It’s a slight, slim volume, but a fun read, esp for Borges nostalgists like me. My favorite snippet comes when JLB admits he never felt compelled to finish any book (including Finnegans Wake, on which he would subsequently lecture). “I am a pleasure-seeking reader,” he said. “I’ve never allowed my sense of duty to have a hand in such a personal matter as that of buying books.”
I’m also reminded of how Borges help R.L. Stevenson (who I mostly think of as a boy’s novelist, much as I love *Treasure Island*, which my son & I listened to on tape last year) and Kipling, among a more usual list of suspects (Whitman, Joyce, Wilde, Carroll, Twain, the Norse and Anglo-Saxon epics, Virgil, etc).
Among modern authors who cite Borges, Manguel mentions Foucault, Umberto Eco (in *The Name of the Rose*), Goddard’s film Alphaville, George Steiner’s After Babel, and Bruce Chatwin, who calls him the Wise Old Man of Buenos Aires in his great travel memoir In Patagonia.