Borges on Writing by Jorge Luis Borges

By Jorge Luis Borges

Borges On Writing

In 1971, Jorge Luis Borges used to be invited to preside over a sequence of seminars on his writing at Columbia collage. This booklet is a list 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 publication is split accordingly.

The prose seminar is predicated on a line-by-line dialogue of 1 of Borges's so much targeted 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 function of the author and the functionality of literature.

The poetry part starts off with a few normal feedback via Borges at the desire 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 artwork and tradition of 1 kingdom could be "translated" into the language of another.

This e-book is a tribute to the intense craftsmanship of 1 of South America's--indeed, the world's--most exceptional writers and gives necessary perception into his thought and his method.

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They are just gauchos. question: Then the situation is what counts? Yes, in this case. And generally speaking, what I think is most important in a short story is the plot or situation, while in a novel what’s important are the characters. 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.

Di giovanni:  That kind of thing is always happening, so here I wasn’t inventing unlikely circumstances. For all I know, I was telling the truth. I had to account for the hatred between the two men—after all, that is the story—the fact of two gauchos hating each other in the solemn way they do. Gauchos are not talkative. borges: Months afterward, a long two-handed game of truco of thirty points was to take place in the local saloon. di giovanni: I don’t suppose I could teach any of you truco, having no Spanish playing cards.

That is what makes it a story. Anyone here might have attempted a story with the facts you were given . . di giovanni: borges: And made it far better than I did. di giovanni: No doubt, no doubt. And you’re all invited to do so, since the thing actually happened and it doesn’t belong to me. borges: But can you say something about how you sift the material and take only what you want? For instance, can you remember any facts that you didn’t use from the anecdote you were told? di giovanni: because I was told it in a very bare way, and then Reyles wrote it down in a way full of purple patches and fine writing—the kind of thing I do my best to avoid.

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