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Latin American Studies - Universidad de Belgrano (UB) - Fall 2 2017
Jorge Luis Borges: Visions of Culture and Knowledge

Course Code: PALAS 420
Language of Instruction: English
Course taken with: International Students
Universidad de Belgrano (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
COURSE DESCRIPTION
Area of Study
Latin American Studies in English (PALAS)
Hours & Credits

54

Contact Hours

3

Recommended U.S. Semester Credits

5

Recommended U.S. Quarter Units

Course Level Recommendations:

Recommendation: Upper Division


ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators. We advise each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regarding course levels.
Prerequisites and Language Level

Language Level: Taught In English

Overview

Course Description:
Borges? vision of the world as a Library of Babel and Aleph anticipated the information age and the development of the Internet by several decades. However, although Borges can be regarded as the least representative Latin American writer, not all his fictions address universal problems. This course shows how many of his short stories, essays and poems are embedded in and have contributed to the Latin American and Argentine literary traditions. The course also considers Borges? precursors (Poe, Marcel Schwob and Kafka) and his followers (Donald Barthelme, Leonardo Sciascia, Danilo Kis and Umberto Eco, among others). Finally, it looks at Borges? presence in visual culture: film, architecture and art (PFA).

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(PALAS 420) Jorge Luis Borges:

Visions of Culture and Knowledge

Professor Dr. Alejandro Manara
Program in Argentine and Latin American Studies
Universidad de Belgrano
Course Syllabus 2010

Instruction in: English

Course Description
Borges? vision of the world as a Library of Babel and Aleph anticipated the information age and the development of the Internet by several decades. However, although Borges can be regarded as the least representative Latin American writer, not all his fictions address universal problems. This course shows how many of his short stories, essays and poems are embedded in and have contributed to the Latin American and Argentine literary traditions. The course also considers
Borges? precursors (Poe, Marcel Schwob and Kafka) and his followers(Donald Barthelme, Leonardo Sciascia and Umberto Eco, among others). Finally, it looks at Borges? presence in visual culture: film, architecture and art (PFA).

Course Requirements
Following UB policy, students need a minimum of 75% of attendance to be in good standing for the final exam. Sliding the ID card is the only way to track record of attendance. Classes missed for national holidays will not be recovered. Students are expected to do close readings, participate in class, and do one oral presentation in groups. During the semester, students will write a short position paper. The requirements also include a midterm and a final exam. In addition to this, each student will be expected to make a significant contribution to the classroom dialogue.

Grading Policy
In-class Participation and Attendance 10 %
Oral Presentation 10 %
1st Position Paper (2 page long) 20 %
2nd Position Paper (2 page long) 20 %
Midterm Exam 20 %
Final Exam 20 %

For a better understanding of the comparable table for grading: check the international student handbook (see orientation kit packet).

Required Textbooks (available at UB Bookstore)
Labyrinths by Jorge Luis Borges
ISBN-13: 978-0811216999

Academic Calendar

Week 1: Unit 1 26-28/7
1- Introduction to the course. How and when Borges became known outside Argentina. Available translations.
2- Close reading: Borges´s ?An Autobiographical Essay? (in collaboration with Norman Thomas di Giovanni).

Week 2: Unit 1 3-5/8
1- Close reading: Borges´s ?An Autobiographical Essay? (in collaboration with Norman Thomas di Giovanni). The South by Borges.
2- ?Buenos Aires & Beyond? 3-13 in Borges and his fiction: a guide to his mind and art by Gene Bell-Villada. Oral presentation sample and assigned reading: Self Writing? Borges Interviews by Fernando Sorrentino

Week 3: Unit 1 10-12/8
1- Borges and Postmodernity. A Universal History of Infamy: Borges translator and manipulator of other people?s stories.
2- OP. On the Cult of Books by Borges & What is a Classic by J.M. Coetzee?

Week 4: Unit 1 17-19/8
1- Borges and Postmodernity. A Universal History of Infamy. OP: Imaginary Lives by Marcel Schwob.
2- A Universal History of Infamy. OP on Freud´s The Uncanny & Ernst Jentsch?s On the Psychology of
the Uncanny

Week 5: Unit 2 24-26/8
1- Position Paper on Borges as pioneer of the Internet: ?The Aleph?. Bell-Villada 226-236
2- ?The Aleph?. OP on Beatriz Urraca?s Wor(l)ds Through the Looking Glass?

Week 6: Unit 2 31/8-2/9
1- Borges The Poet: The Mythical Founding of Buenos Aires? Contrast: Oliverio Girondo: Borges? review of Calcomanías. Beatriz Sarlo: The Adventure of Martin Fierro: the Avant-Garde & Criollismo, 95-114.
2- Beatriz Sarlo: Utopia & the Avant-Garde: 115-137 OP: Horacio Coppola: 1936 photos of Buenos Aires, art & architecture.

Week 7: Unit 2 7-9/9
1- Borges as pioneer of the Internet: ?Tlon, Ukbar & Orbis Tertius? OP on Aden Hayes? Orbis tertius and Orbis Novus: The Discovery of New Worlds & Gene Bell-Villada?s Borges and his Fiction 134-141.
2- Impact of Borges on U.S. writing in the 60s: Donald Barthelme?s Sixty Stories: Paraguay 127-137 OP on above & Gene Bell-Villada?s Borges and his Fiction 278-284

Mid-term paper:

Week 8: Unit 3 14-16/9
1- Gödel, Escher & Bach by Douglas Hofstadter (introduction) Allene M. Parker?s Drawing Borges: a Two-Part Invention on the Labyrinths of J.L. Borges and M.C. Escher.
2- Guest speaker: Borges and Mathematics by Guillermo Martinez. Q & A with Author. Students have to prepare a questionnaire for the interview.

Week 9: Unit 3 21-23/9
1- Borges ab origine: The Gospel according to Mark
2- Borges´ ?The Dead Man?

Week 10: Unit 4 28-30/9
1- Regarding Roderer by Guillermo Martinez
Paper Topic: Borges?s influence on Guillermo Martinez´s writing. Class discussion.
2- Regarding Roderer by Guillermo Martinez. Q & A with Author. Students have to prepare a questionnaire for the interview.

Week 11: Unit 4 5-7/10
1- Borges´The Secret Miracle: Literary Vanity?literature is constructed in the head. OP Post-Lecture Discussion of His Own Writing by Borges.
2- Guest speaker: Borges by Jason Wilson.
Students have to prepare a questionnaire for the interview.

Week 12: Unit 5 12-14/10
1- Poe: The murders of Rue Morgue & the Purloined Letter OP Svend Østergård The Unconscious of Representation (?Death and the Compass?) & Borges? Death and the Compass.
2- Borges, Poe and the detective story: ?Death and the Compass? Irwin 1-12 & 30-36

Week 13: Unit 5 19-21/10
Due date Position Paper
1- Borges, Poe and the detective story: ?The Garden of Forking Paths"
2- OP: Silvio Gaggi, From Text to Hypertext: Metonymy and Metaphor in the Fiction of Forking Paths.

Week 14: Unit 5 26-28/10
1- Borges? precursors and disciples: Six Memos for the Next Millennium by Italo Calvino: Multiplicity 101-124
2- J.L.Borges: Collected Fictions by J.M. Coetzee?

Week 15 2-4/11
1- Final Exam
2- Review Class: Students should choose some aspect of the class they liked and briefly expand on it.

Bibliography

BELL-VILLADA, Gene: Borges and His Fiction: A Guide to His Mind and Art: University of Texas Press, Austin, 1999.

BORGES, Jorge Luis: Collected Fictions translated by Andrew Hurley, Penguin, New York, 1998.

BORGES, Jorge Luis: Selected Non-Fictions translated by Eliot Weinberger, Esther Allen, and Suzanne Jill Levine, Penguin, New York, 1999.

CALVINO, Italo: Six Memos for the Next Millennium, Vintage International, New York, 1993.

COZARINSKY, Edgardo: Borges in/and/on Film

HOFSTADTER, Douglas: Gödel, Escher & Bach Vintage Books, New York, 1989.

IRWIN, John T.: The Mistery to a Solution: Poe, Borges and the Analytic Detective Story Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 1996.

MARTINEZ, Guillermo: Regarding Roderer Saint Martin?s Press, New York, 1994.

NOUZEILLES, Gabriela & MONTALDO, Graciela. An Argentina Reader: History, Culture & Politics Duke University Press, Durham, 2002.

SARLO, Beatriz Jorge Luis Borges: A Writer on the Edge Verso, London, 2006.

SCHWOB, Marcel Imaginary Lives Solar Books, Washington D.C., 2009.

SORRENTINO, Fernando Seven Conversations with Jorge Luis Borges Paul Dry Books, Philadelphia, 2010.

WILSON, Jason Borges Reaktion Books, London, 2006.

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Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.