Tuesday, March 22, 2011


You know I'm always having trouble finding something I like to read.

Well, I just read a story by Jorge Luis Borges, "the Intruder," from an old TriQuarterly anthology called Contemporary Latin American Literature, published in 1969.

Ah, how far back I have to go to find something good.

Anyway, Borges was a wonderful storyteller, a spinner of yarns. In this one, which is only four pages long, two brothers are deeply, emotionally entwined, and they are wild, tough men who sleep on cots and ride horses and gamble, and fight with knives as a form of entertainment.

They both fall in love with the same woman. There's the conflict, and it plays out wonderfully and brutally and ends in bloodshed, as it must.

This is what I love about Borges and the other Latin American writers. No gringo could have written this story. No white, middle-class, suburban man or woman would admit such intense passion into a story. That lack of passion is what I find so boring about Updike and Cheever and even Carver, although Carver was a great stylist and technician.

What I seek in fiction is intensity, magic, flights of fancy and deep insights into the human heart.

As Faulkner said, the human heart in conflict with itself is the only subject worth writing about.

-- Roger

© Copyright 2011, Roger R. Angle

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