Today's Google Doodle doesn't look the way I think a "Borges" illustration ought to look -- somehow it's too sci-fi. Yes, Borges wrote speculative fiction, but he was steeped in erudition, enthralled by the thinkers who had come before him, and fascinated by dreams and mysticism and conspiracies... The image above is too bright, too orderly, too futuristic.
Nonetheless I am happy that Google chose to honor him on this day. "The Aleph" might just be my favorite short story of all time -- I think it is absolutely perfect. And, as a playwright, I find myself thinking about "The Secret Miracle" an awful lot, sometimes praying for a secret miracle of my own!
I read the complete short stories of Borges the summer I was 17 and keep meaning to do a lengthier post on him. But I can't afford to do so at the moment: there are no secret miracles, and time marches on apace. And besides, you'd be better served by reading the actual JLB than by reading my opinions of his work. I encourage you to check out the above two stories -- and feel free to come back and tell me your thoughts on him. Or let me know your personal favorite Borges story.
Other great writers born on August 24: Jean Rhys (someday, too, I'll write about why I think Wide Sargasso Sea is overrated and Voyage in the Dark is underrated) and A.S. Byatt (a favorite of mine; see all my Byatt posts here).