Borges, the Argentine fantasticator, is considered one of the prime literary innovators of the second half of the 20th century. His short stories broke new ground in fiction writing, and he exerted a profound influence on American experimentalists such as Pynchon, Barth, and Barthelme. In this class we will read a selection of Borges’s most representative stories, examining them for his recurring fantastical devices as well as his humorous use of parody. Class members are asked to bring their copies of Labyrinths to the first class meeting.

Suggested Reading: Borges, Labyrinths (New Directions).

Gene Bell-Villada is the Professor of Romance Languages at Williams. Grew up in 3 Latin American countries. Author of Borges

and His Fiction: A Guide to His Mind and Art (1981, revised and expanded, 2000) and of Garcia Marquez: The Man and His

Work (1990, revised and expanded, 2010; translated into Spanish and Turkish). Has also published two volumes of fiction plus

a memoir, Overseas American: Growing Up Gringo in the Tropics (2005). His wide-ranging study, Art for Art’s Sake and Literary

Life (1996), was a finalist for the 1997 National Book Critics Circle Award, and was translated into Serbian and Chinese.


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