Lisa Block de Behar explores the trope of quotation in the works of Jorge Luis Borges.
Borges cites innumerable authors in the pages making up his life's work, and innumerable authors have cited and continue to cite him. More than a figure, then, the quotation is an integral part of the fabric of his writing, a fabric made anew by each reading and each re-citation it undergoes, in the never-ending throes of a work-in-progress. Block de Behar makes of this reading a plea for the very art of communication; a practice that takes community not in the totalized and totalizable soil of pre-established definitions or essences, but on the ineluctable repetitions that constitute language as such, and that guarantee the expansiveness—through etymological coincidences of meaning, through historical contagions, through translinguistic sharings of particular experiences—of a certain index of universality.
Lisa Block de Behar is Professor of Semiotics and Theory of Interpretation at the Universidad de la Republica in Montevideo, Uruguay and is a renowned Jorge Luis Borges scholar. William Egginton is Assistant Professor of Modern Languages and Literatures at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York.