Reading and Re-Reading: Jorge Luis Borges' Literary Criticism on Edgar Allan Poe

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The relationship between Jorge Luis Borges' and Edgar Allan Poe's short fiction has attracted the attention of several literary critics over the past twenty-five years (Irwin, Bennett, and various others). This conversation, however, pays little attention to Poe's significant presence in Borges' literary criticism from the 1920s through 1986. This essay examines Borges' literary relationship with Poe as seen in Borges' literary criticism-articles, lectures, book-reviews, prologues, and interviews-and in various archival manuscripts and notations that Borges left behind. These materials demonstrate that Borges perennially re-read Poe and that his references to Poe's work shifted Poe's reputation in the Río de la Plata region and throughout Spanish America from poet to fiction writer.