Jorge Borges: Short Stories



Borges was rooted in the Modernism predominant in its early years and was influenced by Symbolism.[102] Like Vladimir Nabokov and James Joyce, he combined an interest in his native culture with broader perspectives, also sharing their multilingualism and inventiveness with language. However, while Nabokov and Joyce tended toward progressively larger works, Borges remained a miniaturist. His work progressed away from what he referred to as "the baroque": his later style is far more transparent and naturalistic than his earlier works. Borges represented the humanist view of media that stressed the social aspect of art driven by emotion. If art represented the tool, then Borges was more interested in how the tool could be used to relate to people.[66]

Existentialism saw its apogee during the years of Borges's greatest artistic production. It has been argued that his choice of topics largely ignored existentialism's central tenets. Critic Paul de Man notes, "Whatever Borges's existential anxieties may be, they have little in common with Sartre's robustly prosaic view of literature, with the earnestness of Camus' moralism, or with the weighty profundity of German existential thought. Rather, they are the consistent expansion of a purely poetic consciousness to its furthest limits."[103]

Political influences

As a political conservative, Borges "was repulsed by Marxism in theory and practice. Abhorring sentimentality, he rejected the politics and poetics of cultural identity that held sway in Latin America for so long."[104] As a universalist, his interest in world literature reflected an attitude that was also incongruent with the Peronist Populist nationalism. That government's confiscation of Borges's job at the Miguel Cané Library fueled his skepticism of government. He labeled himself a Spencerian anarchist, following his father.[105][106]


The essay collection Borges y la Matemática (Borges and Mathematics, 2003) by Argentine mathematician and writer Guillermo Martínez, outlines how Borges used concepts from mathematics in his work. Martínez states that Borges had, for example, at least a superficial knowledge of set theory, which he handles with elegance in stories such as "The Book of Sand".[107] Other books such as The Unimaginable Mathematics of Borges' Library of Babel by William Goldbloom Bloch (2008) and Unthinking Thinking: Jorge Luis Borges, Mathematics, and the New Physics by Floyd Merrell (1991) also explore this relationship.


Fritz Mauthner, philosopher of language had an important influence in Borges, the author of filósofo del lenguaje y autor (Wörterbuch der Philosophie) Phylosphie's Dictionnary. Borges has always recognized the influence of this German philosopher.[108] According to the literary review Sur, the book was one of the five books more noted and read by the Argentinian writer.

The first time that Bores mentioned Mauthner was in 1928 in his book The Argentinian's language El idioma de los argentinos. Mauthner was cited several times and in 1962 where he talked about him, talking about his great sense of humor and his knowledge and erudition.[109]

The Philosophy's Dictionary provided Borges with a great number of philosophical subjects such as the soul, consciousness, the world, and the spirit, each of them with a deep area to explore.

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