One generation of Tlönists would be enough

Borges as an Influence
The writers who have cited Borges as a literary influence are legion; indeed, the adjective “Borgesian” has become as commonplace as “Joycean” or “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 of fact, fiction, and philosophy, or blending artistic invention with mock criticism and academia. Other elements of the Borgesian “style” are more subtle, and include an economy of language, an eclectic range of interests, and a dry, ironic humor. (And always a near-mystical fascination with books, libraries, clocks, and mirrors!)
Below you will find a collection of authors and works which have been influenced in some way by Jorge Luis Borges. The collection is divided into three sections: Featured Book Reviews, 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 small page describing his 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!
Special Credit: The image used as the banner for all these pages was based on a drawing by Borges, currently held in the University of Virginia Special Collection.

Featured Book Reviews

Sean Kernan’s The Secret Books
The Modern Word, 16 November 1999. A review of Sean Kernan’s haunting homage to Borges and books.

Rhys Hughes’ A New Universal History of Infamy
The Modern Word, 20 March 2004 A look at Welsh writer Rhys Hughes’ “update” of a Borges classic.


Main Collection

Barth, John
American postmodern novelist who incorporates Borgesian themes into his fiction.

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

Eco, Umberto
Italian intellectual, novelist and semiotician, author of The Name of the Rose.

Fuentes, Carlos
This Mexican writer – author of the masterpiece The Death of Artemio Cruz – paid tribute to Borges in “Borges in Action.”

García Márquez, Gabriel
Colombian writer and Nobel Laureate, author of One Hundred Years of Solitude.

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, the late Kis was the author of complex works than mined many Borgesian themes.

Morrison, Grant
British comic book author, his postmodern style graced the pages of Animal Man and Doom Patrol and may currently seen in DC’s The Invisibles.

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 with an often ironic, postmodern bent; author of the “Abergris” stories.

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 Borges influences are often a source of humour in his works.

Anderson, Poul
Science Fiction writer who includes a synthetic Borges in a recent 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 has made an homage to Borges in one of his stories.

Ellison, Harlan
American writer of brilliant and often trenchant short stories.

Gaiman, Neil
British comic book writer, creator of the amazing Sandman 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 Magazine and author of the book 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-Croation author Dictionary of the Khazars.

Perec, Georges
The great French Postmodernist and Palindromist.

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

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

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


–Allen B. Ruch
14 August 2004


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