Global Borges: Patrimony, Identity, and the World in Contemporary Hispanic Literature

West, Rachel, Spanish - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Rogers, Charlotte, AS-Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese, University of Virginia

Jorge Luis Borges (1899 – 1986) is one of the most prolific and recognized authors in Latin American and World literature. Many of his most salient themes and symbols are still consistently apparent throughout twenty-first century texts produced in the global Hispanophone, including metaphysics, metafiction, epistemology, mathematics, mirrors, and labyrinths, among others. Despite Borges’ continued influence, however, there is a noticeable dearth of research that explores the relationship between Borges’s famed advocacy of world and global traditions presented throughout his own narratives and in essays like “El escritor argentino y la tradición” and global Hispanophone literatures of the twenty-first century. This thesis therefore examines these cross-cultural and transnational connections across a variety of authors, genres, and spaces. It identifies the Borgesian Archive as a new literary motif that offers a theory of how to read and understand global Hispanophone literatures. The Borgesian Archive consists of four fundamental factors that mold and transform with each author and work: 1) a post-modern, global context; 2) a reframing of the Borgesian narrative as metafictional, metaphysical, and political; 3) an epistemological doubt of absolute knowledge of the universe and the human being’s place in it; and 4) the construction of self, identity, and reality through literature. I argue that a diverse group of twenty-first-century Latin American, Spanish, Caribbean, and Latinx authors mobilize Borgesian tropes to position their work within the context of World literature and therefore give it a global import. Ranging over feminist texts, metafiction, and detective novels, this dissertation employs a broad scope to analyze how Borges and Borgesian literature permits Hispanic authors to explore their identity and patrimony in contemporary, global society.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
Jorge Luis Borges, Latin American Literature, World Literature
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