a boswell for borges


Adolfo Bioy Casares had his first conversation with Jorge Luis Borges in 1931 or 1932, when Bioy was about eighteen and Borges was thirty-two. From then on they enjoyed an extraordinarily intense literary friendship which lasted until Borges’s death in 1986. In 1947 Bioy started to write a diary, in which he recorded the often daily conversations that make up this gargantuan book. The diary clearly covered many other topics, and they are tantalizingly referred to by Daniel Martino, the editor of Borges, in a short, unilluminating preface. Martino says that “Bioy’s diaries open up a vast universe where his notes on his conversations with Borges coexist with his writings on everyday life and his frequent examinations of matters of conduct”. Martino seems to have had exclusive access to this material, but he does not tell us where the rest of it is, which is a pity because Bioy is a considerable writer in his own right, even if many critics still see him first and foremost as Borges’s friend, and collaborator in numerous stories and satires which they jointly wrote under the pseudonyms of H. Bustos Domecq and B. Suárez Lynch.

more from the TLS here.