That Borges is one of the key figures in 20th-century literature is beyond debate. The reasons behind this claim, however, are a matter of contention. In Latin America he is read as someone who reorganized the canon, questioned literary hierarchies, and redefined the role of marginal literatures. On the other hand, in the rest of the world, most readers (and dictionaries) tend to identify the adjective "Borgesian" with intricate metaphysical puzzles and labyrinthine speculations of universal reach, completely detached from particular traditions. One reading is context-saturated, while the other is context-deprived. Oddly enough, these "institutional" and "transcendental" approaches have not been pitched against each other in a critical way. Borges, between History and Eternity brings these perspectives together by considering key aspects of Borges's work-the reciprocal determinations of politics, philosophy and literature; the simultaneously confining and emancipating nature of language; and the incipient program for a literature of the Americas.
Hernan Diaz is Managing Editor of Revista Hispanica Moderna and Associate Director of the Hispanic Institute at Columbia University, USA. Formerly he has been a professor at the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and the State University of New York (Albany), USA.
Foreword South, North, Beyond I. POLITICAL THEOLOGY Introduction 1. God and Country 2. When Fiction Lives in Fiction II. THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Introduction 1. Edgar Allan Poe (On Murder Considered as Metaphysics) 2. Walt Whitman, an American, a Kosmos Afterword El vaiven Note on the Translations Abbreviation of Borges's Titles Works Cited Acknowledgements