Thirty-three years ago, in June 1982, as the Falklands (or Malvinas) War in the South Atlantic came to a close, a visit to Jorge Luis Borges seemed in order. We had met often before. Pope John Paul II had just arrived in Buenos Aires, following his visit to the UK the previous month, but I advised The Guardian, for which I was working as a foreign correspondent, that I thought an interview with Borges was more important. The pontiff’s visit might add a topic to our talk. Borges often asked people why they came to interview him when they must have known that he had just one interview.
This second volume of chats between Jorge Luis Borges and Osvaldo Ferrari, first published in Spanish in 1987, confirms the great man’s idea of himself. Borges had a string of topics through which he would invariably take his visitors. He might expand on some points for, say, academics or worthy