The University of Michigan makes its way into a New York Times Magazine piece by Francisco Goldman: “In the Shadow of the Patriarch.”

“I was in my first year at the University of Michigan when Jorge Luis Borges came to speak. I sat on the floor of a packed auditorium and remember the moment during the questions and answers when a graduate student rose to voice his vehement request for Borges to unequivocally denounce the realist novel. Borges, with his soft, blind stare, resembled an elegant saint levitating in an English suit as he answered, ”Young man, whether we are talking about Henry James or Robbe-Grillet, Conrad or Beckett, all of literature is part of the same dream and one of the few pleasures allowed to us on this earth.”

A few years later, after I had moved to New York City and was living on the Lower East Side, I learned that Carlos Fuentes was giving a ”Great Novels” course at Columbia’s School of International Affairs. It was a very early class, 8 in the morning, I think, which to me seemed like dawn. Carrying the special bound notebook that I had made at a photocopy shop where I worked, I would sneak into his class. … My favorite authors were people you could actually meet! Eventually I saw and sometimes met them all: Julio Cortazar, Jose Donoso, Guillermo Cabrera Infante. “

Author: Rob