A fantastic writer

August 24, 2011

fan·tas·tic [fan-tas-tik]
1. conceived or appearing as if conceived by an unrestrained imagination
2. extravagantly fanciful; marvelous
3. incredibly great or extreme

Unless you’ve studied Spanish, chances are that you haven’t read much, if anything, by Jorge Luis Borges. I’m sure his works are available in English translations, but I don’t recall seeing any when I’ve browsed in bookstores (where I do remember seeing translations of books by other Latin American writers such as Gabriel García Márquez and Mario Vargas Llosa).

It’s been a long time since I’ve read anything by Borges, but for a few years he was my favorite author. I first read something by him when I had been studying Spanish for less than a year (but at an accelerated rate, equal to at least two years of college Spanish) and I didn’t understand everything, but I was hooked. I read everything by him I could get my hands on.

Then a few years later, after my miserable experiences as a Spanish teacher, I boxed up most of my Spanish books and had little desire to read even my favorites. I thought I’d eventually get back to them, but I never did. I got married and started reading some of my husband’s favorite books, most science fiction/fantasy. I had kids and spent time reading parenting magazines and children’s books. My husband went to seminary and I was thrilled to have a large range of theology books available to me (both his textbooks and in the seminary library).

I hadn’t thought about Borges in a very long time, until I went to Google this morning and discovered their Doodle celebrating what would have been Borges’ 112th birthday. Between nostalgia for the delight I had found in reading his works, and curiosity what people know and think about him, I checked out some links regarding the man and his work.

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