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Jorge Luis Borges letter found at Toronto library

Last week librarian Louis Choquette was searching for a book on Greek philosophy and came across an intriguing note wedged between the pages of a well-worn edition of Plato’s Symposium at Toronto Public Library’s Agincourt branch.

The handwriting and signature appear to belong to Argentinean literary legend Jorge Luis Borges, who died in 1986.

Choquette writes on the Agincourt District Libraries blog:

“The card, handwritten, is in Spanish. Luckily a colleague of mine understands Spanish, and they were able to loosely translate the text for me. It turns out that this is a thank you card, thanks being expressed for a welcome reception held in 1978 and expressing good wishes for the library and the collection.”

The greeting card is dated June 14, 1978. According to Choquette, there is no record in the library archives of Borges visiting the branch, which was located in Scarborough’s Agincourt Mall at that time.

The Toronto Star reports there is no record of Borges visiting Toronto in 1978. Borges gave a lecture at the University of Toronto in 1968 and visited Ottawa in 1983.

  • Jonathan Schmidt

    Odd story as according to The Star only the signature is authentic. Borges’s friend Alberto Manguel claims the rest of the card is fake. Also, according to the Star story the book in which the card was tucked was Plato’s Republic. 

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