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Jorge Luís Borges

Jorge Luís Borges (1899-1986) was an Argentine writer who achieved worldwide fame for his mind-blowing short stories. He is a favorite source of inspiration for other writers from around the world and Latin America in particular. Born into a middle-class family in Buenos Aires, he inherited a love of literature from his English grandmother.

He spent World War I in Europe with his family, where he became involved in avant-garde literary movements, which he brought back to Argentina in the early 1920s. Before long, he was well known in Buenos Aires as a skilled poet. He began experimenting with short stories in the 1930s, and it is this genre that would make him famous.

He released many stories in the 1940s, and soon gained worldwide fame. Although he would continue to write until the 1980s, his stories from the 1940s have been the most enduring.

During the late 1940s and 1950s, the conservative Borges came into conflict with the liberal Perón regime. Borges kept a low profile, however, and although he and his family were harassed, nothing worse happened. Later, Borges initially supported the 1976 military coup, but soon grew disillusioned with the violence, fear and disappearances that accompanied the military regime’s “Dirty War” on its own citizens.

Argentines, and porteños (those native to Buenos Aires) in particular have a great reverence for Borges. Although he died as a very old man n 1986, he is still something of a pop-culture icon, and you’ll see t-shirts with his face for sale next to those with Che on them. His books still sell well at Buenos Aires’ many bookstores and his stories are required reading for many Argentine schoolchildren.

Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to Argentina: Useful Argentine Slang, Safety, Senior Travelers, When to Go, Safety, Beers at the End of the World, José de San Martín, When to Go, Departure Tax and Safety.

By Christopher Minster
I am a writer and editor at V!VA Travel guides here in Quito, where I specialize in adding quality content to the site and also in spooky things like...
14 Jun 2011

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