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Literature, the Best of All Possible Worlds for Borges


The book Borges by Bioy Casares, refreshes the mage of one of the greatest writers in history.

Jorge Luis Borges is, without a doubt, one of the most important names in Argentine, Latin American or even Hispanic literature, if not in all of literature itself, and who does not need adjectives or additions to attract and captivate us, a perfect example of what Italian writer and editor Roberto Calasso called “absolute literature.”

Such a privileged position in the collective imagination of readers, this body of work that is not always explicit but rather of tacit references that guide us with chance and fortune through the labyrinth of books contributed in some way to Borges becoming an object of veneration more than one of effective reading.

Luckily, the diligent labor of Daniel Martino has revitalized the figure of the writer with the publication in 2006 of the detailed minutes that Adolfo Bioy Casares jotted down on the occasions when he met with his friend. The book on Borges by Bioy is, despite its monumental appearance, an unexpected flurry on the artifice of these inimitable narrative constructions such as “The Aleph” and “The Garden of Forking Paths,” among numerous others.

Bioy has bequeathed a detailed portrait of Borges’ everyday life to readers’ common patrimony, an account that does not exclude those incidents that are also present in men of letters: his romantic flings, his musical, movie and culinary tastes, a mundane toothache and his conflicts regarding whether to go to a dentist.

The motto «Eat at Borges’ house», as a kind of conjuring up or mantra, is repeatedly used to present conversations that this fraternal duo allowed themselves in the sovereignty of their intimacy, many of those inevitably leading to – and with mutual pleasure – esthetic and literary questions.

Paradoxically and curiously, this glimmer of confession in the author’s most remote sanctuary, far from projecting a less legendary image, contributes to making him greater from a subtly renewed point of view: the acknowledgement that Borges’ only destiny, the best of all possible worlds, could be literature.

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