Jorge Luis BorgesBorn: August 24, 1899 in Buenos Aires, Argentina Died: June 14, 1986 Lived in: Sicilly Occupation: Writer and Philosopher
The Life of...He was taught both English andSpanish, and lived in Palermo; asuburb like area. A blind manIn 1914 he traveled to Europe with I do not know what face is looking backhis family and, settling in whenever I look at the face in the mirror; I do not know what old face seeks its imageSwitzerland, learned both French in silent and already weary anger.and German. Slow in my blindness, with my hand I feel the contours of my face. A ﬂash of light gets through to me. I have made out your hair,His father, who had taught him color of ash and at the same time, gold.philosophy, died in 1938, and Borges I say again that I have lost no more than the inconsequential skin of things.almost died later that same year. These wise words come from Milton, and are noble, but then I think of letters and of roses. I think, too, that if I could see my features, I would know who I am, this precious afternoon.
The Life of...(Cont.)He published his ﬁrst poem in 1919.He said that each of his family memberssomehow inﬂuenced his writings in some way.He was an introverted child growing up andspent his time mostly on his own or with hisfamily members.Borges was picked on in school because he wasvery different and that included being at ahigher intellectual level than the otherstudents.
People in His Life Some important people he knew throughout his life were: Macedonio Fernandez, Aldolfo Bioy Casares, Samuel Beckett, and Gerado Diego. He was married twice. First to Elsa Asete de Millán in 1967(divorced in 1970), Then to Maria Kodama two months before his death.
His Occupations“I cannot sleep unless I am surrounded by books.” In1937, he was appointed the post of assistant librarian at a small library in Buenos Aires. In1946, having opposed Juan Perón in his speeches and non-literary writings, he was removed from his post as librarian and offered a job as a chicken inspector. In 1955, with Juan Perón overthrown; he was made director of the National Library in Buenos Aires. In 1956, he accepted the Chair of English and North American Literature at the University of Buenos Aires. In 1963, he toured Europe and England, lecturing on literary topics. In 1973, when Juan Perón returns to presidency; he retires from his position as director of the National
Some of His Writings Fictions (Ficciones) (1944), collection of short stories.The Fervor of Buenos Aires (Fervor deBuenos Aires) (1923), Borgess ﬁrst bookof poetry. The Aleph (El Aleph) (1949), Borges second collection of short stories continuing his exploration of themes of the universal, theInquisitions (Inquisiciones) (1925), his ﬁrst mystical, immortality, memory, enlightenment, andbook of essays. the idea of inﬁnity.Universal History of Infamy (Historia Other Inquisitions (Otras inquisiciones) (1952), collectionuniversal de la infamia) (1935), his of Borges essays dealing with a variety of topics.ﬁrst attempt at prose ﬁction. Dreamtigers (El Hacedor) (1960), collection of shortThe Garden of Forking Paths (El jardín de prose and poetry considered by Borges himself tosenderos que se bifurcan) (1941), be his best and most personal work.collection of eight short storiesdealing with the nature of reality,time, philosophy, metaphysics, Labyrinths (1962), his ﬁrst book in English, includinglanguage, and literature. stories and other writings.
His Awards “The mind was dreaming. The world was its dream.”1961, shares the International Publishers Formentor Prize ($10,000) with Samuel Beckett.1963, tours Europe and England, lecturing on literary topics; travels to Colombia andreceives an honorary degree from the University of Los Andes.1971, becomes an honorary member of both the American Academy and the NationalInstitute of Arts and Letters; awarded honorary degrees by Columbia University andOxford University.1980, shares Spains Cervantes Literary Prize with the Spanish poet Gerardo Diego.1983, awarded the French Legion of Honor.
The Most Amazing PartJorge Luis Borges spent his life slowly going blind due to a hereditary condition.He was completely blind by his late ﬁfties.