On Writing (Penguin Classics)

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9780143105725: On Writing (Penguin Classics)

A master class in the art of writing by one of its most distinguished and innovative practitioners

Delve into the labyrinth of Jorge Luis Borges’s thoughts on the theory and practice of literature, and learn from one of the most influential writers of the twentieth century not only what a writer does but also what a writer is. For the first time ever, here is a volume that brings together Borges’s wide-ranging reflections on writers, on the canon, on the craft of fiction and poetry, and on translation—an ars poetica of one of the twentieth century’s greatest writers.

Featuring many pieces appearing in English for the first time—including his groundbreaking early essay on magical realism, “Stories from Turkestan”—On Writing provides a map of both the changes and continuities in Borges’s aesthetic over the course of his life. It is an indispensable handbook for anyone hoping to master their own style or to witness Borges’s evolution as a writer.

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About the Author:

Jorge Luis Borges was born in Buenos Aires in 1989 and was educated in Europe. One of the most widely acclaimed writers of our time, he published many collections of poems, essays, and short stories before his death in Geneva in June 1986. In 1961 Borges shared the International Publisher’s prize with Samuel Beckett. The Ingram Merrill Foundation granted him its Annual Literary Award in 1966 for his “outstanding contribution to literature.” In 1971 Columbia University awarded him the first of many degrees of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa (eventually the list included both Oxford and Cambridge), that he was to receive from the English-speaking world. 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 world’s highest literary accolade. Borges was Director of the Argentine National Library from 1955 until 1973.
 
Suzanne Jill Levine (editor, introducer) is a professor of Latin American literature and translation studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and the distinguished translator of such innovative Spanish American writers as Jorge Luis Borges, Adolfo Bioy Casares, Manuel Puig, Guillermo Cabrera Infante, and Julio Cortázar. She lives in Santa Barbara, California.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

On Writing

Contents
 
Introduction by Suzanne Jill Levine
A Note on the Translations

I. Becoming a Man of Letters
· Ultra Manifesto
· On Expressionism
· After Images
· Joyce’s Ulysses
· The Ballad of Reading Gaol
 
II. Word Music
· Verbiage for Poems
· An Investigation of the Word
· The Art of Verbal Abuse
· On Literary Description
· On Metaphor
· Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass
 
III. On Translation
· Two Ways to Translate
· The Homeric Versions
 
IV. Reading as Writing
· A Profession of Literary Faith
· Literary Pleasure
· The Superstitious Ethics of the Reader
· The Paradox of Apollinaire
· Kafka and his Precursors
· Flaubert and his Exemplary Destiny
 
V. The Critic at Work
· Virginia Woolf
· T. S. Eliot 
· Paul Valéry 
· William Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom!
· Herman Mellville, Bartleby the Scrivener
· Henry James, The Abasement of the Northmores
· Marcel Schwob, Imaginary Lives
· H. G. Wells, The Time Machine; The, Invisible Man
· Julio Cortázar, Stories
 
VI. The Perfect Plot
· The Labyrinths of the Detective Story and Chesterton
· Ellery Queen, The Halfway House
· Adolfo Bioy Casares, The Invention of Morel
· Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone
· The Detective Story
 
VII. Narrative Art
· Stories from Turkestan
· The Cinematograph, the Biograph
· Narrative Art and Magic
· Preface to the 1954 edition of A Universal History of Infamy
· When Fiction Lives in Fiction
 
Notes
Sources

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Book Description Penguin Putnam Inc, United States, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. A master class in the art of writing by one of its most distinguished and innovative practitioners Delve into the labyrinth of Jorge Luis Borges s thoughts on the theory and practice of literature, and learn from one of the most influential writers of the twentieth century not only what a writer does but also what a writer is. For the first time ever, here is a volume that brings together Borges s wide-ranging reflections on writers, on the canon, on the craft of fiction and poetry, and on translation--an ars poetica of one of the twentieth century s greatest writers. Featuring many pieces appearing in English for the first time--including his groundbreaking early essay on magical realism, Stories from Turkestan --On Writing provides a map of both the changes and continuities in Borges s aesthetic over the course of his life. It is an indispensable handbook for anyone hoping to master their own style or to witness Borges s evolution as a writer. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780143105725

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