That could have been the subtitle of Williamson’s biography of Borges. The Irish writer Colm Tóibín, who knows Buenos Aires very well, explains the situation:
Borges, it is true, spent much of his life hanging out with women who would neither sleep with him nor marry him. The advantage for any biographer is that if you throw a stone in Buenos Aires you are likely to hit one of these women or their many descendants, or indeed their books of memoir. Since there is nothing much to do in the city, other than bang saucepans together as a protest against government policy, discussing Borges’s love life has become as popular as polo.
Of course, Tóibín is being facetious. There are a few more things to do in Buenos Aires.
The article by Tóibín in the London Review of Books is superb, providing a great overview of the life of Borges including the women in his life. Tóibín also talks about Borges’ friend the writer Bioy Casares, who was a notorious womanizer. As well as the women who were maids to Bioy and Borges. Interesting stuff.
If you think that you will never get around to actually reading the Williamson biography, then do read the Tóibín article which is much more than about the women of Borges. It’s the best single article on the life of Borges, written by one of the best contemporary writers today.
the fiction of Time destroyed,
free from love, from me.
desbaratada la ficción del Tiempo,
sin el amor, sin mi
…Borges, Anticipation of Love, Amorosa anticipación