Any attempt to reconstruct the steps that led me, more than fifteen
years ago, to write this particular book on Borges and not another
would be illusory. I would like to think that my reflections on
reading Borges may have been of use to others then, as they were to
me. Borges taught me to think about literature, even to write it. Las
letras de Borges wanted to acknowledge that debt.
I speak casl,lally of this book as ifit had not changed, even when
I realize that, by now,
is no longer the same. The book I wrote in
Spanish, as an explication and an homage, is now, in its English
version, another book, unfamiliar, a little disquieting. I have con-
tributed to its translation willingly yet not without trepidation,
reading it with other eyes, conversing with it at every turn.
is, to
quote the title of one of Borges's books of poems, elotro, el mismo.
is a book in which I recognize myself fully; it is also a book that I
might not have written today.
New York, 1993
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