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Borges and Dante

Echoes of a Literary Friendship


Humberto Núñez-Faraco

This study examines three main aspects of Jorge Luis Borges’s reading of Dante Alighieri, namely, poetic language, ethics and love. It attempts to reveal the ways in which Borges’s interests in these issues manifested themselves in his appropriation of Dante and gained prominence within his work as a whole, paying particular attention to the years c.1920-c.1960. By developing each aspect in a comparative sequence the work illustrates the way in which these issues developed in Borges’s work and, at the same time, provides a general perspective from which the reader can gauge their significance in Dante’s thought. By establishing Borges as an ethical writer this book ventures into new and potentially controversial territory. However, even in the better-explored areas of poetic language and love, it presents new aspects of Borges’s conception of literary activity and of his treatment of the erotic theme.
Contents: The Notion of Poetic Language in Dante – Borges on Poetic Language – Ethics and Related Topics in Dante – Literature and Ethics in Borges – The Centrality of Love in Dante’s Thought – Love, Sex and Hell in Borges’s Work.