Jorge Luis Borges  

From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

"In Book VIII of the Odyssey, we read that the gods weave misfortunes so that future generations will have something to sing about; Mallarmé’s statement, “The world exists to end up in a book”, seems to repeat, some thirty centuries later, the same concept of an aesthetic justification for evils."--On the Cult of Books" (1951) by Borges

"People believed in the reality of the Dragon. In the middle of the sixteenth century, the Dragon is recorded in Conrad Gesner’s Historia Animalium, a work of a scientific nature."--Book of Imaginary Beings (1957) by Jorge Luis Borges

"I remembered too that night which is at the middle of the Thousand and One Nights when Scheherazade (through a magical oversight of the copyist) begins to relate word for word the story of the Thousand and One Nights, establishing the risk of coming once again to the night when she must repeat it, and thus on to infinity…" --"The Garden of Forking Paths", Jorge Luis Borges

"By this art you may contemplate the variation of the twenty-three letters…"--The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621) by Robert Burton, epigraph to the The Library of Babel (1941) by Borges

Related e



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 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 connotes fictitiousness, fictive, false documents, metafiction, fabulation, faction, surrealness, postmodernism avant la lettre and fantastique.

A good cinematic introduction to the sensibilities displayed in the work of Borges is the 1968 British film Performance.



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: 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.

Jorge Luis Borges bibliography

Jorge Luis Borges bibliography

Original book-length publications:

  • Fervor de Buenos Aires, 1923, poetry.
  • Inquisiciones, 1925, essays. English title: Inquiries.
  • Luna de Enfrente, 1925, poetry.
  • El tamaño de mi esperanza, 1925, essays.
  • El idioma de los argentinos, 1928, essays.
  • Cuaderno San Martín, 1929, poetry.
  • Evaristo Carriego, 1930, a tightly linked collection of essays on the Argentine poet Evaristo Carriego. An expanded edition was published in 1955, with essays on other Argentine topics (ISBN 84-206-3345-3).
  • Discusión, 1932, essays and literary criticism. An expanded version was published in 1957.
  • Historia universal de la infamia, 1935, short non-fictional stories and literary forgeries (ISBN 84-206-3314-3). The edition of 1958 adds a prologue and several more literary forgeries. English title: A Universal History of Infamy, 1972, (ISBN 84-206-1309-6). Several web sources mis-attribute this as Historia universal de la infancia (which would be A Universal History of Childhood).
  • Historia de la eternidad, 1936, essays.
  • El jardín de senderos que se bifurcan, 1941, short stories. English title: Garden of Forking Paths, published as a section of Ficciones.
  • Seis problemas para don Isidro Parodi, 1942, comic detective fiction, written with Adolfo Bioy Casares, originally published under the name H. Bustos Domecq. English title: Six Problems for Don Isidro Parodi, 1981. (ISBN 0-525-48035-8)
  • Poemas : 1922-1943, 1943, poetry. This was a complete republication of his three previous volumes of poetry, plus some additional poems. Some of the republished poems were modified for this edition.
  • Ficciones, 1944, short stories, an expanded version of El jardín de senderos que se bifurcan, 1941. The 1956 edition adds 3 stories. US title Ficciones, 1962 (ISBN 0-394-17244-2). Also published in UK as "Fictions", in a translation by Andrew Hurley. (ISBN 0-14-118384-5)
  • Un modelo para la muerte, 1946, detective fiction, written with Adolfo Bioy Casares, originally published under the name B. Suarez Lynch. The original publication was a private printing of only 300 copies. The first commercial printing was in 1970.
  • Dos fantasías memorables, 1946, two fantasy stories, written with Adolfo Bioy Casares. Like Un modelo para la muerte, the original publication was a private printing of 300 copies, with no commercial printing until 1970.
  • El Aleph, 1949, essays and short stories. A slightly expanded edition was published in 1957. English title: The Aleph and Other Stories 1933-1969 (ISBN 0-525-05154-6). The English-language edition is an incomplete translation of the Spanish-language book, but contains an autobiographical essay originally written for The New Yorker. Borges's Spanish-language Autobiografía (2000) is simply a translation of this English-language essay into Spanish.
  • Aspectos de la poesía gauchesca, 1950, literary criticism.
  • Antiguas literaturas germánicas, 1951, literary criticism, written with Delia Ingenieros.
  • La muerte y la brújula, 1951, short stories selected from earlier published volumes.
  • Otras inquisiciones 1937-1952, 1952, essays and literary criticism. English title: Other Inquisitions 1937-1952, 1964 (ISBN 0-292-76002-7).
  • Historia de la eternidad, 1953, essays, short stories, and literary criticism.
  • El "Martín Fierro", 1953, essays on the epic Argentine poem Martín Fierro, written with Margarita Guerrero, ISBN 84-206-1933-7.
  • Poemas : 1923-1953, 1954, poetry. Essentially the same as Poemas : 1922-1943, but with the addition of a few newer poems.
  • Los orilleros; El paraíso de los creyentes, 1955, 2 screenplays, written with Adolfo Bioy Casares.
  • Leopoldo Lugones, 1955, literary criticism, written with Betina Edelborg.
  • La hermana de Eloísa, 1955, short stories. This slim book consists of two stories by Borges, two by Luisa Mercedes Levinson, and the title story, on which they collaborated.
  • Manual de zoología fantástica, 1957, short pieces about imaginary beings, written with Margarita Guerrero.
  • Libro del cielo y del infierno, 1960, essays and one poem, written with Adolfo Bioy Casares. Some of this material comes from Antiguas literaturas germánicas, 1951.
  • El Hacedor, 1960, poetry and short prose pieces, first published as the ninth volume in his Obras completas (Complete Works), a project which had begun in 1953. English title: Dreamtigers, 1964. (ISBN ISBN 0-292-71549-8)
  • Antología Personal, 1961, essays, poetry, literary criticism, some of it not previously published in book form. English title: A Personal Anthology, 1967 (ISBN 0-330-23345-9).
  • El lenguaje de Buenos Aires, 1963, long essays, written with José Edmundo Clemente. The 1968 edition adds several new essays by Clemente.
  • Introducción a la literatura inglesa, 1965, literary criticism, written with María Esther Vázquez.
  • Para las seis cuerdas, 1965, lyrics for tangos and milongas. An expanded edition came out in 1970, but all of the poems in either edition can also be found in El otro, el mismo, 1969. Ástor Piazzolla composed the music for these tangos and milongas, the result of which was a record praised by Borges.
  • Literaturas germánicas medievales, 1966, literary criticism, written with María Esther Vázquez. This is a reworking of Antiguas literaturas germánicas, 1951.
  • Crónicas de Bustos Domecq, literary forgery/essays, 1967, written with Adolfo Bioy Casares. An odd book: deliberately pompous critical essays by an imaginary author. English title: Chronicles of Bustos Domecq, 1976. (ISBN 0-525-47548-6)
  • Introducción a la literatura norteamericana, 1967, literary criticism, written with Esther Zemborain de Torres. English title: An Introduction to American Literature, 1971, (ISBN 0-8052-0403-2).
  • El libro de los seres imaginarios, 1967, expansion of Manual de zoología fantástica, 1957, written with Margarita Guerrero. English title: The Book of Imaginary Beings, 1969 (ISBN 0-14-018023-0); the English-language volume is actually a further expansion of the work.
  • Conversations with Jorge Luis Borges, 1968, with Richard Burgin, originally published in English. ISBN 1-57806-076-1.
  • Nueva Antología Personal, 1968, essays, poetry, literary criticism, some of it not previously published in book form. This includes quite a few previously unpublished poems, and has very little intersection with Antología Personal, 1961.
  • Museo, 1969?, poetry (ISBN 950-04-2413-4).
  • Elogio de la Sombra, 1969, poetry. English title In Praise of Darkness, 1974. (ISBN 0-525-03635-0)
  • El otro, el mismo, 1969, poetry, including a complete reprint of Para las seis cuerdas, 1965.
  • El informe de Brodie, short stories, 1970. English title: Dr. Brodie's Report, 1971.
  • El congreso, 1971, essays.
  • Nuevos Cuentos de Bustos Domecq, 1972. Borges, a Reader, 1977, written with Adolfo Bioy Casares.
  • El oro de los tigres, 1972, poetry. English title: The Gold of the Tigers, Selected Later Poems, 1977. The English-language volume also includes poems from La Rosa Profunda.
  • El libro de arena, 1975, short stories, English title: The Book of Sand, 1977.
  • La Rosa Profunda, 1975, poetry.
  • La moneda de hierro, 1976, poetry.
  • Diálogos, 1976, conversations between Borges and Ernesto Sabato, transcribed by Orlando Barone.
  • ¿Que es el budismo?, 1976, lectures, written with Alicia Jurado, (ISBN 84-206-3874-9).
  • Historia de la noche, 1977, poetry.
  • Prólogos con un prólogo de prólogos, 1977, a collection of numerous book prologues Borges had written over the years.
  • Borges El Memorioso, 1977, conversations with Antonio Carrizo (ISBN 968-16-1351-1). The title is a play on Borges's story "Funes El Memorioso", known in English as "Funes, the Memorious".
  • Rosa y Azul: La rosa de Paracelso; Tigres azules, 1977, (short stories).
  • Borges, oral, 1979, lectures.
  • Siete noches, 1980, lectures. English title, Seven Nights.
  • La cifra, 1981, poetry.
  • Nueve ensayos dantescos, 1982, essays on Dante.
  • Un argumento, 1983, (genre?).
  • Veinticinco de Agosto de 1983 y otros cuentos, 1983, short stories (also entitled La memoria de Shakespeare, English: Shakespeare's Memory)
  • Altas, 1984, stories and essays, written with María Kodama.
  • Los conjurados, 1985, poetry.
  • Textos cautivos, 1986, literary criticism, book reviews, short biographies of authors, translations. This book collects the columns Borges wrote in the popular Buenos Aires magazine El Hogar 1936-1939.
  • This Craft of Verse, 2000, lectures, edited by Călin-Andrei Mihăilescu, a collection of six originally English-language lectures by Borges dating from 1967-1968, transcribed from recently discovered tapes. (ISBN 0-674-00820-0).

There are also 1953, 1974, 1984, and 1989 Obras completas (complete works) with varying degrees of completeness and a 1981 Obras completas en coloboración (complete collaborative works).

Several bibliographies also choose to include a collection of previously published essays, published in 1971 under the name Narraciones.

Some web-based lists misattribute El Caudillo, (1921 novel), to Borges. It was actually written by his father, also a Jorge Borges.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Jorge Luis Borges" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools