Conversations, Volume 2

Jorge Luis Borges and Osvaldo Ferrari

Conversations, Volume 2

Jorge Luis Borges and Osvaldo Ferrari

Distributed for Seagull Books

Translated by Tom Boll
352 pages | 5 1/2 x 7 3/4 | © 2015
Cloth $27.50 ISBN: 9780857423009 Published October 2015 World sales rights except India
Recorded during Jorge Luis Borges’s final years, this second volume of his conversations with Osvaldo Ferrari provides a wide-ranging reflection on the life and work of Argentina’s master writer and favorite conversationalist. In Conversations: Volume 2, Borges and Ferrari engage in a dialogue that is both improvisational and frequently humorous as they touch on subjects as diverse as epic poetry, detective fiction, Buddhism, and the moon landing. With his signature wit, Borges offers insight into the philosophical basis of his stories and poems, his fascination with religious mysticism, and the idea of life as dream. He also dwells on more personal themes, including the influence of his mother and father on his intellectual development, his friendships, and living with blindness. These recollections are alive to the passage of history, whether in the changing landscape of Buenos Aires or a succession of political conflicts, leading Borges to contemplate what he describes as his “South American destiny.”

The recurrent theme of these conversations, however, is a life lived through books. Borges draws on the resources of a mental library that embraces world literature—ancient and modern. He recalls the works that were a constant presence in his memory and maps his changing attitudes to a highly personal canon. In the prologue to the volume, Borges celebrates dialogue and the transmission of culture across time and place. These conversations are a testimony to the supple ways that Borges explored his own relation to numerous traditions.

Praise for Borges
“Borges is arguably the great bridge between modernism and post-modernism in world literature.”—David Foster Wallace
Contents
Prologue by Forge Luis Borges
Prologue by Osvaldo Ferrai

Socrates
On the United States
The Cult of Books
Argentina’s Past, Present and Future
On Philosophy
On Borges’ Mother, Leonor Acevedo Suárez
Prologues 
Flaubert
On Uruguay
Poetic Intelligence
Almafuerte
Buddhism
‘Epic Flavour’
Virginia Woolf, Victoria Ocampo and Feminism 
The Conspirators 
Teaching
Bertrand Russell
The ‘Conjectural Poem’
New Dialogue on Poetry
The Moon Landing
Russian Writers
Spinoza
New Dialogue on Alonso Quijano
Celtic Culture
Quevedo
The Mystic Swedenborg 
Painting
Voltaire
The Nineteenth Century
Virgil
On Friendship
Chesterton 
The Book of Heaven and Hell
Lucretius
On France
Mark Twain, Güiraldes and Kipling
‘Buddha and Personality’
Irish Literature
Góngora
The Poets of New England
On Metaphor
Edgar Allan Poe
Paul Groussac
Shakespeare
New Dialogue on The Conspirators
Review Quotes
Literary Review
“The English edition is good in that the translator has captured many twists in the old man’s Spanish and in his Argentine quirks. . . . For those of us who knew the grand old man, or heard him frequently, Boll’s version has almost captured the soft, gravelly voice, the pauses that sometimes sounded like a gentle stutter and the ever-present deceptive hint of doubt in asking an interlocutor if an opinion or detail is correct.”
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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