Borges, the Jew

  • From the Publisher
November 17, 2016

In this vol­ume, award-win­ning cul­tur­al crit­ic and con­tro­ver­sial pub­lic intel­lec­tu­al Ilan Sta­vans focus­es his atten­tion on Jorge Luis Borges s fas­ci­na­tion with Jew­ish cul­ture. Despite not being Jew­ish him­self, Borges wrote essays, poems, and sto­ries deal­ing with var­i­ous aspects of Jew­ish his­to­ry and cul­ture from the Holo­caust to Kab­bal­ah and from Franz Kaf­ka to the cre­ation of the State of Israel. In peri­ods when anti-Semi­tism in Argenti­na was on the rise, Borges was clear in his refu­ta­tion of such xeno­pho­bia, and when Jew­ish writ­ers were hard­ly avail­able in Span­ish, he was among the first to trans­late them. Through­out Sta­vans s dis­cus­sion of these top­ics he weaves in per­son­al anec­dotes on read­ing Borges for the first time, hear­ing him read in Mex­i­co, and look­ing for him in Buenos Aires. No fan of Borges s clas­sic oeu­vre will ever see his lega­cy in the same way after read­ing this book.”

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