Speaking of new projects, I've been blogging for pterodáctilo, the literary magazine of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. Not long ago, I wrote about trying to follow the ghost of Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges around Austin, one of his favorite cities in the US. Here's a sample:
For Borges, this was always a place of wonder. Miguel Enguidános—on faculty here when Borges arrived—wrote in the introduction to El hacedor that, “Texas was, for him, an epic-laden dream.” Borges came as a visiting professor in 1961 and left in early 1962. He came back several times for short visits, but still, that’s not a lot of time. And yet Austin and Texas kept showing up in his writings over the next two decades. There’s the short story “The Bribe,” (“El soborno,” 1975) set on the UT campus. There’s the sonnet, “Texas” (1967), in which Borges expresses his surprise at finding so many similarities between my home and his. In another poem, Borges calls Austin the city through which he “discovered America.” And then there’s Paul Theroux’s interview with Borges, as described in The Old Patagonia Express. As Peter LaSalle puts it, “Borges started talking about Texas almost as soon as Theroux got through the door to his apartment. Borges asked him if he was familiar with Austin, Theroux said no, and Borges chided him for having missed it on his trip: ‘You should have gone to Austin.’
You can read the whole post here. It features cameos from Kinky Friedman and Janis Joplin.