Borges in Cervantes' Mirror

Authors

  • Branka Kalenić Ramšak University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts, Slovenia

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.4312/vestnik.13.317-331

Keywords:

literary entanglement, Miguel de Cervantes, Jorge Luis Borges, reader, Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote, The Book Act

Abstract

Borges is one of the most original readers and interpreters of Cervantes' novel Don Quixote, which marks the beginning of the modern novel in the literature of the Western European spiritual circle and of the postmodern narrative. The article discusses some of the literary connections between Cervantes and Borges, each of which marked the beginning of great changes in the understanding of world literature in their own time and on their own side of the Atlantic. Their referential world is not a direct reality, but either an ironic comparison of the real with the literary world or a fiction created on the basis of a creative reading of literary works. There is no clear demarcation between reality and fiction, which are strongly entangled. Cervantes reads ancient, Renaissance and baroque authors, Don Quixote (or Alonso Kihano) gets lost in the fictional worlds of chivalric novels, which he has carefully stored in his library. Borges cannot imagine his life without literature and the library. The analysis of two Borges’ short stories – Pierre Menard, author of the Quixote (1939) and The Book Act (1981) – shows their incredible creative entanglement. Borges was able to masterfully incorporate Cervantes’ literary material into the content of his own work, and to continue literary research with metafictional procedures. Therefore, the selected Borges’ epigraph confirms his commitment to the act of reading, which is an infinite and recurring act. Readers, however, must be actively involved in the reading process as literary co-creators, open to all possibilities of reception.

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References

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Published

27.12.2021

How to Cite

Kalenić Ramšak, B. (2021). Borges in Cervantes’ Mirror. Journal for Foreign Languages, 13(1), 317–331. https://doi.org/10.4312/vestnik.13.317-331

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Section

Articles