Guest Post: Dark & Unexpected Inspiration by Christina Butc

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CCtheBrave
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Guest Post: Dark & Unexpected Inspiration by Christina Butc

Post by CCtheBrave »

Dark & Unexpected Inspiration from Jorge Luis Borges
By Christina Butcher


Which authors inspires you to sit down in a quiet corner, beneath a heavy lamp, and greedily read through half a book? Or which authors do you rush out to buy a copy of their latest book from, just so that you can spend hours and hours at a local coffee shop, enraptured by their words? And who leaves you holding their novel in your hands while you stare off into space, contemplating what you’ve just read and how idea of ‘reality’ will never be the same?

For me, Jorge Luis Borges is that author. I knew he had a deep, impactful effect on me when I did all of those things above. His books left me with a certain kind of feeling, an itch, to read more and delve into the twists and turns of his plot. He made me feel the weight of his imagery, as if his worlds were real and tangible and just around the corner. Jorge Luis Borges is a true craftsman; one whom I gravitate towards because his work is both inspiring and contemplative.

Born in Buenos Aires at the turn of the century (1899), Jorge Luis Borges wrote a menagerie of fiction, poetry, essays, and translations throughout his long life. His work is well known and highly respected in Spanish literature circles, and he served as the Director of the National Library in Argentina during the later years of his life. His stories are often simple in structure, yet the imagery is mind-bending and hauntingly dark. Some of my favorite short stories of his include “Dream Tigers”, “Borges and I,” and “The Immortals,” all of which are translated from Spanish in his anthology, The Aleph and Other Stories. In “The Immortals,” Borges writes

“A Hundred or more irregular niches like my own riddled the mountain and valley. In the sand had been dug shallow holes; from those wretched holes, from the niches, emerged naked men with grey skin and neglected beards.”


Borges also wrote many stories where he took classical literature and significantly reworked it, writing new endings into old stories and giving readers unexpected perspective. The author was bold enough to change protagonists, dialogue, or plot line, if it suited him, and he interwove science fiction and magic into many of classical works. Not even The Odyssey was safe, nor Don Quixote or Urn Burial.

As a young, timid writer, Jorge Luis Borges’ writings inspired me to take a story and turn in upside down, to question reality within a text, and to take dark, windy-path chances with plots that I would otherwise be too afraid to try. His work is deeply political, as well, yet readers must search for the political undertones within the text and uncover it like a dog sniffing out last year’s bone. Borges’ stories serve as strong example for young writers to stay away from obvious, cliché, and mundane imagery and plot within a story.

Take a moment of your day, if you’re unfamiliar with his work, and check out an old, musty copy of Borges’ Ficciones or Dream Tigers anthologies. I promise you that he will amaze you with his creativity. He will inspire you. And you, and your writing, will change, as unexpectedly as the characters in his stories.

Christina Butcher writes her own poetry and short stories at http://www.writebrave.org

Follow her on twitter @write_brave and on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/writebrave
read well and write bravely
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Post by gali »

Great article! Thank you for the recommendation. :)
In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you." (Mortimer J. Adler)

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Post by bookowlie »

I really enjoyed reading your Guest Post! We all are partial to certain authors. You did a great job of highlighting what makes Jorge Luis Borges' books special. Now I want to read one of his books. :)
"The best way out is always through" - Robert Frost

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Post by CCtheBrave »

thank you both for your comments, i'm glad you enjoyed reading the post! if you haven't read any of his books, i suggest some of his short stories, they're so strange and dark.
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Post by bookowlie »

Thanks for the recommendation.
"The best way out is always through" - Robert Frost

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Post by Sara MCR »

I have heard of him before, but I have never read any of his work. After your article, I think that I will start, and I'll start with short stories. Thank you! :D

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Post by Cnchaplin29 »

Thank you so much for sharing what had made you be more inspired to write about the things you write about.

For myself, it has taken a while to know what I really like reading about. To be honest, I read books to just read them to past time but not for how they inspired me. Now a days, I believe I have found two Authors that I have fallen for their creative writing and their story.

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CCtheBrave
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Post by CCtheBrave »

I'm glad you enjoyed the post! I truly love his work. I think it's important to look at the authors that inspire you and try to understand what exactly it is about their writing that draws you in.
read well and write bravely
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Post by gaporter »

Great article! I'm interested in his reworkings of classical literature. I'll definitely check this author out!

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Post by Fabian Omondi »

Wow this seems interesting and really pushed to read it.Hope I'll surely enjoy it.

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Post by Insightsintobooks729 »

I've never heard of that author before. I think I will. Thank you for the post.
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