Global Encounters with the Graeco-Roman Past
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In Borges' Classics, Laura Jansen reads the oeuvre of the Argentine author Jorge Luis Borges as a radically globalized model for reimagining our relationship with the classical past. This major study reveals how Borges constructs a new 'physics of reading' the classics, which privileges a paradoxical vision of the canon as universal yet centreless, and eschews fixed ideas about the cultural history of the West. Borges' unique approach transforms classical antiquity into a simultaneously familiar and remote world, whose legacy is both urgent and unstable. In the process, Borges repositions the classical tradition at the intersection of the traditional Western canon and modernist literature of the peripheral West. Jansen's study traces Borges' encounters with the classics through appeal to themes central to Borges' thought, such as history and fiction, memory and forgetfulness, the data of the senses, and the vectors that connect cultures and countries.