Jorge Luis Borges Confronts Modernism


Jorge Luis Borges. 1921

“…overrun by arrivistes, by correct youths lacking any mental equipment, and decorative young ladies”

Writing to a friend, Jorge described the new arrivals in Buenos Aires, Argentina basically as stupid boys and pimped out girls.

Jorge Luis Borges is considered a founding figure of magical realism, along with other writers such as Isabel Allende and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Jorge Luis Borges

Jorge sought to connect the past and its myriad connections to a people through the use of writing.  He pioneered the techniques of magical realism to accomplish this task through the communication of an unconscious triggering of a symbolic code as in his short story collection The Alepha point in space that contains all other points. Anyone who gazes into it can see everything in the universe from every angle simultaneously, without distortion, overlapping, or confusion.

His work intertwines the thematic concepts of labyrinths, dreams, philosophy, libraries, mythology and mirrors.

Interestingly, Jorge was well versed in Shakespeare, having picked up the plays and sonnets at twelve, so perhaps he learned this symbolic attribute from the bard.

At the end of his life Jorge began to worry about an afterlife.  Jorge’s wife regarded him as Agnostic, as herself, but she said she would call someone more qualified to offer some guidance.  Jorge replied, ” You are asking me if I want a priest.”

Perhaps this statement was the final summation of thought in narrowing the path of his own labyrinth towards the point of return of his personal Aleph.


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