Let’s give three cheers and quickly celebrate the birthday of the Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges, born on this day in 1899. Above, we have a photo of Borges taken during a seemingly festive moment. According to the blog Me and My Big Mouth, the photo comes from the collection of Norman Thomas di Giovanni, whose biography Georgie and Elsa — Jorge Luis Borges and His Wife: The Untold Story will hit bookstores on September 2 (though it can be pre-ordered now). Paul Theroux calls the bio “a long, satisfying and penetrating gaze into the private life of an acknowledged genius, his work, his evasions, and his peculiar heartaches.”
If you care to turn this celebration into a full-day affair, we’d recommend listening to Borges’ 1967–8 Norton Lectures on Poetry, recorded at Harvard. The 9 lectures provide hours of intellectual stimulation. Or watch the free documentary, Jorge Luis Borges: The Mirror Man, which one reviewer called a “bit of everything – part biography, part literary criticism, part hero-worship, part book reading, and part psychology.”
You can find a few more Borges favorites from our archive right below.