Borges: Time, Modernity, and Nostalgia in Evaristo Carriego
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What is the purpose of nostalgia in literature? How does it respond to modernity? And what is its function as a temporal tool? These are the driving questions behind my research, which will focus on Evaristo Carriego, an early work by Argentine author Jorge Luis Borges. This eponymous biographical work serves more to paint a picture of Buenos Aires in development than to chronicle the life of the man himself. Borges uses popular and historical mythologies to construct a mythic image of the neighborhood Palermo during the early twentieth century. Because of this, the work is often read as a "pre-text", that is, a history that the rest of Borges' writings would reference. I aim to build on this, examining how this particular work creates counternarratives to modernity. I propose an interconnectedness of time, modernity, and nostalgia which enriches an understanding of Carriego through an analysis of Borges' methods of constructing literary worlds in which there are multiplicities of dissonant and converging iterations of time. Beyond simply reading and explaining Carri ego as a pre-text, I hope to draw broader conclusions about the impact of various iterations of time in a modern and postmodern culture.