Allan Massie

A Writer Who Needs to be Saved From His Admirers

The Man in the Mirror of the Book: A Life of Jorge Luis Borges

By

Hodder & Stoughton 306pp £20 order from our bookshop

Borges was sixty-two and almost unknown outside Argentina when he won the Prix Formentor in 1962. This prize, – ‘hatched’, according to James Woodall, ‘by six international publishers’ (the British one being Weidenfeld and Nicolson, predictably enough) – was intended to honour ‘an author of any nationality whose existing body of work will, in the view of the jury, have a lasting influence on the development of modern literature’. It was also, Woodall tells us, ‘designed as a kind of alternative Nobel, which many at the time believed was becoming haphazard and over-politicised’. As it happened, Borges was to be denied the Nobel, probably for political reasons.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter