Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Honoring the Maze Maven, Jorge Luis Borges at 112

Find your way out of maze as we celebrate the 112th birthday of Jorge Luis Borges. I’m sure he has had a tremendous impact on your writing. I know he has on mine. When I was introduced to his stories, more than a dozen years ago, I’d found my mentor. The very idea of sneaking hardcore philosophy into literature with such mathematical and narrative precision was an awakening for me.

Reading his brilliant stories, I realized it was imperative to tackle the unknown and deepen one’s prose with academic quandaries while still keeping one’s finger on the human pulse. Borges did this better than anybody I know. We think of HG Wells as the godfather of Sci-fi, Poe the high priest of the bizarre, and Sartre as the Prince of Philosophical lit, but Borges mixed these into his own unique stew.

I’d caution writers to read, but not emulate his style. It is too difficult to master and Post-Modernism has led to very mixed results. Then again, tapping into magic realism’s sly genius is great counterpoint for most of the realistic, hardboiled fluff we leaf through nowadays.

All I’m really saying is this, treat yourself to “The Dead Man”, “The Two Kings and the Two Labyrinths”, “The Circular Ruins”, “Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote”, really, anything you can get your hands on and don’t let a day go by without toiling over the nagging itch of writing. Grope for it like “The Book of Sand” or pinch for a single grain. One a day, mind you, will get you through the daily toil.

1 comment:

  1. I have not ready any of the works you mentioned- but put them on my TBR list! Thanks!

    I found you through Book Blogs and signed up to follow you. When you have a chance- please stop by the blog for my middle grade novel that I am hoping to get published.

    Take care-
    Jess- although I may show up as Fairday, the main character from my novel. I can't figure out why that happens sometimes and I can't fix it. :)