Friday, December 30, 2005

Borges on Argentine Literary Disputes

I disliked what Martin Fierro[a journal] stood for, which was the French idea that literature is being continually renewed--that Adam is reborn every morning, and also for the idea that, since Paris has literary cliques that wallowed in publicity and bickering, we should be up to date and do the same. One result of this was that a sham literary feud was cooked up in Buenos Aires--that between Florida and Bodeo. Florida represented Downtown and Bodeo the proletariat. I'd have preferred to be in the Bodeo group, since I was writing about the old Northside and slums, sadness, and sunsets. But I was informed by one of the two conspirators that I was already one of the Florida warriors and that it was too late for me to change. The whole thing was just a put-up job. Some writers belonged to both groups. This sham is now taken into serious consideration by "credulous universities." But it was partly publicity, partly a boyish prank.

-Jorge Luis Borges
"An Autobiographical Essay"
The Aleph and Other Stories

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