Borges, Jorge Luis

Borges, Jorge Luis

biographical name


Jorge Luis Borges.—Courtesy of Wellesley College, Wellesley, Massachusetts

(born Aug. 24, 1899, Buenos Aires, Arg.—died June 14, 1986, Geneva, Switz.) Argentine poet, essayist, and short-story writer. Educated in Switzerland, Borges recognized early that he would have a literary career. From the 1920s on he was afflicted by a growing hereditary blindness. In 1938 a severe head wound seemed to free his deepest creative forces. His blindness was total by the mid 1950s and forced him to abandon the writing of long texts and begin dictating his works. From 1955 he held the honorary post of director of Argentina's national library. Much of his work is rich in fantasy and metaphorical allegory, including the story collections Ficciones (1944), which won him an international following, and The Aleph (1949). Dreamtigers (1960) and The Book of Imaginary Beings (1967) almost erase the distinctions between prose and poetry. Though he later repudiated it, he is credited with establishing in South America the modernist Ultraist movement, a rebellion against the decadence of the established writers of the Generation of '98.

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