Revista de Estudios Hispánicos
Prologues traditionally present works through a series of conventional gestures: introducing the author, providing contextual information and otherwise preparing a reader for proper understanding of the work. In this sense, they appear to reinforce a classic distinction between the philosophical text, whose words efface themselves in the act of understanding and the literary text, which resists such neglect of textuality and demands rereading. In a variety of ways throughout his work, Borges questions the neat distinction between literature and philosophy, and “Prefatory Conventions and Invention” examines how he does this in his prologues. After examining theory of the prologue in Borges, Gerard Genette’s Paratexts, and Jacques Derrida’s “Outworks, ” this article focuses on Borges’s prologue to La invention de Morel, showing how it both conforms to philosophical task of delivering knowledge and demands multiple readings in the manner of a literary text. Following apparently accidental details of the prologue, and building on the work of previous critics, I propose that we view the borgesian text not as a fusion of literature and philosophy but as a textual movement or passage back and forth between two distinct types of discourse.
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Gingerich, Stephen D. “Prefatory Conventions and Invention: Rereading Borges’s Prologue to La invención de Morel.” Revista de Estudios Hispánicos 52.3 (October 2018): 983-1005