adsertoris: Jorge Francisco Isidoro Luis Borges Acevedo  (Orgullo Argentino)

(August 24, 1899 – June 14, 1986), known as Jorge Luis Borges (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈxorxe ˈlwis ˈβorxes]), was an Argentine writer, essayist, poet and translator born in Buenos Aires. In 1914 his family moved to Switzerland where he attended school and traveled to Spain. On his return to Argentina in 1921, Borges began publishing his poems and essays in surrealist literary journals. He also worked as a librarian and public lecturer. In 1955 he was appointed director of the National Public Library (Biblioteca Nacional) and professor of Literature at the University of Buenos Aires. In 1961 he came to international attention when he received the first International Publishers’ Prize, the Prix Formentor. In 1971 he won the Jerusalem Prize.  His work was translated and published widely in the United States and  in Europe. Borges himself was fluent in several languages. He died in  Geneva, Switzerland, in 1986.
His work embraces the “character of unreality in all literature”.[2] His most famous books, Ficciones (1944) and The Aleph (1949), are compilations of short stories interconnected by common  themes such as dreams, labyrinths, libraries, animals, fictional  writers, religion and God. His works have contributed to the genre of science fiction as well as the genre of magic realism, a genre that reacted against the realism/naturalism of the nineteenth century.  In fact, critic Angel Flores, the first to use the term, set the beginning of this movement with Borges’s Historia universal de la infamia (A Universal History of Infamy) (1935). Scholars also have suggested that Borges’s progressive blindness helped  him to create innovative literary symbols through imagination. His late poems dialogue with such cultural figures as Spinoza, Camões, and Virgil.
Borges’s father died in 1938. This was a tragedy for the writer as  the two were very close. On Christmas Eve that year, Borges suffered a  severe head injury; during treatment, he nearly died of septicemia.  While recovering from the accident, Borges began playing with a new  style of writing, for which he would become famous. His first story  written after his accident, “Pierre Menard, Author of The Quixote” came in May 1939, examining the father-son relationship and the nature of authorship. His first collection of short stories, El jardín de senderos que se bifurcan (The Garden of Forking Paths), appeared in 1941, composed mostly of works previously published in Sur.  The title story concerns a Chinese professor in England, Dr. Yu Tsun,  who spies for Germany during World War I, in an attempt to prove to the  authorities that an Asian person is able to obtain the information that  they seek. A combination of book and maze, it can be read in many ways.  Through it, Borges arguably invented the hypertext novel and went on to describe a theory of the universe based upon the structure of such a novel. Eight stories over sixty pages, the book was generally well received, but El jardín de senderos que se bifurcan failed to garner for him the literary prizes many in his circle expected.Victoria Ocampo dedicated a large portion of the July 1941 issue of Sur to a “Reparation for Borges.” Numerous leading writers and critics from  Argentina and throughout the Spanish-speaking world contributed  writings to the “reparation” project.
With his vision beginning to fade in his early thirties and unable to  support himself as a writer, Borges began a new career as a public  lecturer. He became an increasingly public figure, obtaining appointments as  President of the Argentine Society of Writers, and as Professor of  English and American Literature at the Argentine Association of English  Culture. His short story “Emma Zunz” was made into a film (under the  name of Días de odio, Days of Hate, directed in 1954 by the Argentine director Leopoldo Torre Nilsson). Around this time, Borges also began writing screenplays.
By the late 1950s, he had become completely blind, as had one of his best known predecessors, Paul Groussac, for whom Borges wrote an obituary. Neither the coincidence nor the irony of his blindness as a writer escaped Borges:
Nadie rebaje a lágrima o reprocheesta declaración de la maestríade Dios, que con magnífica ironíame dio a la vez los libros y la noche.No one should read self-pity or reproachInto this statement of the majestyOf God; who with such splendid irony,Granted me books and blindness at one touch.