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Reading Borges after Benjamin: Allegory, Afterlife, and the Writing of History [NOOK Book]

Overview

This book explores the relationship between time, life, and history in the work of Jorge Luis Borges and examines his work in relation to his contemporary, Walter Benjamin. By focusing on texts from the margins of the Borges canon-including the early poems on Buenos Aires, his biography of Argentina's minstrel poet Evaristo Carriego, the stories and translations from A Universal History of Infamy, as well as some of his renowned stories and essays-Kate Jenckes argues that Borges's writing performs an allegorical ...
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Reading Borges after Benjamin: Allegory, Afterlife, and the Writing of History

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Overview

This book explores the relationship between time, life, and history in the work of Jorge Luis Borges and examines his work in relation to his contemporary, Walter Benjamin. By focusing on texts from the margins of the Borges canon-including the early poems on Buenos Aires, his biography of Argentina's minstrel poet Evaristo Carriego, the stories and translations from A Universal History of Infamy, as well as some of his renowned stories and essays-Kate Jenckes argues that Borges's writing performs an allegorical representation of history. Interspersed among the readings of Borges are careful and original readings of some of Benjamin's finest essays on the relationship between life, language, and history. Reading Borges in relationship to Benjamin draws out ethical and political implications from Borges's works that have been largely overlooked by his critics.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
In Kate Jencke's clearly written and often persuasive book, Borges scholars finally encounter a sustained study of the remarkable parallels and intersections in Borges and Walter Benjamin's thought ... Jenckes [skillfully] intertwines Benjamin's thinking with Borges's texts; so skillfully, in fact, that one might finish this book wondering how it was ever possible to read Borges before Benjamin.— Variaciones Borges

"This book is a clever turning point in our contextual readings of Borges; it suggests the need to come back to the texts in order to move forward. Departing from an early poem on a family gravestone, Kate Jenckes unfolds Borges's notion of a national allegory, ironically illustrated by lives of eternal infamy. From there, Jenckes manages to engage Borges and Benjamin in a lively conversation. The reader will be part of it, thanks to this discreet, persuasive argument."— Julio Ortega, Brown University
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780791480564
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press
  • Publication date: 9/18/2009
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 307 KB

Meet the Author

Kate Jenckes is Assistant Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures at the University of Michigan.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     ix
Introduction     xi
Abbreviations     xix
Origins and Orillas: History, City, and Death in the Early Poems     1
Family Trees     2
A Journey of No Return     4
Borges and His (Own) Precursors     6
Sepulchral Rhetoric     8
Life Possessions     13
Melancholic Fervor     17
The Orillas     28
Acts of Life     31
Bios-Graphus: Evaristo Carriego and the Limits of the Written Subject     35
The Fallible God of the "I"     37
Life and Death     38
The Other American Poet     41
The Paradoxes of Biography     46
Carriego Is (Not) Carriego     50
Violence, Life, and Law     57
"Generous" Duels     62
Allegory, Ideology, Infamy: Allegories of History in Historia Universal de la Infamia     67
"National" Allegory     68
Ideology     70
Two Moments of Allegory     72
Infamy     78
Magical Endings Et Cetera     92
Reading History's Secrets in Benjamin and Borges     99
Historical Idealism and the Materiality of Writing     100
The Conquests of Time     104
History's Secrets     107
Possession or the "Weak Force" of Redemption     108
Refuting Time     117
Ego Sum     125
Terrible Infinity     130
Recurrent Imminence     131
Reading, Writing, Mourning History     135
Notes     139
Works Cited     155
Index     163
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