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When Google Honours An Author On His Birthday

Google Doodle Celebrates 112th Birthday of Author Jorge Luis Borges

by  Chloe Albanesius


Google on Wednesday celebrated what would have been the 112th birthday of Argentine poet, essayist, and short story writer Jorge Luis Borges with a homepage doodle the captures the author's surreal approach to literary works.

"Wishing Jorge Luis Borges a happy 112th birthday!" Google tweeted early this morning, adding a well-known Borges quote: "I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library."

One of Borges' more famous works, "The Garden of Forking Paths," was published in 1941, but many view it as a story that captures the spirit of a system that would eventually become the Internet, thanks to his idea of "forking paths through networks of time."

An ongoing exhibition of historic and contemporary artists' computer games sponsored by Australia's d/Lux/MediaArts focuses on Borges' contributions.

"The storyline [in 'Forking Paths'] surrounding an infinite, labyrinthine book that realizes multiple paths and futures are echoed in the information age with hypertext, the World Wide Web and the form and structure of computer games," the organization said. "Just as Borges and his contemporaries pushed the envelope of the narrative form, so too artists have been creating and modifying computer games, experimenting with the notions of what a game is and exploring alternate approaches to interaction and play methodologies."

Jorge Luis Borges

Before the Internet or computer games were commonplace, however, Borges was born in Buenos Aires in 1899, but he spent his formative years traveling with his family in Switzerland and Spain. While in Spain, he discovered an avant-garde literary movement known as Ultraist, a style he brought back to Argentina when his family returned in the 1920s, though later shunned it. He penned surreal poems and contributed to literary journals, culminating in the publication of a collection of poems, Fervor de Buenos Aires, in 1923.