Why did Borges hate soccer?

June 20, 2014

Some of Borges’ critiques are valid and relevant today. The nationalism generated by football does result in the fanaticism, hatred, racism, and xenophobia displayed by fans all over the world. Also, how the game is used by politicians and dictators for their own self-interest and to support their political objectives.

These are all undeniable realities that are still an ugly part of football.

But even a genius like Borges can be wrong.

The flow and artistry of the game is beautiful and timeless. It is not mind boggling that Borges was not able to understand and recognize the aesthetic wonder that is football.

His own prejudices brought out the blinders.

Soccer is popular,” Jorge Luis Borges observed, “because stupidity is popular.”

At first glance, the Argentine writer’s animus toward “the beautiful game” seems to reflect the attitude of today’s typical soccer hater, whose lazy gibes have almost become a refrain by now: Soccer is boring. There are too many tie scores. I can’t stand the fake injuries.

And it’s true: Borges did call soccer “aesthetically ugly.”

He did say, “Soccer is one of England’s biggest crimes.”

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Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia

May 29, 2014


Love Liberates

May 29, 2014

Dr. Maya Angelou


“Invisible Man” banned in North Carolina

September 21, 2013

The idea that a book should be banned is offensive on so many levels and a vulgar attack on humanity.

It continues to happen in the US and every time it does I’m so disgusted and angry that book banning is still considered acceptable and that it is carried out.

In this latest incident it involves none other than Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, one of the greatest novels in American Literature, that deals so powerfully with the issue of race and black identity in American society.

The people responsible for banning Invisible Man have never read the book and will never read the book.

They don’t have the capacity to do so.

And it is not a stretch to point out that the race of the author and race as a central theme in the book are factors in the decision to ban the book.

I certainly hope that this vile act of censorship is overturned.

“Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison, published in 1952, was banned in Randolph County, N.C., after a mother’s 12-page complaint.

By Carolyn Kellogg

Ralph Ellison’s novel “Invisible Man” has been banned from school libraries in Randolph County, N.C. The book is considered by many to be an masterful novel dealing with race in America.

“I didn’t find any literary value,” said school board member Gary Mason before the board voted 5-2 to ban the book.

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New JD Salinger biography

August 21, 2013

New biography of JD Salinger to be published this September

Shrouded in secrecy, The Private War of JD Salinger promises new details about the reclusive author’s wartime life

An attempt to piece together the life of the notoriously reclusive Catcher in the Rye author JD Salinger, researched over the course of eight years in strict secrecy and including more than 200 interviews, is to be published as a biography on 3 September. A documentary film about the author will be released in the US the same week.

Arriving three years after Salinger’s death at the age of 91, The Private War of JD Salinger promises new insights based on accounts from his “World War II brothers-in-arms, family members, close friends, lovers, classmates, neighbours, editors, publishers, New Yorker colleagues and people with whom he had relationships that were secret even to his own family”, according to a description on Amazon. The author’s literary estate has remained resolutely silent.

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Two New Books About Borges

August 3, 2013

Two New Books About “Borges”
Posted by Mark O’Connell

Few artists have built grand structures on such uncertain foundations as Jorge Luis Borges. Doubt was the sacred principle of his work, its animating force and, frequently, its message. To read his stories is to experience the dissolution of all certainty, all assumption about the reliability of your experience of the world. Of the major literary figures of the twentieth century, Borges seems to have been the least convinced by himself—by the imposing public illusion of his own fame. The thing Borges was most skeptical about was the idea of a writer, a man, named Borges.

In his memorable prose piece “Borges and I,” he addresses a deeply felt distinction between himself and “the other one, the one called Borges.” “I like hourglasses,” he writes, “maps, eighteenth-century typography, the taste of coffee, and the prose of Stevenson; he shares these preferences, but in a vain way that turns them into the attributes of an actor.” He recognizes almost nothing of himself in the eminent literary personage with whom he shares a name, a face, and certain other superficial qualities. “I do not know which of us has written this page,” he concludes.

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Chinua Achebe discusses Africa 50 years after “Things Fall Apart”

July 31, 2013

The Literary Giant on his most influential novel, its impact on Africa and the rest of the world.