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By Jorge Luis Borges

Borges On Writing

In 1971, Jorge Luis Borges was once invited to preside over a chain of seminars on his writing at Columbia college. This publication is a checklist of these seminars, which took the shape of casual discussions among Borges, Norman Thomas di Giovanni--his editor and translator, Frank MacShane--then head of the writing software at Columbia, and the scholars. Borges's prose, poetry, and translations are dealt with individually and the ebook is split accordingly.

The prose seminar relies on a line-by-line dialogue of 1 of Borges's such a lot exact tales, "The finish of the Duel." Borges explains how he wrote the tale, his use of neighborhood wisdom, and his attribute approach to referring to violent occasions in an exact and ironic means. This shut research of his tools produces a few illuminating observations at the position of the author and the functionality of literature.

The poetry part starts with a few basic comments through Borges at the want for shape and constitution and strikes right into a revealing research of 4 of his poems. the ultimate part, on translation, is an exhilarating dialogue of the way the paintings and tradition of 1 nation will be "translated" into the language of another.

This ebook is a tribute to the bright craftsmanship of 1 of South America's--indeed, the world's--most extraordinary writers and offers worthy perception into his idea and his method.

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Borges: question: borges: It’s a beautiful story, though. I venture to disagree with you. It’s the worst thing I ever wrote. di giovanni: Everybody in Buenos Aires loves the story . . Because it’s sentimental, because it provides the reader with the illusion that once we were very brave and very daring and very romantic. borges: But it’s become something important in Latin American literature. I think it has a new approach. question: The point is that Borges never wrote anything like it again.

You may think of Don Quixote as being written with incidents, but what is really important are the two characters, Don Quixote and Sancho Panza. In the Sherlock Holmes saga, also, what is really important is the friendship between a very intelligent man and a rather dumb fellow like Dr. Watson. Therefore—if I may be allowed a sweeping statement —in writing a novel, you should know all about the characters, and any plot will do, while in a short story it is the situation that counts. That would be true for Henry James, for example, or for Chesterton.

The Colorados stood for what in Buenos Aires were called Unitarians; that is, they stood for civilization. The Blancos were not the gauchos—because the gauchos knew nothing whatever about politics—but, let’s say, the rural population. Blancos y Colorados. Some of you who speak Spanish may know these two common phrases: “Colorado como sangre de toro”—red as a bull’s blood; and “Blanco como hueso de bagual”—as white as the bones of a dead horse. They are still used in Uruguay. borges: The revolution found Silveira and Cardoso in the same crossroads saloon where they had played their game of cards.

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