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Elegant and Generous: María Kodama

Written in response to:

Such Loneliness in that Gold: María Kodama on Life After Borges

I thoroughly enjoyed the first round of the Emerging Critics reviews. Thanks for creating a space for this type of work to flourish. Although Ali Jane Smith and Ben Brooker’s had great merits, particularly Brooker as an inheritor of the Critic Watch series that serves the SRB so well, I found James Halford’s ‘Such Loneliness in that Gold’ particularly worthwhile. In light of this week’s Nobel award, and given that Borges never won, it is important to continue to understand one of the major influences on writing in our unfolding present by excavating the sites of knowing that surround him. I found Halford’s piece witty, engaging and restorative. I would be excited to see even more routes and networks that Borges and Maria Kodama traveled in their time together, their geographies and networks. I remember staying with my uncle, who is a documentary film maker in Berlin, discussing his own Borges project, which meant he was one of the last people to interview the author in the process of making a film for German television. They spoke to each other directly, ignoring the translators they had brought, spurred on by the texture and timbre of each other’s voice. My uncle said of Maria that she was ‘elegant’ and ‘generous’, qualities that are sorely needed in our own literary debates today. I look forward to the next piece by Halford and the rest of this series.

Thank you,

R