An obscure and slightly cumbrous title, but then Borges himself rather lends himself to that. His world fame came late, after decades in which his reputation was largely confined to his home land, Argentina - though he had periods of literary activity in Spain, where in the early 1920s he was a poet member of the now almost forgotten movement called Ultraismo. Borges was essentially a sedentary, shy, bookish man, dominated by his mother with whom he lived for most of his life, and given to unreciprocated passions for (mostly younger) women. His first marriage, made relatively in life, lasted only a few years, and he was a dying man when he married for a second time. The claim that he was "one of the literary giants of the 20th century" rings hollow today; he is essentially a cult writer, and Nabokov was surely accurate when he described him as "an interesting porch, but a porch without a house."