Borges, between history and eternity by Borges, Jorge Luis; Borges, Jorge Luis / / Criticism and

By Borges, Jorge Luis; Borges, Jorge Luis / / Criticism and interpretation; Díaz, Hernán M.; Borges, Jorge Luis

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I believe that our tradition is the whole Western culture, and I also believe that we have a right to this tradition, a greater right than that which the inhabitants of one Western nation or another may have” (SF 425–26) [“¿Cuál es la tradición argentina? Creo que podemos contestar fácilmente y que no hay problema en esta pregunta. Creo que nuestra tradición es toda la cultura occidental, y creo también que tenemos derecho a esta tradición, mayor que el que pueden tener los habitantes de una u otra nación occidental” (OC 272)].

However, among Borges scholars there tends to be an opposition between the “institutional” and “transcendental” approaches. ” In this 1951 lecture, Borges reflects on the definition of “national literature,” analyzes how it relates to history, and finally overturns basic hierarchies by arguing that the periphery is a far more productive territory for a writer than the center. Although the following passage has been quoted countless times, it is worth reproducing it here once again: “What is Argentine tradition?

Borges elaborates on his ancestors in AN 41–42. 6 “Rusia,” published in Grecia on January 9, 1920 (TR I: 56–57). Later, in a 1972 interview, Borges would say that he “saw the Russian Revolution as the beginning of peace for all men, as something that has nothing to do with current Soviet imperialism” [“a la Revolución Rusa yo la veía como un principio de paz entre todos los hombres, como algo que no tiene nada que ver con el actual imperialismo soviético”] (S 16). 7 “At the moment, I would define myself as a harmless anarchist, this is, as a man who wants a minimum of government and a maximum of individual rights” [“Actualmente yo me definiría como un inofensivo anarquista; es decir, un hombre que quiere un mínimo de gobierno y un máximo de individuo”] (D I 59).

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