One generation of Tlönists would be enough

Borges as an Influence

The work of Jorge Luis Borges has had a profound impact on modern literature. Effortlessly resisting categorization and gleefully demolishing the barriers between highbrow literature, the avant-garde, and genre fiction, the influence of Borges may be detected on a body of writing as diverse as the Latin American “Boom,” the sprawling novels of American postmodernism, the surreal flights of Slavic sci-fi, and the modern rebirth of weird fiction.

The writers who have cited Borges as a literary influence are legion; indeed, the adjective “Borgesian” has become as commonplace as “Kafkaesque.” The term is generally applied to works that play with a reader’s perceptions of conventional reality, usually by destabilizing notions of time and space, blurring the boundaries between fact and fiction, and blending artistic invention with academia and criticism.

Below you will find a collection of authors and works which have been influenced in some way by Borges. The collection is divided into two sections: the Main Collection and the Reader’s Gallery. The Main Collection features entries for individual authors. Clicking on an author’s name will take you to a brief page describing his or her work and discussing the influence of Borges. The Reader’s Gallery holds entries submitted by visitors; these pages simply contain the submission without any elaboration. If anyone has any submissions or suggestions, or would like to elaborate on an entry, please send email!

[SECTION UNDER DEVELOPMENT. Only blue links are currently active. This section will be fleshed out in the Spring of 2020.]

Main Collection

Barth, John
American postmodern novelist, author of Lost in the Funhouse and Giles Goat-Boy. Writes about Borges in his essay, “The Literature of Exhaustion.”

Cisco, Michael
American writer of horror and weird fiction, his novel Unlanguage masquerades as a work of fantastic grammar.

Danielewski, Mark Z.
American author of House of Leaves, a very Borgesian novel with a blind writer as a central character.

Eco, Umberto
Italian intellectual, novelist and semiotician, his novel The Name of the Rose featured a blind librarian named Jorge of Burgos.

Fuentes, Carlos
Mexican author of The Death of Artemio Cruz, Fuentes paid tribute to Borges in “Borges in Action.”

García Márquez, Gabriel
Colombian Nobel Laureate and author of One Hundred Years of Solitude, a novel which featured a character loosely inspired by Borges.

Gibson, William
American science-fiction writer and one of the key founders of the “cyberpunk” genre, author of Neuromancer.

Kis, Danilo
A Serbian-Hungarian novelist, poet, and essayist.

Morrison, Grant
British comic book writer, his early works such as Animal Man, Doom Patrol and The Invisibles featured many Borgesian elements.

Pynchon, Thomas
American writer, one of the principle figures in postmodern fiction and author of Gravity’s Rainbow.

Sabato, Ernesto
An Argentine novelist, Sabato has been called the “Anti-Borges.”

Shepard, Lucius
American science fiction and fantasy writer influenced by Latin American “magical realism.”

Strand, Mark
A Canadian poet and critic whose poetry has been influenced by Borges’ fiction.

Useche, Andrés
Colombian filmmaker and graphic artist, Useche’s films merge dream and reality in a labyrinth of identity.

VanderMeer, Jeff
American writer of fantasy and science fiction.

Veitch, Rick
American comic book writer, worked on Swamp Thing during its most psychedelic period.

Wolfe, Gene
American science fiction and fantasy writer, author of the “Book of the New Sun” series.

Reader’s Gallery

Amis, Martin
A British novelist, his Borgesian influences are often a source of humor in his works.

Anderson, Poul
Science Fiction writer who includes a synthetic Borges in a novel.

Berlinski, David
This scientific writer uses a fictional Borges to explain some mathematical concepts in his book, The Advent of the Algorithm.

Coleman, Wim & Pat Perrin
Authors of the postmodern romp The Jamais Vu Papers, which includes self-aware fictional characters and a Borges knitting circle.

Chatwin, Bruce
Writer who “admired Borges” and created a story that reads as a Borgesian parody.

Ende, Michael
Author of The Neverending Story, Ende paid homage to Borges in one of his stories.

Ellison, Harlan
American writer of brilliant but trenchant short stories.

Gaiman, Neil
British writer, creator of the famous Sandman comic series.

Giardinelli, Mempo
Argentinian novelist.

Gombrovicz, Witold
Polish novelist who disliked Borges so much he satirized him in one of his books.

Kelly, Kevin
Executive editor of Wired and author of Out of Control.

Lem, Stanislaw
This Polish writer produced many thought-provoking science fiction parables and essays.

Nilson, Peter
A Swedish astronomer and storyteller, his Borgesian works blended cosmological truth and imaginative reality.

Oates, Joyce Carol
A personal anecdote from one of her former students.

Pavic, Milorad
The Serbo-Croatian author Dictionary of the Khazars.

Perec, Georges
French writer, palindromist, and author of a novel missing the letter “e.”

Rozum, John
Comic book writer, worked on DC’s XOMBI.

Rushdie, Salman
British/Indian author of The Satanic Verses.

Saramago, José
Nobel-prize winning Portuguese author of The Year of the Death of Riccardo Reis, set in a world where Mr. H. Quain is writing novels.

Sebald, W.G.
A German writer living in England, his novels are known for their entrancing prose and autobiographical reflections.

Vargas, Daniel Romero
Peruvian author of the short story, “Let’s Kill Borges!”

Author: Allen B. Ruch
Last Modified: 21 September 2019
Main Borges Page: The Garden of Forking Paths
Contact: quail(at)shipwrecklibrary(dot)com


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