Jorge Luis Borges on fantasy writing

Leonard Durso

Interviewer: There is an element of fantasy in your work, then–which leads me to ask you about the fantastic. You use the word a great deal in your writing, and I remember that you call Green Mansions, for example, a fantastic novel.

Borges: Well, it is.

Interviewer: How would you define fantastic, then?

Borges: I wonder if you can define it. I think it’s rather an intention in a writer. I remember a very deep remark of Joseph Conrad–he is one of my favorite authors–I think it is in the foreword to something like The Dark Line, but it’s not that. . .

Interviewer: The Shadow Line?

Borges: The Shadow Line. In that foreword he said that some people have thought that the story was a fantastic story because of the captain’s ghost stopping the ship. He wrote–and that struck me because I write fantastic stories…

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