Borges Beyond the Visible
Borges Beyond the Visible presents radically new readings of some of Jorge Luis Borges's most celebrated stories. Max Ubelaker Andrade shows how Borges employed intertextual puzzles to transform his personal experiences with blindness, sexuality, and suicide while allowing readers to sense the transformative power of their own literary imaginations. In readings of Tl n, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius, El Aleph, and El Zahir, Ubelaker Andrade argues that Borges, considering his own impending blindness, borrowed from Islam's prohibitions on visual representation to create a literary theology --a religion focused on the contradictions of literary existence and the unstable complexities of a visual world perceived without everyday sight. Embracing these contradictions allowed Borges to transform his relationships with sex, sexuality, and family in multilayered stories such as Emma Zunz, La intrusa, and El jard n de senderos que se bifurcan. Yet these liberating transformations, sometimes offered to the reader as a paradoxical gift of death, are complicated by La salvaci n por las obras, a story built around Borges's relationship with a suicidal reader and the woman to whom they were both connected. The epilogue presents M sticos del Islam, an unpublished essay draft by Borges, as a key source of insight into an irreverent, iconoclastic writing practice based on a profound faith in fiction. Compelling and clear, Borges Beyond the Visible is a revelatory examination of the work of one of the most influential authors of the twentieth century. It opens up exciting areas of inquiry for scholars, students, and readers of Borges.