Jorge Luis Borges
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Jorge Luis Borges (August 24, 1899 – June 14, 1986) was an Argentine writer, one of the foremost literary figures of the 20th century. Best-known in the English speaking world for his short stories and fictive essays, Borges was also a poet, critic, translator and man of letters, the last man who had read everything, and especially what nobody else read anymore. He has never written a novel.
His legacy is best defined by the auctorial descriptive Borgesian, which denotes fictitiousness, fictive, false documents, metafiction, fabulation, faction, surrealness, postmodernism avant la lettre and fantastique.
He was influenced by genre literature more than his modernist contemporaries (with the exception of Paul Valéry). Further influences included authors such as Dante Alighieri, Miguel de Cervantes, Franz Kafka, H.G. Wells, G. K. Chesterton, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, the Irish fabulist Lord Dunsany, and Argentine "gaucho" poets.
- "His sources are innumerable and unexpected. Borges had read everything, and especially what nobody reads anymore[emphasis mine]: the Kabalists, the Alexandrine Greeks, medieval philosophers. His erudition is not profound -- he asks of it only flashes of lightning and ideas -- but it is vast." --André Maurois
No other author in the twentieth century has more successfully blended the the lines of demarcation that separates what seems real from what seems fantastic, blurring the lines between fact and fiction, a genre we now call faction.
- His favorite film director was Josef von Sternberg, whom he called a "cinematic novelist".
- The Book of Sand
- The Book of Fantasy
- The Analytical Language of John Wilkins
- Other Inquisitions