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Seven Conversations with Jorge Luis Borges [Paperback]

Fernando Sorrentino , Clark M. Zlotchew

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Book Description

March 1 2010
These wide-ranging conversations have an exceptionally open and intimate tone, giving us a personal glimpse of one of the most fascinating figures in contemporary world literature.

Interviewer Fernando Sorrentino, an Argentinian writer and anthologist, is endowed with literary acumen, sensitivity, urbanity, and an encyclopedic memory of Jorge Luis Borges' work (in his prologue, Borges jokes that Sorrentino knows his work "much better than I do"). Borges wanders from nostalgic reminiscence to literary criticism, and from philosophical speculation to political pronouncements. His thoughts on literature alone run the gamut from the Bible and Homer to Ernest Hemingway and Julio Cortázar. We learn that Dante is the writer who has impressed Borges most, that Borges considers Federico García Lorca to be a "second-rate poet," and that he feels Adolfo Bioy Casares is one of the most important authors of this century. Borges dwells lovingly on Buenos Aires, too.

From the preface:

For seven afternoons, the teller of tales preceded me, opening tall doors which revealed unsuspected spiral staircases, through the National Library's pleasant maze of corridors, in search of a secluded little room where we would not be interrupted by the telephone…The Borges who speaks to us in this book is a courteous, easy-going gentleman who verifies no quotations, who does not look back to correct mistakes, who pretends to have a poor memory; he is not the terse Jorge Luis Borgesof the printed page, that Borges who calculates and measures each comma and each parenthesis.

Sorrentino and translator Clark M. Zlotchew have included an appendix on the Latin American writers mentioned by Borges.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 220 pages
  • Publisher: Paul Dry Books; 1 edition (March 1 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1589880609
  • ISBN-13: 978-1589880603
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 13.7 x 1.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 240 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #888,982 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Fernando Sorrentino is an Argentine writer born in Buenos Aires in 1942. His works have been translated into more than twelve languages. His website is Clark M. Zlotchew is a professor of Spanish at SUNY Fredonia. Some of his areas of specialization: Jorge Luis Borges, 20th century Spanish-American Fiction, Literary Translation, and Literary Interview.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.8 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fluid Conversations April 19 2014
By S. Prasad - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The great Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges is known for his short stories, essays and more importantly, his poetry. Borges also enjoyed reading a wide variety of books -- right from Old Norse literature to Idealistic philosophies of Kant and Schopenhauer. He was also a prolific speaker and over the years his talking somehow merged with his writing and at times it was tough to tell apart whether the lines one were reading was spoken or written. This set of conversations basically deals a lot with Spanish language writers in general and Argentine politics in particular; and the pages can get dreary if one were not familiar with those subjects. Nevertheless this book can still be an enlightening experience for those who love to get their hands on anything and everything related to Borges. I particularly missed the witty Borges, who is known for his ironic, self-mocking remarks. However, that didn't materialize as the Master always allowed his Interviewer to dictate the contours of the Conversations.
4.0 out of 5 stars a must for Borges neophyte Jan. 6 2014
By W.Lee Bourland, Jr - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I don't speak Spanish; my knowledge of Argentina doesn't extend beyond the occasional Malbec and Evita so Borges is a refreshing breath for me. He has a wonderful sense of irony about his work, fame, and his place in the canon of twentieth century literature.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good book Dec 6 2012
By andre aubert - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It's always a great voyage to read or hear Borges. However, if you are not an Argentine, you'll miss a lot, since much of the interviews goes through very specific Argentine writers, politics etc.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars Aug. 24 2014
By John J. Costello Jr. - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Heady but tame able.

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