William Rowlandson to talk at the Indiano Archive

Dr William Rowlandson, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Modern Languages will be presenting again this year at the annual summer conference at the La Fundación Archivo de Indianos in Colombres, near Santander, Spain on Friday 22 July 2016.

La Fundación Archivo de Indianos [The Foundation Indiano Archive] is housed at the Museum of Emigration. The principal objective of the Indiano Archive is the progressive accumulation of information and development of a museum about the phenomenon of Spanish emigration to South America.

William’s talk is entitled ‘Borges y el misticismo’ [‘Borge and mysticism’]. Argentine poet, essayist and short story writer Jorge Luis Borges dedicated his life to exploring what he called ‘the interstices of unreason’ in the fabric of reality. He alluded frequently to the two mystical experiences that he had in his life, and yet he was insistent that he was no mystic. He made forthright claims about mystics and non-mystics, stating, for example, that Plotinus, Silesius, Swedenborg, Blake and his friend Xul Solar were all místicos, whilst Pascal, Teresa de Ávila, Juan de la Cruz and Luis de León were not. Upon what basis did he make those claims? In this presentation William concentrates on the presence of diverse mystical literature in Borges, paying particular attention to the influence of Emanuel Swedenborg. This leads to a consideration of certain texts of Borges that illustrate the strange interrelationship between author, narrator, character and reader in ways that blur the divisions between fiction and non-fiction, fantasy and reality.

Further details about the Indiano Archive can be found at: www.archivodeindianos.es/