Longtime readers are aware of my admiration for Northrop Frye, whose work has been an indispensable part of my approach to literature and a starting point for much of my teaching. When I teach something I haven’t taught before, one of my starting points is almost always, “Well, what did Frye say?” This has served me well, from my “audition lectures” on the job market to the discussion of city and wilderness that will take up part of Thursday’s talk on Heart of Darkness.
I’m also fascinated by the work of Jorge Luis Borges, which I’ve had the opportunity to teach a few times in a course on fantasy literature, and which I’ll no doubt revisit in a class on the short story I’ll teach this Fall. I find that the best of his work leaves me feeling dislocated, slightly askew of reality, on the literary equivalent of an M.C. Escher staircase.
As it happens, Frygean scholar Robert Denham (who once used me as a useful idiot in a lecture he delivered) offers a compendium of Frye’s thoughts on Borges at Frye-focused blog The Educated Imagination, and Joseph Adamson considers the pair as well. Check them out.