Conversations, Volume 2
Recorded during Jorge Luis Borges’ final years, this second volume of his conversations with Osvaldo Ferrari provides a wide-ranging reflection on the life and work of Argentina’s master writer and favorite conversationalist.
In Conversations: Volume 2, Borges and Ferrari engage in a dialogue that is both improvisational and frequently humorous as they touch on subjects as diverse as epic poetry, detective fiction, Buddhism, and the moon landing. With his signature wit, Borges offers insight into the philosophical basis of his stories and poems, his fascination with religious mysticism, and the idea of life as a dream. He also dwells on more personal themes, including the influence of his mother and father on his intellectual development, his friendships, and living with blindness. These recollections are alive to the passage of history, whether in the changing landscape of Buenos Aires or a succession of political conflicts, leading Borges to contemplate what he describes as his “South American destiny.”
The recurrent theme of these conversations, however, is a life lived through books. Borges draws on the resources of a mental library that embraces world literature—ancient and modern. He recalls the works that were a constant presence in his memory and maps his changing attitudes to a highly personal canon. In the prologue to the volume, Borges celebrates dialogue and the transmission of culture across time and place. These conversations are a testimony to the supple ways that Borges explored his own relation to numerous traditions.
‘Borges is arguably the great bridge between modernism and post-modernism in world literature.’ —David Foster Wallace
‘The existence of these three volumes of Conversations with Borges will perhaps also calm the storms on Jupiter, change the colours of the hexagonal cloud formation on Saturn’s North Pole, spark a fresh burst of high energy gamma rays from the galactic centre and make our world a bit more imaginative, wondrous, wiser and happier.’ —Scroll India
‘For those of us who knew the grand old man, or heard him frequently, Boll’s version has almost captured the soft, gravelly voice, the pauses that sometimes sounded like a gentle stutter and the ever-present deceptive hint of doubt in asking an interlocutor if an opinion or detail is correct.’ —Literary Review
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