Borges: Night and Books
Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986) is, undoubtedly, one of the major figures of 20 Century world literature. His stunning work includes poetry, fiction, and non-fiction, and is imbued with philosophical thoughts and haunting ideas. Although he is usually perceived as an "intellectual" writer (who constantly proposes mathematical games and challenges to the mind), he really confronts the reader with crucial literary questions and defies all stereotypical understanding of what Latin American Literature is or should be. Issues concerning language, reality and representation, dreams, memory and abstraction, science, and art, to name just a few, appear in his work through the shape of unforgettable metaphors. The world as a huge and undecipherable library; a infinitesimal point in space ("aleph") that contains in itself all times and all spaces; a book of sand that incessantly changes each time you read it—these are some of those images and will be forever identified with his name and work.
We will explore such themes and obsessions in this course while trying to capture the traits of his unique "Borgesian" style. Finally, there will be the incredible opportunity for students to study this great author in the same place and culture where he lived and worked. Students will visit his house and museum, will familiarize themselves with the art produced during his lifetime, and will have the unique opportunity of meeting with contemporary Argentine writers who will discuss with them the tremendous influence Borges has had on Argentine literary tradition. The course will meet four times per week during the month of July (Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.) and will be taught in English.