Monday, April 20, 2009

A Historical Note on Jorge Luis Borges

“Everyman will have his 15 minutes of fame. But to Jorge, an eternity.”
-Andy Warhol

World-renowned novelist and poet Jorge Luis Borges came from humble beginnings. Born in 1920 on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, Borges honed his bilingual literary talent at the San Ramon School for Boys in Buenos Aires (an Eton equivalent). Borges graduated at the top of his class and enrolled at Columbia University to study Medieval Literature. He never found the subject thrilling and dropped out his sophomore year. Making his way as a translator at the Department of Health Services, Borges became a bit of a flaneur in the city, walking the city each day from his Alphabet City flat hoping to catch literary fire. During this time he published a series of poems for the Paris Review. He failed to win acclaim and shortly moved back to Argentina. Borges all but gave up writing and started working at his father’s jewelry store. In 1962 Borges caught wind of artist Andy Warhol and his avant-garde pop-influence art. Once again inspired, Borges began to write prolifically in his native Spanish. He soon was published in multiple literary journals and was being translated in English thanks to Warhol cohorts David Salle and Julian Schnabel. Borges made his way back to New York and became dedicated to Warhol’s movement and during this time wrote the “Garden of Forking Paths.” This literary odyssey married the avant-garde movement with Borges detail for constructing historical fiction. This formula became a staple for his next two novels, “Ficciones” and “Labyrinths.” The latter, an epic novel recapturing the beginnings of a fictional war-torn Canada garnered him the Nobel Prize for Literature


  1. Never found it thrilling? I'll show him thrilling.

  2. Borges is the pride of we Argentines.

  3. Borges is one of the best writers of all time in my opinion. Check out everything he ever did and you will know what I mean.