decided to begin my approach to it by answering the implicit question with another question, using the technique of query-as-response—a traditional, perhaps time-honored method of indicating the almost impenetrable difficulty of a subject, and certainly, as every pedagogue knows, a good way to delay and even confound the questioner until you can think of an acceptable answer that has at...

Borges, Bolaño and the Return of the Epic

During their lifetimes, Jorge Luis Borges and Roberto Bolaño struggled against vanity and all things pretentious, aspirational, ordinary, and obliging. They are peculiar cases in literature, ones that the literary machine itself seems to reject. They were not bestsellers. During a substantial part of their lives, they existed either under the shadow of public rejection, or in the clandestinity of aesthetic infringement. The relationship they sustained with "their time" and the...

With Borges

Nachtigall, Liebe, Herz, you can read Heine without the help of a dictionary," he said. And he enjoyed the possibilities German allowed of making up words, as Goethe's Nebelglanz, "the glimmer of the fog." He would let the words resound in the room: "Füllest wieder Busch und Thal still mit Nebelglanz *Š." He praised the transparency of the language, and he reproached Heidegger for having invented what he called "an incomprehensible dialect of German." He loved...

Ameising

For years my grandfather treated his cataracts with Cineraria maritime, a therapy recommended by his friend Chiunti, el Licenciado. I don't know what cineraria is-most likely a plant. I admire, however, the prosodic beauty of its name. Cineraria maritime. The fact that I still remember it after all this time compels me to suppose that my savoring words dates back to those remote years of my childhood. The cineraria ophthalmic drops came in a little amber vial with a rubber...

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