In 1978 the great Argentine short story writer Jorge Luis Borges described Swedenborg as the most extraordinary man in recorded history. In Imaginal Landscapes William Rowlandson offers a brief but deep-reaching study of this often unknown appreciation, showing how the Swedish visionary’s influence has gone a long way to explain Borges’s preoccupations with parallel existences, the infinite, and the mystery of language. Delightfully written, and steeped in a wonderful sense of curiosity, Imaginal Landscapes cements Rowlandson’s position as one of the UK’s leading scholars on Borges, and raises important questions about the criteria we often use to assess the lives and works of those thinkers and writers who have come to be labelled as mystics.
WILLIAM ROWLANDSON is Senior Lecturer in Hispanic Studies at the University of Kent. He is the author of Borges, Swedenborg and Mysticism (Peter Lang, 2013) and has published widely on Latin American cultural and political history including the history of Guantánamo Bay and Cuba during the War on Terror. He has written for the Guardian and has also recently edited Daimonic Imagination: Uncanny Intelligence with Angela Voss (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013).