1: Text excerpt, Ilan Stavans’s "Borges, the Jew," 2016.
In this book, Professor Ilan Stavans focuses on Jorge Luis Borges’s fascination with Jewish culture. In these introductory pages, Stavans contextualizes the appearance of “Yo, judío” in 1934 and considers Borges’s “philo-Semitism”—his love of Jewishness—as both a response to anti-Semitism and a quest for his own identity. (Have students read “Yo, judío” (“I, a Jew”) before engaging with this resource. See the “Reading and Background” section for links and more information).
Suggested Activity: Ilan Stavans has often written about the intersection of the personal and the scholarly in his own life. After students read the excerpt, have them choose a concept, phrase, intertextual reference or scene from “The Secret Miracle” and write a first-person essay about how it has impacted them, and/or how they imagine it can serve as a lesson or metaphor in their life going forward.
Source: Ilan Stavans, “Yo, Judío” in Borges, the Jew (Albany: SUNY Press, 2016), 1–6. Available online at https://www.sunypress.edu/pdf/63116.pdf.