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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Google, Borges, and a Walk Down Memory Lane

I am quite positive that most of you have no idea who Jorge Luis Borges is...

Why would you?

But, when you saw this Google doodle today... did you wonder?

Borges was a Latin American author. He published incredible short stories and often compiled them into anthologies such as Ficciones.

Enter a walk down memory lane.

In late 2006, I returned to the United States after living abroad in Spain. My Spanish abilities were at their peak and I just happened to meet Ryan in advanced English that winter semester in 2007.

After we parted ways for our adventures to Washington DC (me) and Chile (him) we reconnected via Facebook and thought it might be fun to take another class together. So we did. A survey of Nobel prize winning literature in the Spanish language.

Fall 2007 was glorious. We were studying Gabriela Mistral, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Pablo Neruda, and of course Borges. Our professors we bright, talented, experienced, gifted. One spoke Chilean Spanish. The other Spanish Spanish. It was meant to be.

Many of my favorites in this class were poems by Gabriela Mistral, I also learned to love Neruda. However, I never quite came to understand Borges.

Ryan and I often studied in the library together and I remember him laughing while reading. When I asked what he was laughing at, he said Borges. It must be a Latin thing because to this day, I do not understand Borges' humor.

Anyway, because I was smitten with Ryan, I thought a copy of Ficciones might be a good gift. So, while on Thanksgiving break in my hotel room at the Gaylord Hotel in Orlando, Florida, I scoured the Internet and found a leather-bound, gold-leafed copy of Ficciones printed by the Easton Press on eBay. I remember sitting, waiting, watching, and at the last minute sniping for that book. I had to have it.

And, I did.

It was agony to wait for it in the mail and then wait for his birthday in December, but for Ryan's 26th Birthday, I gave him a copy of Ficciones to begin his (our) book collection.

So, despite my lack of appreciation for his humor, I appreciate Borges because he brought Ryan and I just a little bit closer together.

So, Happy Birthday Borges. May your works and quotes last another 112 years!


Natalie G. said...

While I was pregnant with Amelia I would have Andrew read to me, as a practice relaxation technique. I wanted him to read hypnosis scripts but he wanted to read Borges. It wasn't relaxing but I still liked it. I should have him read Borges to me (and our girls) some more...The very short story "Los dos Reyes y los dos Laberintos" is my favorite.

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