Secret Miracles: Jewish Themes in Jorge Luis Borges

Sunday, February 21, 2021, at 7 pm on Zoom—Expanding on his earlier talk, Professor Dan Russek will focus on the work of the iconic author, Argentine Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986). Though not a Jew, Borges was drawn to Jewish literature, culture and religion since an early age, and his work constantly refers to Jewish themes. Russek will engage in close readings of emblematic texts with particular reference to Borges’ ideas on the Kabbalah, the short stories El milagro secreto, (The Secret Miracle), La muerte y la brújula (Death and the Compass), Deutsches Requiem, Emma Zunz, and El Aleph, and poems such as Spinoza and El Golem. Translations of, and/or links to, these texts are available upon request (email drussek@uvic.ca). Some of the stories may be found here…
Note: attendance at the previous presentation is not a prerequisite for attending this one.

For a review of the previous talk…

Dan Russek, a native of Mexico, is an Associate Professor at the University of Victoria in the Department of Hispanic and Italian Studies. He has taught at UVic since 2004. He earned a B.A. (Philosophy) and an M.A. (Comparative Literature) from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). He completed his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at the University of Chicago, specializing in modern and contemporary Latin American literature and visual arts. His fields of research include the links between literature and the visual arts and media, urban studies and aesthetics.

This talk is sponsored by the Congregation Emanu-El Adult Education Team. Donations to our Adult Education fund are always welcome. You may donate ONLINE or through the office at info@congregationemanuel.ca

Join online: CLICK HERE
Regular Dial-in: Call: 1 778 907 2071
Meeting ID: 818 6160 8457
Passcode: 348469

Did the Golem tango?

On Sunday, January 10, 2021 Dr. Dan Russek from the University of Victoria, led a lively talk about Latin American writers from a Jewish perspective, focusing on Jorge Luis Borges, a prolific writer and philosopher from Argentina.
His presentation introduced us to the Jewish immigrants who arrived in Argentina expecting to see an America that was more like their visions of the USA but quickly adapted to life in the “other” America, some of them even becoming gauchos on the pampas. Dr. Russek showed us that the field of Latin American literature is so much broader than one would expect. And no, the golem didn’t actually dance the tango, but Dan managed to tie the Czech story to the residents of Moisés Ville. There is so much to learn that perhaps we will be fortunate enough to have a follow up session with Dr. Russek in the future.

The Golem Dances the Tango

Sunday, January 10, 7  pm via ZoomProfessor Dan Russek will present a brief overview of Jewish life in Mexico and Argentina as seen through four books by Jewish authors: Los gauchos judíos (The Jewish Gauchos of the Pampas, 1910) by Argentine Alberto Gerchunoff, Las genealogías (The Family Tree: An Illustrated Novel, 1981) by Mexican Margo Glantz, El libro de los recuerdos (The Book of Memories, 1984) by Argentine Ana Maria Shua, and Tela de Sevoya (Onioncloth, 2012) by Mexican Myriam Moscona; and move on to an examination of Jewish themes in the work of the most important Latin American writer of the twentieth century, Argentine Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986). Dan will discuss Borges’ attitudes towards Judaism and Israel, and analyze his emblematic texts such as his short stories El milagro secreto, (The Secret Miracle) Deustches Requiem, Emma Zunz, and El Aleph, and poems such as El Golem and Israel. Translations of, and/or link to, these texts are available upon request (email Prof. Dan Russek at drussek@uvic.ca).

Dan Russek, a native of Mexico, is an Associate Professor at the University of Victoria in the Department of Hispanic and Italian Studies. He has taught at UVic since 2004. He earned a B.A. (Philosophy) and an M.A. (Comparative Literature) from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). He completed his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at the University of Chicago, specializing in modern and contemporary Latin American literature and visual arts. His fields of research include the links between literature and the visual arts and media, urban studies and aesthetics.

The presentation will be on Zoom.

  • Join online: CLICK HERE
  • Regular Dial-in: Call: 1 778 907 2071
  • Meeting ID: 895 5879 7019
  • Passcode: 402834

For more information info@congregationemanuel.ca

Sponsored by the Emanu-El Adult Education Team.

Donations to our Adult Education fund are always welcome. You may donate ONLINE or through the office at info@congregationemanuel.ca.

A wonderful evening of learning

Last Sunday evening, Lee Henderson led a fascinating virtual literary salon discussion of the parallels and differences linking two amazing writers whose lives were separated by about 100 years. Lee expertly explained how the stories and parables crafted by Franz Kafka and Rabbi Nachman reflected both secular and religious perspectives on the often strange vagaries of life they encountered. The audience was treated to a wonderful evening of learning and no doubt will be seeking out books and articles on these two masters so they can delve further into what made them tick.