BORGES (JORGE LUIS) Autograph manuscript, signed ("Jorge Luis Borges"), of his Prologue to Ray Bradbury's Martian Chronicles, 1955

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Lot 219
BORGES (JORGE LUIS)
Autograph manuscript, signed ("Jorge Luis Borges"), of his Prologue to Ray Bradbury's Martian Chronicles, 1955

Sold for £ 8,812 (US$ 11,419) inc. premium
BORGES (JORGE LUIS)
Autograph manuscript, signed ("Jorge Luis Borges"), of his Prologue to Ray Bradbury's Martian Chronicles, headed "PRÓLOGO" and opening: "En el segundo siglo de nuestra era, Luciano de Samosata compuso una Historia verídica, que encierra, entre otras maravillas, una descripción de los selenitas...", [ʻIn the second century of our era, Lucian of Samosata composed a True History that includes, among other marvels, a description of the Selenites, who... remove and replace their eyes, and drink air-juice or squeezed air; at the beginning of the sixteenth century, Ludovico Ariosto imagined a hero who discovers on the moon all that has been lost on earth, the tears and sighs of loves, the time wasted on games, the fruitless attempts and the unfulfilled desires; in the seventeenth century, Kepler wrote a Somnium Astronomicum that purports to be a transcription of a book read in a dream, whose pages reveal at great length the appearance and habits of the lunar snakes, which take shelter in deep caves during the heat of the day and venture out at nightfall... Bradbury writes "2004," and we feel the gravitation, the fatigue, the vast and shifting accumulation of the past – Shakespeare's "dark backward and abysm of Time." As the Renaissance observed, through the words of Giordano Bruno and Bacon, we are the true ancients, not the people of Genesis or Homer. What has this man from Illinois created – I ask myself, closing the pages of his book – that his episodes of the conquest of another planet fill me with such terror and solitude?...' (translation by Eliot Weinberger)], 3 leaves written on one side only, on squared paper perforated at the left-hand edge and with two ring-binder holes in the left margin, paper-clip stains, first leaf with some old smudging and light dust-staining, 4to, 1955

Footnotes

  • ʻWHAT HAS THIS MAN FROM ILLINOIS CREATED... THAT HIS EPISODES OF THE CONQUEST OF ANOTHER PLANET FILL ME WITH SUCH TERROR AND SOLITUDE?' – Jorge Luis Borges's celebrated Prologue to Ray Bradbury's Martian Chronicles.

    This manuscript was first published as the prologue to the Spanish translation of the Martian Chronicles, Crónicas marcianas. Prólogo de J. L. B., Buenos Aires, Ediciones Minotauro (1955). Weinberger's English translation is printed in the selected edition of Borges's non-fiction, The Total Library: Non-Fiction 1922-1986, Eliot Weinberger, editor (2000), pp.418-9.

    Provenance: The family of the late Francisco (ʻPaco') Porrua, the publisher who gave the world Julio Cortázar's Rayuela and Gabriel García Márquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude. He was also founder of Ediciones Minotauro, pioneering publishers of science fiction. In the case of foreign authors such as Tolkien, Ballard and Bradbury, he also acted as translator, always using a pseudonym. For Martian Chronicles, the press's first publication, Porrua used his mother's maiden name, Francisco Abelenda.
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BORGES (JORGE LUIS) Autograph manuscript, signed ("Jorge Luis Borges"), of his Prologue to Ray Bradbury's Martian Chronicles, 1955
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