Borges and I
|"Borges and I"|
|Author||Jorge Luis Borges|
|Original title||"Borges y Yo"|
|Genre(s)||Fantasy, short story|
"Borges and I" (originally in Spanish "Borges y Yo") is a short story by the Argentine writer and poet, Jorge Luis Borges. It is one of the stories in the short story collection, The Maker (originally in Spanish El Hacedor), first published in 1960.
In 1914 his family moved to Switzerland, where he studied at the Collège de Genève. The family travelled widely in Europe, including stays in Spain. On his return to Argentina in 1921, Borges began publishing his poems and essays in surrealist literary journals. He also worked as a librarian and public lecturer. In 1955 he was appointed director of the National Public Library (Biblioteca Nacional) and professor of Literature at the University of Buenos Aires.
Borges' story raises many philosophical questions of Self and epistemology. Viewed through the analytic lens of Russell's knowledge by description, the story explores the interesting concept of knowledge of Self by description (as opposed to the more expected knowledge by acquaintance). This is emphasized by the mention of receiving Borges' mail and reading about Borges in a book.
Also, the distinction between persona and Self can be interpreted as a distinction between author and writer. The author would be analogous to the persona and Borges. The writer would be the Self and "I." Theoretically, the writer could be anyone, it just happens to be Borges. With this interpretation Borges is seen to be commenting on the cognitive differences between processing third person information and first person information.
- Borges and I and Borges y Yo (an English translation and the Spanish original)
- , publication information and text in English at Northwestern University.
- , Amherst philosophy lecturer John Perry discusses the differences between the two possible interpretations in depth. Perry, John. “ ‘Borges and I’ and ‘I’.” The Amherst Lecture in Philosophy 2 (2007): 1–16. <http://www.amherstlecture.org/perry2007/>.