This legendary Argentine poet, essayist, and short-story writer's works have become classics of 20th-century world literature, leaving a legacy that serves as an enduring testament to the politics and passions of Jorge Luis Borges.
Jorge Luis Borges was born in Buenos Aires in 1899 and was educated in Europe. One of the most widely acclaimed writers of the 20th century, he published many collections of poems, essays, and short stories before his death in Geneva in June 1986.
In 1961, Borges shared the International Publishers' prize with Samuel Beckett. In 1971, Columbia University awarded him the first of many degrees of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, that he was to receive from the English-speaking world -- eventually, the list included both Oxford and Cambridge universities. In 1971 he also received the fifth biennial Jerusalem Prize and in 1973 was given one of Mexico's most prestigious cultural awards, the Alfonso Reyes Prize. In 1980 he shared with Gerardo Diego the Cervantes Prize, the Spanish-speaking world's highest literary accolade.
Borges was director of the Argentine National Library from 1955 until 1973.
Author biography courtesy of Penguin Group (USA)
Good To Know
Borges began writing at the age of six, mostly fantasy stories inspired by Cervantes. When he was nine, he translated Oscar Wilde's The Happy Prince into Spanish, and the piece was published in El País, a local newspaper.
To the outrage of his followers, Borges never did receive the Nobel prize. "Not granting me the Nobel Prize has become a Scandinavian tradition," Borges once quipped. "Since I was born they have not been granting it to me."
Several of Borges's short stories have been adapted for the movies, most recently Death and the Compass (1996), directed by Alex Cox (Repo Man).