Biography of Jorge Luis Borges Works

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Jorge Luis Borges is one of the legendary personalities of the modern literary world, he has received many awards: Commander of the Italian Republic, Commander of the Legion of Honor “For Merit in Literature and Art,” Knight of the Order of the British Empire, Dr. Sorbonne, Oxford and Columbia Universities, winner of the Cervantes Prize. Everywhere it is translated, studied, sometimes quoted, and devalued. In the past, he often made reactionary statements to journalists on various topical issues, which caused surprise, controversy, and even objection from other writers, such as Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Julio Cortázar, and Miguel Otero Silva, but they always spoke of Borges as a master and the founder of the new Latin American prose.

Biography of Jorge Luis Borges Works

Jorge Luis Borges was born in Argentina and spent his youth in Europe, where his father left on the eve of the First World War for long-term treatment. It was the father who instilled in his son a love of English literature, at the age of 8 his translation of Oscar Wilde's fairy tale "The Happy Prince" was published, and later Borges translated Kipling, Faulkner, Joyce, and Wolfe. In addition to English, he spoke French, Italian, Portuguese, and Latin (Minster). Hence, Borges was brought up as a classic intellectual, essentially starting his career.

After the retirement of Borges' father, the family moved to Switzerland, and in 1919 moved to Madrid. Poems and translations of the young Borges are published in modernist magazines, and in the early 1920s, Borges became close to a group of young Spanish writers who called themselves "ultraists" who declared that metaphor was the main element, basis, and purpose of poetry. Borges in Argentina in 1921, he joined the leaders of the local abstractionist movement and published several collections of poems in the spirit of the same ultraism. The coup d'etat of 1930 ended the liberal rule of the Radical Party and marked the beginning of a difficult era in the struggle against fascist tendencies in the country's political life (Williamson 189). In these conditions, abstractionist experimentation dries up, Borges leaves poetry, to which he will return only in the 60's, when he will appear before the reader a completely different poet, who finally broke with the avant-garde.

After several years of silence, he began publishing his prose books one after another in 1935, The World History of Dishonor (1935), History of Eternity (1936), Fiction (1944), Aleph (1949), New Investigation (1952), Brody's Message (1970), and The Book of Sand (1975). In the 1930s, when the military came to power in Argentina, Borges signed a series of protests against the arbitrariness of the Argentine government. The consequences of this immediately manifested themselves: for reasons of reliability, Borges was denied the National Prize for the book of short stories Garden of Forking Paths (1941), his mother and sister were arrested, and Borges himself was deprived of a job in the library. In the 1960s, when he became famous, he made several trips to Europe and America, occasionally lecturing. One of his lecture series is collected in the book Seven Evenings from 1980 (Williamson 92). Despite being oppressed by the government, Borges still resumed his work, trying to bring the power of words to people in his country and all around the world.

Thus, the works of Borges are united by those that are aimed at knowing man: his mind and soul, imagination and will, ability to think, and the need to act. Like many other Latin American writers, Borges is most concerned about spiritual traditions. In the article “Argentine Writer and Tradition” (1932), he strongly advocated joining world culture: only the mastery of its riches will help to manifest the Argentine essence (Williamson 103). In Borges’ view, no culture is static and can exist in isolation. Only by interacting with each other can cultures develop and create synergetic connections.


The legend, the “mystery” of Borges's personality becomes clear only if we penetrate into his work because Borges writes short stories, fantastic, psychological, adventure, detective, sometimes even satirical (The Oldest Senior), writes an essay called “investigations” that differ from short stories. only some weakening of the plot, not inferior to them in fantasy. Starting with poetry, Borges, in fact, forever remained a laconic poet, which is difficult for translators. After all, Borges does not write the so-called "telegraphic style" of the 20's, in his classically pure prose there is literally nothing superfluous, but there is everything you need. He chooses words like a poet, gripped by size and rhyme, carefully maintaining the rhythm of the story and striving to make the story a poem.

Works Cited

Minster, Christopher. "Jorge Luis Borges, Argentina's Great Storyteller". ThoughtCo, 2018,

Williamson, Edwin. The Cambridge Companion to Jorge Luis Borges. Cambridge University Press, 2013.

June 09, 2022


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