Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Writer #11: Jorge Luis Borges

Borges offers, due to the perfection of his language, the erudition of his knowledge, the universalism of his ideas, the originality of his fictions and the beauty of his poetry, a real summa that honours the Spanish language and the human spirit.

Jorge Luis Borges was born in Buenos Aires on 24 August 1899. Influenced by his English grandmother, he was made literate in both English and Spanish. In 1914 he traveled with his family to Europe and started to live in Switzerland, where he attended high school. In 1919 he moved to Spain and there he got in contact with the ultraist movement. In 1921 he returned to Buenos Aires and founded a magazine called Proa with other important writers. In 1923 he published his first poetry book, Fervor de Buenos Aires. Since then, he started to go blind and by 1955 he had almost completely lost his sight. Later, he would refer to his illness as "a slow crepuscule that has lasted more than half a century".

From his first book to the publication of his Complete Works (1974) fifty years of literary creation went by. During this period Borges got through his blindness writing or dictating poems, tales and essays, now admired all over the world. He received important distinctions of several universities and foreign governments as well as countless awards, among them the Cervantes in 1980. His work has been translated to over twenty-five languages and taken to the cinema and to television. Forewords, anthologies, translations, courses and speeches witness the extreme dedication of this great writer, who changed the prose in Spanish, as all his contemporaries have been recognizing. Borges died in Switzerland on 14 July 1986.

I found 141.000 links for Borges´biography. Here are some interesting sites to know more about him: this one has a study of his work and this one looks at the influences in his personal life


becky said...

i studied him in college!!!

Paula said...

Interesting stuff but sometimes a bit difficult to read, isn´t it?

becky said...

oh yes! and we were reading it in spanish (yes, we had all had 5+ years) but it is tougher reading it in your non-native language...


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