Introduction: History, Politics, and
Literature in Borges
Unless otherwise indicated, quotations from Borges are from the
Emece edition of
the so-called Obras comp1etas. I have supplied quotations from Borges in both the original
and my own translations. Other quotations are given in English translation only (unless
some feature of the original merits attention), and all translations are mine unless
otherwise noted.
For a concise discussion ofthe relation between Borges and the fiction ofAzuela, Barrios,
and others, see Donald Shaw's essay on Ficciones in Swanson, Landmarks inModern Latin
American Fiction. See also Carlos Alonso's book on the regionalist novel, which opens
with a discussion of Borges
The collection edited by Juan Flo contains a number of texts charging Borges with
escapism. An early discussion of this charge is to be found in Rodriguez Monegal's E1
juicio de los parricidas, though the ground has shifted a lot since Monegal's defense of
Borges against the angry young men ofthe journal Contorno (Adolfo Prieto, Noe Jitrik,
Tulia Halperin Donghi, David Vinas, and others). For a good overview ofthe period, see
William Katra's book on Contorno, as well as two crucial essays by members of the
Contorno group: Adolfo Prieto's Borgesy 1a nuevageneraciOn
and Noe Jitrik's much
later "Sentimientos complejos sabre Borges"
See also BIas Matamoro,]orge Luis
e1juego trascendente, and Pedro Orgambide, Borgesysupensamientopolitico, as well
as the final pages ofAlazraki's Borges and the Kabbalah. Another recent piece, notable for
the fervor of the argument against Borges's supposed "contradiccion de la historia," is
BIas Matamoro's "Historia de Borges," especially
Molloy's discussion of the vaiven is related to her important discussion of the hiato or
grieta (Letras, especially
Molloy's concept of the narrative gap is rather more
literal and pragmatic than Wolfgang Iser's almost metaphysical concept of the gap as
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