University of Pittsburgh

Why Borges

The international reputation of Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986) often hides what his work can offer as an object of interdisciplinary research.

Borges left a prolific body of literature, paradoxically distinguished by its internationalism and the nostalgic love for some mythical or minimal places: Buenos Aires, the "South", Iceland, England, the Far East, some courts, some street-corners. Passionately interested in Nordic mythology and languages, he systematically undertook the study of the old Scandinavian tongue. European intellectuals discovered and proclaimed his originality, even before he was recognized at home.

A deep philosopher of poetry and poet of philosophy, Borges presents each of his writings as an ontological enigma. And reciprocally, a borgesian story or poem often assumes the patterns of a treatise.

Although Borges could justifiably be considered the most erudite writer of this century, his works frequently provide the reader with moments of intact emotion or simple entertainment. Fantastic ontologies, synchronic genealogies, utopian grammars, fictional geographies, multiple universal histories, logical bestiaries, ornithological syllogisms, narrative ethics, imaginary mathematics, theological thrillers, nostalgic geometries and invented remembrances, are part of the huge landscape Borges' works offer both to the academic scholar and the casual reader. And over all things, the philosophy, conceived as perplexity, the thought as conjecture, and the poetry as the deepest form of rationality.

Being a pure "literature man", but paradoxically preferred by semioticians, mathematicians, philologists, philosophers and mythologists, Borges offers -through the perfection of his language, the extent of his knowledge, the universalism of his ideas, the originality of his fictions, and the beauty of his poetry- a real summa that does honour to the Spanish language and the universal mind.

Services

This is the list of the principal services offered by the Borges Center.

You can read our main page in English, Spanish or French, and visit the site devoted to Variaciones Borges, the journal of the Center,  which you can order on-line, configuring your issues "à la carte".

In the page Borges Studies on line, you can read on line thousands of pages with articles and books sent by they own authors.

The item "Book reviews" allows you to have a previous taste of hundreds of specialized books devoted to Borgesian studies.

You can also consult two different bibliographies of Borges Works. The first one, by Annick Louis and Florian Ziche is a (almost) complete "general" bibliography. The second one, by Sergio Pastormerlo, lists and classify only the titles about literary criticism.

You can browse the catalogue of books and articles in the Documentation Archive, read chronicles and latest news, follow links to other borgesian sites...

We also offer a long page devoted to Books Reviews and invite you to visit the magnificent site about Borges maintained by our friend Allen Ruch, "The Great Quail" (in his "Libyrinth") and many other links.

Finally, specially prepared for you, a taste of borgesian art... Enjoy it!