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Borges and KafkaSons and Writers$
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Sarah Roger

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198746157

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198746157.001.0001

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Writing about Kafka, Writing about Writing

Writing about Kafka, Writing about Writing

(p.127) 7 Writing about Kafka, Writing about Writing
Borges and Kafka

Sarah Roger

Oxford University Press

Borges expressed two conflicting fears in his writing: he was worried about leaving behind a personal work that would serve as his legacy, yet he also feared giving himself over so wholly to his writing that he relinquished his identity to it. These concerns run through Borges’s Kafkian stories, which are as much about authorship as they are about subordination, infinity, and the ‘patria potestad’. Borges admired Kafka because he turned his personal experiences into universal allegories and nightmares. Borges hoped to resolve some of his concerns about authorship and identity in his writing. Although he came close, he never succeeded. Instead, he settled for depicting the pursuit of the impossible goal and the hope that motivates individuals despite the Kafkian obstacles that stand in their way.

Keywords:   authorship, biography, Borges, Kafka, precursor

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