Yania Suarez

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Hispanic Studies


This thesis is a study of the reception of the French writer Paul Valéry in the work of the Argentinean author Jorge Luis Borges. In disregard for the notion of “influence”, the thesis explores the dialogue established by Borges with Valéry’s work and the latter’s incidence in Borges’ work. The objective is to point out the key constants of this dialogue, as well as to describe its courses, to explain its strategy and to ponder its significance. Rather than focusing on the ideas they would share, this work insists on Borges’ discussion with such a canonical figure as Paul Valéry and the ways in which that figure works as a complex paradigm to the Argentinean author.

The thesis shows this dialogue to have been wide ranging, as well as intentionally hidden by Borges. Among the chief constants dealt with here are “French”, as synecdoche of a particular idea of literature, Edgar Allan Poe, the thematization of the aesthetic consciousness, which started with him and Charles Baudelaire, and also the literary value of abstract thought. The thesis rescues forgotten, or marginalised, texts by Borges, where Paul Valéry is alluded to, while at the same time indicating and analyzing Valéry’s presence in canonical Borgesian texts. The thesis proposes that Paul Valéry’s trace on Borges is so profound that it had a triggering effect in the writing of important works such as “Pierre Menard, author of the Quixote”, and also of Borges’ theory and practice of the detective genre.



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