Listed in: Spanish, as SPAN-445
Ilan Stavans (Section 01)
An in-depth, Talmudic exploration of the life, oeuvre, and influence of Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986), who redefined world literature and is arguably the most important Spanish-language writer after Cervantes. The course will trace his career from a shy, baroque poet in pre-modern Buenos Aires to a cosmopolitan intellectual who became the epicenter of Argentine culture before 1950 and a global phenomenon after he was awarded the International Publishers Prize in 1961. We will analyze his poetry, essays, and stories, especially "Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote," "The Library of Babel," "New Refutation of Time," "Kafka and His Precursors," "The Argentine Writer and Tradition," "The Translators of The 1,001 Nights," "The Garden of Forking Paths," "Emma Zunz," "Tlön Uqbar, Orbis Tertius," "The Aleph," and "The Secret Miracle." Borges' politics as well as his interests in Gauchos, philosophy, mysticism, Shakespeare, Don Quixote, translation, English literature, Jewish motifs, and reading as an art will be contemplated. We will also look at his impact on an array of successors, from Gabriel García Márquez, Italo Calvino, Umberto Eco, and Roberto Bolaño, to mathematics, The Matrix, and Chaos and Game Theories. Conducted in Spanish.
Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 20 students. Spring semester: Professor Stavans.
How to handle overenrollment: Professor will seek a balance in terms of geography, class, ethnicity, national background, and academic major.
Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: Critical thinking, active participation in class discussions, reading of the material and contextual research before class, daring spirit in creative writing, only one absence accepted throughout the entire semester.