FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JORGES LUIS BORGES: UNIQUE BOOKS AND MANUSCRIPTS
Featuring work by JOSIAH McELHENY with Heide Hatry & Yoel Novoa
2 October – 8 November, 2003
NEW YORK - From Thursday 2 October until Wednesday 6 November, VOLUME, at 530 West 24th Street (between 10th and 11th) in the heart of the Chelsea Art district, will host an exhibition of extraordinary rare books and manuscripts relating to the great Argentine author Jorge Luis Borges.
Featured in the exhibition is a standout work by New York sculptor JOSIAH MCELHENY entitled Two Mirrors After a Poem by Borges (2000). McElheny, an expert glassblower, creates highly-conceptual objects steeped in historical context. Also on view are works by German artist Heide Hatry and Argentine sculptor Yoel Novoa.
Among the more than 20 original manuscripts will be numerous poems, essays, reviews and stories, including the manuscript of one of his greatest poems, “El otro tigre” and three of his most famous stories, “Las ruinas circulares,” “La loteria en Babilonia” and “La biblioteca de Babel.” Among the more than thirty unique and important presentation copies of first editions by Borges will be works inscribed by Borges to such intimate friends and associates as Victoria Ocampo, Silvina Ocampo, Alfonso Reyes, Rafael Cansinos Assens, Xul Solar, Pedro Henriquez Urena, Roberto Godel, Norah Borges, Macedonio Fernandez, Norah Lange, Oliverio Girondo, Enrique Amorim, Carlos Mastronardi, Roger Caillois and Concepcion Guerrero. The exhibition will also include original photographs and books from the master’s library. A lavishly illustrated catalogue of 142 pages prepared by poet Charles Vallely and with an introduction by Alberto Manguel, will be available at the opening and subsequently.
An inaugural reception will be held on Thursday 2 October from 6-9 PM; champagne and hors d’oeuvres will be served.
Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986) is by any account one of the greatest writers of the Twentieth Century, standing alongside such immortal figures as James Joyce, Marcel Proust, Robert Musil, Franz Kafka, Samuel Beckett, Vladimir Nabokov, Hermann Broch, Italo Svevo, T.S. Eliot, William Faulkner, Fernando Pessoa, etc. As a poet, essayist, and especially as a writer of short fiction, Borges created an opus of staggering originality, one which challenged the conventions and boundaries of every genre and which fundamentally altered the
way we write, and perhaps more importantly, read, today. He is credited with having inspired, and in fact inaugurated, the now-famous magical-realist trend in modern Latin American fiction, the best-known proponent of which is Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Certainly there is no important writer in the Latin American literature of the last fifty years who has not been deeply affected by contact with Borges.
Perhaps the ultimate “reader’s writer” not to mention “writer’s writer,” Borges has managed in fewer words than any other great writer to evoke entire universes, and many of them. When Nietzsche said that he wished to say in one page what it took other writers a book to say, and that as well which they failed to say – and he succeeded in that admirably – he perhaps didn’t conjure with the notion that Borges would one day arrive and do the same thing in a mere sentence, or at times only a few words. Fascinated by infinities and the infinitesimal, by mirrors and labyrinths, by paradox and enigma of all manners, by violence and the perverse, by mysticism and the arcane, Borges, from his parochial standpoint in Palermo in Buenos Aires in the remote reaches of the Twentieth Century, broke through a literary wall that had always appeared to be simply the opposing world -- but word travels slowly.
Accompanying the exhibition, in which hundreds of first editions, manuscripts, periodical appearances, illustrated books, inscribed books, translations and ephemera will be on display – most of it not included in the catalogue -- will be art specifically created for the present event – sculptures by Argentine sculptor Yoel Novoa and paintings, sculpture and unique artist’s books by German artist Heide Hatry.
Further information can be obtained by contacting Volume Gallery at 212-989-8700 or Lame Duck Books at 617-407-6271.