Borges on visiting America: forgiving our “unholy jungle of gadgets”

“I found America the friendliest, most forgiving, and most generous nation I had ever visited. We South Americans tend to think of things in terms of convenience, whereas people in the United States approach things ethically.This–amateur Protestant that I am–I admired above all. It even helped me overlook skyscrapers, paper bags, television, plastics, and the unholy jungle of gadgets.”

Borges wrote this in 1970. I wonder what he’d think of today’s jungle of gadgets?

Borges traveled on the lecture circuit in the U.S., but he also spent a good while as a visiting professor at my alma mater, The University of Texas at Austin. I imagined him moving slowly (he was blind at the time, after all) through Parlin Hall, the English building where I had most of my classes.

 

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