Sunday, July 10, 2011

`Why Had Texas So Embraced Borges?'

In the July issue of Guernica, Eric Benson documents the long convergence of Texas and Jorge Luis Borges:

“There was at least one place, I would discover, where that `instant’ of Borges persisted, a land where Borges lived on as both Borges and `I,’ legend and life. That place is Texas. Starting in 1961, Borges made five visits to the state—first, to teach for a semester in Austin as a visiting professor; then to lecture on Cervantes and Whitman as a literary celebrity. When Borges died on June 14, 1986, the University of Texas’s main campus lowered its flags to half-mast, a rare tribute for a writer and a perplexing honor for one without deep Texas roots. Why had Texas so embraced Borges? And why had Borges continued to return there throughout the final twenty-five years of his life?”

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