February 18, 2004

Mark Twain on Jane Austen

Category: Literature,Uncategorized :: Permalink

In his “Autobiographical Essay” at the end of The Aleph and Other Stories, Borges mentions how much he dislikes his first seven books:

In fact, when in 1953 my present publisher¬†— Emece¬†— proposed to bring out my “complete writings,” the only reason I accepted was that it would allow me to keep those preposterous volumes suppressed. This reminds me of Mark Twain’s suggestion that a fine library could be started by leaving out the works of Jane Austen, and that even if that library contained no other books it would still be a fine library, since her books were left out (pp. 230-231).

I don’t agree with Twain, and I don’t know that Borges does either, but I found that comment amusing, and all the more so since Borges is applying the comment to his early works.

Posted by John Barach @ 5:25 pm | Discuss (0)

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