St. Mary’s University will celebrate a life and love of literature at this year’s Las Américas Letters Series: A Tribute to Jorge Luis Borges.

María Kodama, widow and longtime companion of Borges, will speak about his life and work Friday, April 4, 2014, at 6 p.m. on campus in University Center – Conference Room A.

Borges (1899-1986) is considered one of the most influential authors of his time, receiving honorary doctorates from Oxford and Cambridge. He was a master of fables and imaginary tales that foreshadowed some of the most important discoveries of the 20th century, dealing with topics of time, space and the hereafter.

After Kodama’s presentation, Gwendolyn Díaz, Ph.D., Director of the Master’s program in English at St. Mary’s, will interview her about life with Borges. There also will be time for a question-and-answer session.

On April 5, Las Américas Letters joins the San Antonio Book Festival in hosting a public interview with Kodama led by Díaz at 10 a.m. at the San Antonio Central Library, 600 Soledad St.

Borges lectured at the University of Texas at Austin in the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s. He felt an affection for Texas as it reminded him of the Argentine pampas, where gauchos –counterpart of the cowboy – roamed the plains. He mentions Texas in several of his poems and short stories, such as his sonnet, “Texas,” in which he makes reference to San Jacinto and the Alamo.

Kodama, President of the J.L. Borges International Foundation, traveled the world with Borges as he lectured and received honors for his achievements. When Borges lost his sight, she became his reader. Kodama is also a fiction writer and a scholar of world literature.

The mission of Las Américas Letters Series in Literature and the Arts is to encourage empowerment through creativity and cultural understanding by bridging the Americas through the work of authors, artists, painters, musicians, scholars, and educators. The series has featured a variety of artists – from Tango Argentino at the Empire Theatre to some of the foremost literary personalities of the Americas.

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