e99 Online Shopping Mall

Geometry.Net - the online learning center Help  
Home  - Authors - Borges Jorge Luis (Books)

  1-20 of 102 | Next 20
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z  

click price to see details     click image to enlarge     click link to go to the store

1. Collected Fictions
2. Ficciones (Esenciales) (Spanish
3. Borges: Selected Poems
4. Labyrinths (New Directions Paperbook)
5. Historia de la eternidad
6. The Book of Imaginary Beings (Penguin
8. Antología poética 1923-1977
9. The Book of Sand and Shakespeare's
10. On Argentina (Penguin Classics)
11. A Personal Anthology
12. On Writing (Penguin Classics)
13. The Aleph and Other Stories (Penguin
14. Borges: Selected Non-Fictions
15. Jorge Luis Borges (Spanish Reader)
16. The Sonnets: A Dual-Language Edition
17. Obra Poetica (Volume 1)
18. Jorge Luis Borges: Ficciones (BCP
19. El Libro de Arena
20. The Total Library: Non-fiction,

1. Collected Fictions
by Jorge Luis Borges
Paperback: 576 Pages (1999-09-01)
list price: US$21.00 -- used & new: US$11.36
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0140286802
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
The New York Times bestseller, "a marvelous new collection of stories by . . . one of the most remarkable writers of our century" --Richard Bernstein, The New York Times

Jorge Luis Borges has been called the greatest Spanish-language writer of our century. Now for the first time in English, all of Borges' dazzling fictions are gathered into a single volume, brilliantly translated by Andrew Hurley. From his 1935 debut with The Universal History of Iniquity, through his immensely influential collections Ficciones and The Aleph, these enigmatic, elaborate, imaginative inventions display Borges' talent for turning fiction on its head by playing with form and genre and toying with language. Together these incomparable works comprise the perfect one-volume compendium for all those who have long loved Borges, and a superb introduction to the master's work for those who have yet to discover this singular genius.

* Exquisitely packaged edition with French flaps and rough front, quality paper stock
* Named a Notable Book by the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and the American Library Association

"An unparalleled treasury of marvels." --Chicago Tribune

"An event worthy of celebration . . . Hurley deserves our enthusiastic praise for this monumental piece of work." --San Francisco ChronicleAmazon.com Review
Although Jorge Luis Borges published his first book in 1923--doling out his own money for a limited edition of Fervor de Buenos Aires--heremained in Argentinian obscurity for almost three decades. In 1951,however, Ficcionesappeared in French, followed soon after by an English translation. Thiscollection, which included the cream of the author's short fictions, madeit clear that Borges was a world-class (if highly unclassifiable) artist--abrilliant, lyrical miniaturist, who could pose the great questions ofexistence on the head of pin. And by 1961, when he shared the French PrixFormentor with Samuel Beckett, he seemed suddenly to tower over ahalf-dozen literary cultures, the very exemplar of modernism with a humanface.

By the time of his death in 1986, Borges had been granted old master statusby almost everybody (except, alas, the gentlemen of the Swedish Academy).Yet his work remained dispersed among a half-dozen different collections,some of them increasingly hard to find. Andrew Hurley has done readers agreat service, then, by collecting all the stories in a single,meticulously translated volume. It's a pleasure to be reminded thatBorges's style--poetic, dreamlike, and compounded of innumerable smallsurprises--was already in place by 1935, when he published A UniversalHistory of Iniquity: "The earth we inhabit is an error, an incompetentparody. Mirrors and paternity are abominable because they multiply andaffirm it." (Incidentally, the thrifty author later recycled the second ofthese aphorisms in his classic bit of bookish metaphysics, "Tlon, Uqbar,Orbis Teris.") The glories of his middle period, of course, have hardlyaged a day. "The Garden of the Forking Paths" remains the bestdeconstruction of the detective story ever written, even in the post-Austerera, and "Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote" puts the so-calleddeath of the author in pointed, hilarious perspective.

But Hurley's omnibus also brings home exactly how consistent Borgesremained in his concerns. As late as 1975, in "Avelino Arredondo," he wasstill asking (and occasionally even answering) the same riddles about timeand its human repository, memory: "For the man in prison, or the blind man,time flows downstream as though down a slight decline. As he reached themidpoint of his reclusion, Arredondo more than once achieved that virtuallytimeless time. In the first patio there was a wellhead, and at the bottom,a cistern where a toad lived; it never occurred to Arredondo that it wasthe toad's time, bordering on eternity, that he sought." Throughout,Hurley's translation is crisp and assured (although this reader will alwayshave a soft spot for "Funes, the Memorious" rather than "Funes, HisMemory.") And thanks to his efforts, Borgesians will find no better--and nomore pleasurable--rebuttal of the author's description of himself as "a shysort of man who could not bring himself to write short stories." --JamesMarcus ... Read more

Customer Reviews (72)

3-0 out of 5 stars the Rise and Fall
I read Borges: Collected Fictions off and on for over a year. The book contains every work of fiction Borges ever wrote, reprinting each volume in sequence. Consequently, having completed it, I now feel like I have inadvertently witnessed the life and death of Borges. It made finishing the book difficult and depressing.

The problem is, brilliant as Borges was he shines most fiercely in his most celebrated work Ficciones. Ficciones deserves it. It contains the strongest collection of stories of all of his books. This is where you will find "The Lottery of Babylon", "The Library of Babel", "Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote" and, my favorite, "Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius", a summary of a book that doesn't exist about a world that never existed. The quality of his writing begins a subtle decline immediately after Ficciones. To be sure he wrote some very fine stories after Ficciones, "Death and the Compass", "The Gospel According to Mark", and "Brodie's Report" to name a few. But these are buried deeply among lesser stories. These lesser stories preserve the familiar themes (tigers, gauchos, knife fights, labyrinths, magical objects, etc.) and the air of intellectualism, but contain no real insight or invention of their own.

The further I went the more I felt I was being sold a bill of goods, that Borges was trying to pass off pseudo-intellectualisms as the real thing on the laurels of his past accomplishments. My suspicions were all but confirmed by a line in one of his later stories ("August 25, 1983"), "I was taken for a clumsy imitator of Borges--a person who had the defect of not actually being Borges yet of mirroring all the outward appearances of the original." And that really sums it up, Borges fell into to sort of imitation of himself, his airs and themes, but lost his grip on the interesting ideas that had driven them. It's quite sad really.

I speculated on what was behind the decline of his writing and always came back to two things. The first was the loss of his eyesight. Borges went blind later in his life and the subject of blindness and impaired vision comes up a few times in his later writings. I can't imagine how difficult it would be for a blind man to do rewrites and editing and I imagine this impediment took it's toll on his writing. The second is that Borges seems to have had an almost 180 degree shift in his philosophy. His early works use mystical elements as metaphor or framework for philosophical and intellectual puzzles, but his later works often just glorify mysticism and faith in mysticism. This is probably the part that frustrated me most about his later works, because it sees what had been used as an effective package for complex and interesting ideas become the focus of the story. It's like presenting an blown out eggshell as if it as substantive as a whole egg.

I apologize for how down on Borges this review has been. It's just very difficult to face a talented writer stagnating and fading away. I do whole-heartedly recommend Ficciones. Borges did write some unforgettable stories, he just couldn't keep it up for a lifetime.

5-0 out of 5 stars Footloose in Borges's Labyrinth
Early this year, as I've done every year for the last several, I set myself the task of reading one book from Western Literature's Great Canon.

But first a spoonful of autobiography: Where literature is concerned, I'm completely self-taught. I took one American Lit course while in college (University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh) and haven't taken another since. What instruction I have comes from such far flung corners as The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, Salon, Slate [...] and critics such as John-Ivan Palmer, Don Herron and Guy on Bus.

The rest of this review can be read at my web page at the Red Room at:



Thomas Burchfield

Author of the supernatural novel Dragon's Ark, due Fall 2010 from Ambler House
Author of the comic screenplay Whackers, available at [...]
Follow me at the Red Room, Facebook, and Twitter
For editing services, see my page at the Bay Area Editors' Forum

5-0 out of 5 stars Fictions
An Excellent tale of short stories! many of my co workers have read this and they were right to recommend it to me.

2-0 out of 5 stars Great writer, mediocre translation
Borges was undoubtedly a great writer, but Hurley's translation is only so-so.The di Giovanni translations are vastly better - reading them after reading Hurley's version is like seeing an ancient painting restored to its original glowing life.Hurley's translation is not awful - if it were the first form in which I had encountered Borges, I would no doubt have been delighted - but, by comparison with di Giovanni's, its clunky and rather wretched.

I gather there was some sort of ugly conflict with the Borges literary estate that led to the di G translations going out of print, but used copies are readily available - the wise reader will go and find them.

1-0 out of 5 stars never received this
not sure why this Borges book hasn't arrived yet, been over a month. just sayin. ... Read more

2. Ficciones (Esenciales) (Spanish Edition)
by Jorge Luis Borges
Paperback: 224 Pages (2008-05-01)
list price: US$15.99 -- used & new: US$9.05
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0061565377
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

Ficciones es una obra imprescindible en la literatura contemporánea que merece su lugar destacado en cualquier canon de la literatura universal. Aquí se reúnen dos libros de Borges: El jardín de senderos que se bifurcan (1941) que incluye ocho relatos y Artificios (1944) con nueve cuentos.

En esta colección, Borges nos lleva de viaje por un reino extraño, irresistible y profundamente resonante. Entramos en la temerosa esfera del abismo de Pascal, el laberinto de libros surrealista y a su vez literal y la iconografía del eterno regreso. Al adentrarse en los mundos de Ficciones podrá llegar a la mente de Jorge Luis Borges, donde encontrará el Cielo, el Infierno y el poder infinito de su inteligencia e imaginación.

Amazon.com Review
Reading Jorge Luis Borges is an experience akin to having the top of one's headremoved for repairs. First comes the unfamiliar breeze tickling yourcerebral cortex; then disorientation, even mild discomfort; and finally,the sense that the world has been irrevocably altered--and in this case,rendered infinitely more complex. First published in 1945, hisFicciones compressed several centuries' worth of philosophy andpoetry into 17 tiny, unclassifiable pieces of prose. He offered updiabolical tigers, imaginary encyclopedias, ontological detective stories,and scholarly commentaries on nonexistent books, and in the processexploded all previous notions of genre. Would any of David Foster Wallace'sfamous footnotes be possible without Borges? Or, for that matter, thesyntactical games of Perec, the metafictional pastiche of Calvino? For goodor for ill, the blind Argentinian paved the way for a generation's worth ofpostmodern monkey business--and fiction will never be simply "fiction"again.

Its enormous influence on writers aside, Ficciones has also--perhapsmore importantly--changed the way that we read. Borges's PierreMenard, for instance, undertakes the most audacious project imaginable: to create not a contemporary version of Cervantes's most famous work but theQuixote itself, word for word. This second text is "verballyidentical" to the original, yet, because of its new associations,"infinitely richer"; every time we read, he suggests, we are in effectcreating an entirely new text, simply by viewing it through the distortinglens of history. "A book is not an isolated being: it is a relationship, anaxis of innumerable relationships," Borges once wrote in an essay aboutGeorge Bernard Shaw. "All men who repeat one line of Shakespeare areWilliam Shakespeare," he tells us in "Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius." In thisspirit, Borges is not above impersonating, even quoting, himself.

It is hard, exactly, to say what all of this means, at least in anyof the usual ways. Borges wrote not with an ideological agenda, but with akind of radical philosophical playfulness. Labyrinths, libraries,lotteries, doubles, dreams, mirrors, heresiarchs: these are the tokens withwhich he plays his ontological games. In the end, ideas themselves are lessimportant to him than their aesthetic and imaginative possibilities. Likethe idealist philosophers of Tlön, Borges does not "seek for the truth oreven for verisimilitude, but rather for the astounding"; for him as forthem, "metaphysics is a branch of fantastic literature." --Mary Park ... Read more

Customer Reviews (66)

5-0 out of 5 stars perfect!!
It is perfect! Jorge Luis Borges is one of the greatest of his kind. This book really proves it!

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and subtle
I should have started reading Borges years ago. Better late than never, though.

The theme of ambiguity permeates this book. It might be most blatant in 'The Form of the Sword' or 'The Garden of Forking Paths,' where a comment at the end of the story changes the meaning of all that went before. 'The Garden' also contains a symmetry of time and space, where diverging futures appear as a decision points in a maze, endless choices about whci path to take. Then, 'The Garden' also echoes 'An Examination of the Work of Herbert Quain.' In the former, multiple futures radiate outward from a unitary present moment; in the latter, multiple possible histories converge on the here and now, changing the meaning of the present by changing the context from which it arose.

'An Examination' also ties to the stunning 'Library of Babel' through its base in the written word - or in the unwritten word, since both address works that never existed. 'Library' leaves the reader with many conflicting impressions. For me, though, the one that dominates is wonder at the idea that, among all possible arrangements of marks on pages, so infinitesimally few carry meaning at all. Then, even among those few, far fewer have depth and ability to touch a reader at different levels. Perhaps, though, the real marvel is the mind that attaches meaning to those words - the mind of any reader.

-- wiredweird

5-0 out of 5 stars Entrada a un nuevo mundo
Un libro inolvidable que me adentró en el mundo laberíntico y apasionante de borges indispensable en cuanlquier biblioteca.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Good Entry Point to Borge's Universe.
Jorge Luis Borges (1899 - 1986) was one of the greatest Argentinean's writers of all times. Since 1970 he was candidate to Nobel Literature Prize, which he never attained. In 1980 he was bestowed Cervantes Prize, the Spanish major literary award. He influenced two generations of Latin American writers. Even those who despised him as "elitist writer" admired his powerful imagination and writing skills.

Jorge Luis was born in a high-class family. He was bilingual; due to his English grandmother (he also knew several other idioms, but not as fluently as this two). He moved with his parents to Europe where he resided from 1914 till 1921. When he returned to Argentina he fells in love with Buenos Aires. This love affaire begot several poetry volumes and inspired him many stories.
Borges was an omnivorous reader with a wide range of interests: from Cabbala thru Golems; from Mythology thru Gaucho's hardships; from Immortality thru Infinite; from Buddhism thru Christianity. His tales reflect all these interest.

The present volume encompasses two of his earlier stories collections: "The Garden of Forking Paths" (1941) and "Fictions" (1944) and constitute a fair sample of his writings and style.
"The Babylon Lottery" describes an improbable world, ruled by fate embodied in a lottery game. "Funes the Memorious" elaborates on what happens if a person may recall every instant of his whole life. "The Garden of Forking Paths" is an elegant detective's story. "The Library of Babel", is one of Borge's best known texts, where he speculate on an infinite library containing every volume of human literature and gave way to mathematical speculation.
In other tales the reader will get in touch with some themes very dear to Borges: mirrors, treason, solitary Hero, multiple divergent versions of the same character, a whole universe created ex nihlo from his imagination and more much more.

If you like fantasy you probably will fall in love with this book and search for more Borge's works. If you don't like fantasy you may be hooked by a prose rich in images and a powerful literary and philosophical imagination.
Give this book a chance, you will no be disappointed!

Reviewed by Max Yofre.

3-0 out of 5 stars Item took long to be shipped
The product was in good condition but took long to be shipped. Order was made on Sept 23 and item was shipped on Oct 8. Seller did not reply to my questions. ... Read more

3. Borges: Selected Poems
by Jorge Luis Borges
Paperback: 496 Pages (2000-04-01)
list price: US$21.00 -- used & new: US$7.55
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0140587217
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
An unparalleled and long-overdue volume of poetry by "the most important Spanish writer since Cervantes"(Mario Vargas Llosa).

Though universally acclaimed for his dazzling fictions, Jorge Luis Borges always considered himself first and foremost a poet. This new bilingual selection brings together some two hundred poems--the largest collection of Borges' poetry ever assembled in English, including scores of poems never previously translated. Edited by Alexander Coleman, the selection draws from a lifetime's work--from Borges' first published volume of verse, Fervor de Buenos Aires (1923), to his final work, Los conjurados, published just a year before his death in 1986. Throughout this unique collection the brilliance of the Spanish originals is matched by luminous English versions by a remarkable cast of translators, including Robert Fitzgerald, Stephen Kessler, W. S. Merwin, Alastair Reid, Mark Strand, Charles Tomlinson, and John Updike.

"A surfeit of riches. . . . Jorge Luis Borges' poetry alone would be enough to underwrite his immense reputation."-- San Francisco Chronicle

Exquisitely packaged edition with French flaps and rough front, quality paper stock.Amazon.com Review
During his life, Jorge Luis Borges wore many hats. He was, variously, apoet, an essayist, a short-story writer, a librarian, and, for a shorttime, a poultry inspector. Born in Argentina in 1899, he lived for severalyears in Europe before eventually returning home to Buenos Aires in theearly 1920s. It was here that Borges started his career as a writer. At theage of 24, he published his first volume of poetry, and though he would goon to garner considerable acclaim as an essayist and crafter of fiction, healways considered himself first and foremost a poet. This bilingual editionof Selected Poems, edited by Alexander Coleman, gathers together 200poems from different periods of Borges's life, including some that willbe appearing in English for the first time.

Whether he was writing fiction, essays, or poetry, there were certainthemes and subjects that Borges returned to time and again. His home townbecame a favorite topic--in his first collection, Fervor de BuenosAires, he wrote: "My soul is in the streets / of Buenos Aires," asentiment that remained constant throughout his life. This collectionreveals other preoccupations as well--with history in all its permutations,Borges's own ancestry, and his fascination with metaphysics, mazes,mirror images, and the blurry line between parallel realities:

The celibate white cat surveys himself
in the mirror's clear-eyed glass,
not suspecting that the whiteness facing him
and those gold eyes that he's not seen before
in ramblings through the house are his own likeness.
Who is to tell him the cat observing him
is only the mirror's way of dreaming?
This companion volume to Andrew Hurley's new translation of Collected Fictions boastsa stellar cast of translators, including W.S. Merwin, Mark Strand, andJohn Updike among others. Admirers of Borges will find SelectedPoems a fitting memorial to the great man; and for those have never hadthe pleasure of reading him before, this book is a wonderful introduction.--Alix Wilber ... Read more

Customer Reviews (13)

2-0 out of 5 stars variations on a poet
A selected poems translated by various translators has always seemed to me a questionable undertaking as it erases theoverarching style and power of the poet. That is certainly the case here. Some translations are brilliant andcapture the unique feel for the "labyrinthine" mind of Borges, while others are flat orprosaic or simply uninspired. Thisunevennessinevitably shadows the poet, and creates the impression of arbitrariness in Borges as a poet.

5-0 out of 5 stars You need this!
Borges has a fantastic writing style that is mysterious, witty, and earnest.His poems are thought-provoking and enjoyable to read, and I definitely recommend them to anyone who likes poetry :)

5-0 out of 5 stars Poemas de tiempo
Great Condition, arrived in time, it was even flapped to the first poem - which was a nice touch.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best bilingual Borges poetry book ever!
This is an excellent bilingual book for the fervent admirers of "el maestro Borges" as well as those just beginning to read him. An avid reader of the best poets of the Spanish and English canons of literature--and a very erudite literary critic--, Borges was an amazing poet. His poems are haunting and have traces of Francisco de Quevedo's "conceptismo," a literary school that emphasizes more on the concepts, or ideas, rather than form and complicated language, which is not to say that he is not a master of form. In his old age, Borges went back to classical Spanish forms, especially the sonnet; the kind modified and developed by Garcilaso and Boscan, which they in part took from the Italian sonnet. He went back to those forms because he became blind. He needed to compose poems in his head and dictate them to his loyal wife or his friends. One of his finest sonnets, "La lluvia" can be found on page 114 of this book. Take a peek at both the Spanish and English versions to get a taste of his gorgeous melancholy and depth of thought, while he plays with the notion of water and time.

You will also find works from his youth in Fervor de Buenos Aires and all of his other major poems. I cannot emphasize how much I love this book. You must have it if you love poetry. Who could ever dispute the beauty of his poetry? As he said:

To see in every day and year a symbol
of all the days of man and his years,
and convert the outrage of the years
into a music, a sound, and a symbol.

To see in death a dream, in the sunset
a golden sadness--such is poetry,
humble and immortal, poetry,
returning, like dawn and the sunset.

5-0 out of 5 stars The poet Borges less
This review is about a single question. Why if Borges considered himself a poet above all, and if this book contains as it does contain most of his major themes are his real readers and his real fame the readers of his stories essays and short prose-pieces ? Why is the most loved Borges not found in the poems when the poems too do at times like the stories tell stories?
Perhaps it is because the language of poetry is more dense and ambiguous and breaks the flow of the story. Perhaps it is because on the nonetheless more extended palette of the story a more extensive picture can be painted. Perhaps it is because too the element of mystery so great in Borges work comes to us in a stronger way in a narrative telling? Or perhaps too Borges whether he likes it or not is in his lists and his recollections really more a figure of prose than of poetry. And perhaps and this the real paradox Borges poetry is too more prose- like than poetic in many ways. Perhaps his way of going on in such intellectual questioning fashion renders his poetry more mind- like and less in deep lyric feeling than the deepest poetry means?
I ask this as prelude to saying a few words about these poems most of which I have read, and few of which I remember.And this too is part of it. The Borges name is connected with those tales from The Aleph to Funes to Borges and I . It is less connected with any of the poems
And all of this review seems now to me somehow unfair. Borges is a great writer and his words mean more than anything written about them. Reading these poems will give so much pleasure , so much material for reflection, so many characters, stories, moods, ideas, dreams, passages of life, labyrinths, ships, coffee cups, imitations, duels in the sun and duels in the darkness, light as a metaphor and light as light, darkness as darkness and darkness as sight, worlds within and more worlds within and more worlds within and without and words as literature true literature literature of the tradition that the maker Borges makes and remakes and makes and remakes a poem. ... Read more

4. Labyrinths (New Directions Paperbook)
by Jorge Luis Borges
Paperback: 240 Pages (2007-05-17)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$8.66
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0811216993
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
The classic by Latin America's finest writer of the twentieth century—a true literary sensation—with an introduction by cyber-author William Gibson.The groundbreaking trans-genre work of Argentinian writer Jorge LuisBorges (1899-1986) has been insinuating itself into the structure,stance, and very breath of world literature for well over half acentury. Multi-layered, self-referential, elusive, and allusive writingis now frequently labeled Borgesian. Umberto Eco's internationalbestseller, The Name of the Rose, is, on one level, anelaborate improvisation on Borges' fiction "The Library," whichAmerican readers first encountered in the original 1962 New Directionspublication of Labyrinths.

This new edition of Labyrinths,the classic representative selection of Borges' writing edited byDonald A. Yates and James E. Irby (in translations by themselves andothers), includes the text of the original edition (as augmented in1964) as well as Irby's biographical and critical essay, a poignanttribute by André Maurois, and a chronology of the author's life. Borgesenthusiast William Gibson has contributed a new introduction bringingBorges' influence and importance into the twenty-first century.Amazon.com Review
If Jorge Luis Borges had been a computer scientist, heprobably would have invented hypertext and the World WideWeb.

Instead, being a librarian and one of the world's most widelyread people, he became the leading practitioner of a densely layeredimaginistic writing style that has been imitated throughout thiscentury, but has no peer (although Umberto Ecosometimes comes close, especially in Nameof the Rose).

Borges's stories are redolent with an intelligence,wealth of invention, and a tight, almost mathematically formal stylethat challenge with mysteries and paradoxes revealed only slowly afterseveral readings. Highly recommended to anyone who wants theirimagination and intellect to be aswarm with philosophical plots,compelling conundrums, and awealth of real and imagined literary references derived from aninfinitely imaginary library. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (44)

3-0 out of 5 stars The search for Borges
I am embarrassed to admit that this was my first proper exposure to Borges - though I had seen, and was intrigued by, many fragments of his works quoted by other authors, which is what eventually prompted me to pick up this book. The experience has turned out to be a mixture of joy and disappointment.

Allowance has to be made for the fact that the English translations in this collection are not those revised and approved by Borges. The sparks of stylistic brilliance occurring every now and again in this book made me wonder how different an impression I would get from the authorised translations (which, sadly, cannot be published any longer).

The majority of the stories introduce metaphysical ideas dressed as fiction, which is something that I do not care for - though this, of course, is a matter of personal preference. Some stories appear to be merely jokes of philosophic or literary nature while some closely (perhaps too closely) remind the style of Poe or Bierce. This quality may or may not be an artefact of translation; however, I certainly feel that the central premise of 'The Secret Miracle' is essentially the same as that of 'An Occurrence on Owl Creek Bridge' by Bierce. I recognised this even though I only ever read the latter story some 40 years ago, in a Russian translation - so the similarity must be real.

On the other hand, there are some true gems in this book - for example, 'Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius', whose intense poetic beauty transcends the metaphysical content, or 'Averroes's Search', which I find quite disturbing.

In the latter, a Moorish scholar writes, "with slow sureness, from right to left", a commentary on Aristotle's 'Poetics' (accessible to him only as a translation of a translation) and struggles with the meaning of the words 'tragedy' and 'comedy' that keep cropping up in this work but are not to be found in any other book in his library. The scholar tries to console himself with the thought that what we seek is often nearby, and later that day attends a learned gathering at a cleric's home. There, a theological and literary discussion takes place and a famous traveller tells, by way of an entertaining account, about a large painted house he visited in China: the house had balconies on the inside and was full of people watching other people who were wearing crimson masks and doing strange things. The whole thing is dismissed as lunacy by the listeners, including the scholar - who thus misses the revelation and remains in the dark about the meaning of the puzzling words in Aristotle: theatre and drama are unknown to his medieval Islamic world.

In the final paragraph of 'Averroes's Search' Borges reveals that his intention was "to narrate the process of a defeat ... of a man who sets himself a goal which is not forbidden to others, but is to him". Borges then ponders over his own difficulty with imagining Averroes based on the scraps of information about him found in various sources. The multi-lingual versions of people's names, book titles and place names scattered around the story also point to the difficulty of penetrating Averroes's way of thinking and understanding the world in which he lived; this mirrors the difficulty experienced by Averroes in the story. Fittingly, an extra layer of the same nature is added in the translation by the fact that the title of the Spanish-language original (La Busca de Averroes) cannot be adequately rendered in English because it has a dual meaning - "the search of Averroes" and "the search for Averroes" - and both interpretations are relevant to the story. Another aspect of the sublime irony of the whole situation is that the Western world largely owes its re-discovery of Aristotle to Averroes, who is also known as Ibn Rushd. Moreover, his commentary was read by medieval European scholars as the Latin translation of a Hebrew translation - not unlike the way in which Averroes reads Aristotle in the first place according to Borges (it is not known whether the real Averroes was able to read in Greek or Syriac).

The description of a failure to understand in 'Averroes's Search' is so compelling that it got me thinking: could it be that I miss the point of some of the stories in this collection in a similar way? I reckon that I will have to return to them one day and try again - and perhaps this time read these stories in the authorised translation if I can get hold of it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Oh destiny of Borges/to have sailed across the diverse seas of the world
Trying to full describe the writings of Jorge Luis Borges is like trying to explain exactly why Leonardo da Vinci's art still captivates. The man wrote works of art.

And this classic writer's brilliant, surreally exquisite works are on best display in "Labyrinths," whose plain name belies the subtle power and exquisite beauty of Jorges' short stories and vibrant essays. His intricate and atmospheric narratives are magical, rich in language, and lets us glimpse the minds of anything and anyone he can conjure up.

First there is a collection of his short stories, mostly from the book "Ficciones". He dreams upthe long-lost heretical histories of a fictional world known as Tlon, and its beliefs, language and culture; he dreams up labyrinthine spy stories,a lottery that determines the way the people of Babylon are to live,a man who attempts to LIVE as Don Quixote, a man who tries to dream a new being into existence, an exploration of the eternal Library of the universe, and the mysterious Zahir.

The second round of short stories is a bit less enthralling, merely because it focuses more on "typical" stuff. But they are still pretty enthralling pieces of work -- the remembrance of the brilliantly eccentric Ireneo Funes, the story of a scar, a series of murders linked to "the secret Name," a condemned man's begs God for a year to perfect his art, a forgotten heretic, a conversation leading to revenge, the Cult of the Phoenix.

And then he produces a bunch of lesser-known works -- there are essays on Argentinian writing (or "gauchesque"), weird "refutation of time," his thoughts on literature and George Bernard Shaw, a "magic design," Zeno's paradoxes, Kafka, and other mind-bending, thought provoking topics. And there are his parables -- his odd habit of seeing himself as another person in his works, an actor with no "personality," reflections on Cervantes and the Quixote, the loss of our faces, and the death of gods.

"Labyrinth explores places where normal fiction would never go -- such as a Babylonian lottery for different places in society, corrupted by greed -- even as it imbues its eulogies, metaphysical ponderings and explanations with the tinge of reality. The things that Borges describes seem so plausible, and are given such depth and detail, that it comes as a mild shock when you realize, "Hey, he made all of this up."

Part of that is due to his unique style, full of elegant wordcraft and gently luminous imagery ("... the Night of Nights, the secret door of heaven wide open and the water in the jars becomes sweeter"). Even a stabbing is made brutally beautiful, and often dialogue is unnecessary -- the most beautiful and striking stories in here are the ones where Borges (aka the narrator) explores some invented facet of the world.

If you could criticize anything at all, it's that few of the characters -- aside from the Borges "narrator" -- are much more than walking symbols of a murky little message. But hey, you could simply see this entire book as an exploration of Borges' own imagination, and other people's as well. He happily recounts countries that are nonexistant, books that were never written, geniuses who never were.

"Labyrinths" is indeed a labyrinth -- an intricate little web that is all mirrors and mazes from inside Borges' head. Absolutely stunning.

3-0 out of 5 stars Ok condition. One page was highlighted.
It was advertized as a new book, but there was a paragraph highlighted in the middle of the book with a yellow highlighter.Very strange.All else was OK.

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazingly interesting read
This collection of stories is far more interesting and evocative than I was expecting, an excellent read from start to finish.

5-0 out of 5 stars Liar, poet, seer, mystic, mythmaker...storyteller
It strikes me that, for the most part, the reviewers who didn't like this book were expecting another sort of book entirely. *Labyrinths* isn't sci-fi, or detective fiction, or adventure...though it makes liberal use of these genre conventions. Instead, *Labyrinths* is a collection of speculative fiction and short essays at the highest level of imaginative inquiry. They are stories that don't portray reality so much as set out to discover what reality is. Borges is chronicler, creator, and often a character himself in these labyrinths--and, in each of these pieces, he hopes to illuminate at least a few feet down some of the seemingly endless corridors of the gloriously malignant maze that is human consciousness.

Time, identity, space, immortality, imagination, dreams, fiction, and memory--these are just some of the repeated concerns that Borges treats in this collection. Some of these stories, while intricate, erudite, and elegantly written, have more or less conventional plot arcs from beginning to end. Others are far more elliptical. All of them are relatively short, which helps, because all of them are dense with a truly breathtaking breadth of learning from the most disparate sources. Reading Borges in these stories and essays one feels as if he were simultaneously reading dozens of other authors whose ideas are frequently cited, or who provide the jumping off place for Borges' own explorations into unknown territory.

Maddeningly, for the literal minded, I guess, Borges also makes up sources, giving his stories a mock-nonfiction tone, ala H.P. Lovecraft's work or the Blair Witch movies. Not only does this device deepen one's immersion in the tale, but, in true pataphysical fashion, the citation of an "artificial" authority to lend credence to a work of fiction ends up challenging our sense of reality itself and leaves us asking if maybe what we imagine as "real" is actually the "true reality."

These are stories primarily of ideas--and Borges seems to have no lack of them. As absurd as these ideas often are--i.e. a contemporary author writing from scratch, without copying, the entire Don Quixote by becoming Cervantes to how we never would have suspected how many writers stretching back into antiquity were Kafkaesque until Kafka came along--they usually possess a kernel of startling truth with wide-ranging, usually philosophical, implications. Borges has that special way of looking at life that enables him to see things from angles that no one else could--until he points them out. At which point you wonder how you could ever have missed it.

As with any collection, there are some stories here you'll like more than others, and some not at all. But for the intelligent reader sensitive to Borges' project and preoccupations, there will be at least two or three pieces in *Labyrinths* you're guaranteed not to forget. This is an inspiring and thought-provoking collection for those readers who ask such questions as "what is a story?" and "who really writes it?" These are not, as the titles of the collection clearly implies ((and implicitly warns)), straightforward tales. They are labyrinths indeed--but for those who don't mind traveling without ever arriving they may be just your ticket to a strange sort of illumination.

... Read more

5. Historia de la eternidad
by Borges, Jorge Luis, Jorge Luis Borges, Jorge Luis Borges
Paperback: 177 Pages (1971)
list price: US$16.49 -- used & new: US$12.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 8420633151
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
El trabajo que da titulo a Historia de la eternidad se ocupa del tiempo y de su negacion y examina dos concepciones contrapuestas de eternidad: la alejandrina, de raiz platonica, y la cristiana, nacida con la doctrina trinitaria de Ireneo y formalizada por San Agustin. Otras dos penetrantes digresiones estudian la doctrina de Nietzsche sobre el eterno retorno y las concepciones basadas en el caracter recurrente del movimiento historico. El examen de las versiones clasicas de «Las 1001 noches» ilustra los condicionamientos culturales e historicos de la labor de traduccion. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Historia de la eternidad
Incluye los siguientes ensayos:

Historia de la eternidad
Las kenningar
La metáfora
La doctrina de los ciclos
El tiempo circular
Los traductores de Las 1001 Noches

1. El capitán Burton
2. El doctor Mardrus
3. Enno Littmann

Dos notas
El acercamiento a Almotásim
Arte de injuriar ... Read more

6. The Book of Imaginary Beings (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)
by Jorge Luis Borges
Paperback: 256 Pages (2006-09-26)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$8.23
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0143039938
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
In a perfect pairing of talent, this volume blends twenty illustrations by Peter Sís with Jorge Luis Borges’s 1957 compilation of 116 "strange creatures conceived through time and space by the human imagination," from dragons and centaurs to Lewis Carroll’s Cheshire Cat and the Morlocks of H. G. Wells’s The Time Machine. A lavish feast of exotica brought vividly to life with art commissioned specifically for this volume, The Book of Imaginary Beings will delight readers of classic fantasy as well as Borges’s many admirers. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (14)

3-0 out of 5 stars A letdown
I just finished Borges's Ficciones, and found it filled with thoughtful, intelligent fantasy - a brilliant experience. Althhough this continues the fantasy theme, I found none of the depth and insight of the Ficciones, just a catalog one-and two-pagers adapted from other sources. They're interesting enough, but barely begin to cover mythical zoology. If anything, the omissions stand out as much as the items included.

I'm coming back for more Borges. If this had been the first I read by him, though, I might not have.

-- wiredweird

5-0 out of 5 stars Stunning book...truly a must-have!
A collection of mythological creatures, written with Borges' wit and charm.Great for when you don't have much time to read, but you want something interesting to think about or something to make you smile.

4-0 out of 5 stars One of the books I'd take with me if I went to a little shack in the woods to declare war on industrial capitalism.
I will always love Borges's short stories much more, his collected fictions is one of the books anyone who's anybody needs to own, but this is something I love.Though it's not his most insightful work, it's still very much worth having.My only wish is that it would have been longer, I think it took me only a day or two of poking through it in no particular order before I'd read all of the entries.Anyway, it's Borges, 'nuff said.

5-0 out of 5 stars Modern Day Bestiary
In addition to being a brilliant and talented author, Jorge Luis Borges also had a strong interest in mythology, fantasy and philosophy. It shines through in this book, a field guide, of sorts, to the imagination. While it may not be amongst his best works, it IS a fun read, and one gets the feeling it was really a labor of love for Borges. Spanning the realms of folklore, mythology, theology and literature, this volume winds up being perhaps one of the closest modern equivalents to a medieval bestiary. While not quite like Carol Rose's 'Spirits, Fairies, Leprechauns and Goblins,' or Mack & Mack's 'Field Guide to Demons, Fairies, Fallen Angels and Other Subversive Spirits,' I thoroughly enjoyed reading through this little book. And, as Borges himself says in the introduction, this really is meant to be a book one flips through occaisonally as any good volume of miscellenea.

Lurking in the pages of this book, one finds such familiar beasts as dragons (of east and west), lamiae, harpies, the minotaur, satyrs, Valkyrie, manticores, golems, kami and the Lernaean hydra. Yet we also find more obscure and exotic things, like the Chinese ink monkey, Lamed Wufniks, creatures from American folklore (like the Hide-Behind and goofus bird) and a strange hairy beast seen in France. While werewolves and other shapeshifters were intentionally excluded, Borges also includes a great number of beasts from literature, ranging from the Behemoth of the Bible, Homer's scylla and the roc from the 1,001 Nights, to stranger things imagined by Poe, Kafka, H.G. Wells and C.S. Lewis. All in all we get well over a hundead beasts mentioned, each with a short story and description, and some with cute little cartoon illustrations.

The end result is quite a fun read. Like I said before, its not quite on par with Borges other works. But still, its well worth the purchase, especially if you share his interest in the strange, mythical creatures that haunt our thoughts and minds. Like the title says, its a zoology of our imagination, and a very unique adventure.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic reference book on Imaginary Beings
This book may not have all of the imaginary beings ever known, but it tries.A terrific book to read and use as a reference. ... Read more

7. Ficciones (BIBLIOTECA BORGES) (Spanish Edition)
by Jorge Luis Borges
Paperback: 224 Pages (1997-01-01)
list price: US$16.49 -- used & new: US$4.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 8420633127
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
En Español: Una de las colecciones literarias más importantes del siglo veinte, los dieciocho cuentos contenidos en la obra Ficciones de Jorge Luis Borges invitan al lector a reexaminar sus previas suposiciones y preocupaciones relativas a la naturaleza del universo.Desde “Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius”, el relato que, según muchos críticos, predijo la creación de Internet, y “Examen de la obra de Herbert Quain”, que combina la prueba matemática con la reseña literaria, hasta “El Sur”, una amalgama de fantasía, autobiografía, y folklórica argentina (y que Borges una vez dijo que era su cuento preferido), estas Ficciones abarcan lo esencial del inimitable estilo borgesiano.

In English: One of the most important literary collections of the 20th Century, the eighteen stories contained in Borges’ Ficciones invite the reader to reexamine his or her previously held assumptions and concerns about the nature of the universe.From “Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius,” a story that many critics believe foretold the creation of the Internet, and “A Survey of the Works of Herbert Quain,” which synthesizes mathematical proof with literary review, to “The South,” an amalgamation of fantasy, autobiography, and Argentine folklore (and which Borges once said was his favorite of his own stories) these Ficciones encompass the essential elements of the inimitable Borgesian style.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars time, mirrors, infinite, labyrinths
Well, well, well... I'm not quite sure if what I remember is, reading this book or my treachery memory of reading it.
If you get the drift, just climb abord the ubiquitous train.
We only possess what we lost. The only paradises are the lost paradises.

5-0 out of 5 stars Ficciones - Unique, Remarkable and Exciting.
Imagine removing a blindfold. You are in some American city, but which one?For many cities the street layouts, the buildings, the commercial enterprises are so similar that few clues would be available.But New York, Boston, and San Francisco would be immediately recognizable.

In much the same way the works of Jorge Luis Borges, Umberto Eco, Franz Kafka, and Edgar Allen Poe stand apart from other great writers.They each offer a uniquely fascinating perspective, an unusual style combined with a remarkable command of language.

I first encountered Ficciones quite a few years ago. I was not familiar with Jorge Luis Borges and was not prepared for this remarkable discovery. I still have that book, a little paperback priced at $2.45.I return to it again and again, always to find myself surprised by Borges. (I now have all of Borges works that have been translated to English.)

Borges assumes that his reader is literate. He makes allusions to a wide range of works, occasionally mentioning entirely mythical books that somehow should exist. His volcabulary is immense, but his writing is clear, entertaining, and unpredictable. It is said that Borges has seemingly read everything - and not in translation, but in the original Latin, German, French, English, and Spanish. To better appreciate Dante, he taught himself 13th century Italian.

The poetry, essays, and short stories of Borges are already recognized as classic works of the 20th century. Ficciones, a collection of short stories from 1941-1944, is a particularly good introduction. Take a look at some other reader reviews, but not too many. Borges is best as a surprise, like a fine wine that is unexpectedly encountered.

5-0 out of 5 stars Vision and Foundation
I should begin this review by saying that this is the only work by Borges I have read.I am very familiar with modern and contemporary literature, and through my exposure to others have repeatedly heard reference to Borges.I now know why he is so frequently cited and why the blurb on the paperback version's back cover says "without Borges, the modern Latin American novel simply wouldn't exist."I think Borges would likely challenge that assertion, but at the least Borges has an extraordinarily precociousness about him.He is postmodern in every sense of the term without the pretension that often accompanies a postmodern sensibility.

In Ficciones we are exposed to the possibility that nihilism is the ultimate reality.In other postmodern works, this idea is presently mordantly, the author reverently succumbing to their own notion of nothingness.In Ficciones the possibility that nothing really exists also has a corollary: the possibility that anything exists.It is this sense of limitless possibility that predominates the first half of this collection of short fictions.In my opinion the first half of this book, entitled The Garden of Forking Paths is far more engaging than the second, Artifices.In Part I, we are told some of Borges's most noted tales, including The Library of Babel in which everything that can exist is recorded and stored in an eternal grid of rooms.I have heard Borges's work described as labyrinthine, but I think that term both simplifies and obscures his fictions.To say it simplifies his work is to say that it reduces his stories to puzzles, or mazes for which there may or may not be any solution.In my reading of Borges the idea of a solution to a riddle presupposes that a singular answer is available.To Borges, there is an infinite array of solutions to an infinite array of problems.What he does, because he must in order to address such rampant chaos, is create boxes which neatly contain a microscopic summary of the spread of problems at hand.This is what I believe people refer to when they say he is labyrinthine (not to mention he often writes about labyrinths and puzzles).

The themes of recursion and simultaneity dominate Part I.Everything exists at once.Time is an illusion.Yet he uses the conceit of a library to attempt to order it.This is futile and he knows it, so he situates the narrator of that tale in a task of recursively searching for and ultimately never finding a definitive explanation to anything.

Part II is more narrative-driven and does include some very good stories, particularly "Funes, the Memorius", "The Secret Miracle" and "Three Versions of Judas".These tales put into motion the intellectual conceits introduced in Part I.

Borges is not nearly as impenetrable as I was led to believe.I am not saying that it's easy either.Although this book is short, it took me about 3 days to finish because the stories are so compact.It takes time for the ideas to unravel.In Ficciones, Borges makes Einstein's physics into readable literature.He was postmodern before modernism was finished.This thin volume is a must for anyone with a passion for 20th century literature.

5-0 out of 5 stars Un clasico de Borges
Junto con el Aleph, Ficciones es el libro que me convirtió en un fanático de Borges. En realidad, en este pequeño volumen quedan resumidas todas las genialidades, búsquedas, acertijos, historias, bromas, erudiciones de Borges.

Para alguien que nunca ha leído a Borges es sin dudas un buen comienzo para empezar a enamorarse de uno de los mas grandes escritores de nuestra lengua. Para aquellos que ya somos sus lectores, leer y releer Ficciones es un placer inagotable.

ESte libro es sencillamente una maravilla

5-0 out of 5 stars a favourite book/ un libro favorecido
las "ficciones" forman un libro muy elaborado y revelan una sabiduría existencialista muy rara. Las historietas, de manera misteriosa una alegada a la otra,reflejan la situación del hombre en el mundo. Ladescripción de Tlön, un pais ficcional a lo que contribuyen los sabios delmundo, sirve como ejemplo para entender el misterio del mundo tal y como sepresenta a la percepción humana. Los supuestos habitantes de Tlön, porejemplo piensan que el idealismo va tán de suyo como para nosotros elmaterialismo. Los filósofos, por tanto, han establecido algunas aporías lasque entrene el idealismo y las que los filósofos de Tlön discuten con tantoardor como los modernos las aporías del eleatismo. Estas circumstanciascomplejísimas vienen descrito con inmensa virtuosidad, de una manera que esfácil imaginarse los habitantes de Tlön. Pero hay que leerlas todas. Unlibro favorecido.Debo hacer un fín. ... Read more

8. Antología poética 1923-1977
by Jorge Luis Borges, Jorge Luis Borges
Paperback: 149 Pages (1997)
list price: US$16.49 -- used & new: US$12.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 8420633186
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Desafía las categorias, no se le puede llamar solo poesía
Lastimosamente pertenezco al grupo de las personas que considera la poesía increíblemente aburrida y esotérica. Nunca me puedo concentrar en seguir las ideas del autor y aún menos entenderlas. Este libro es para mi tanto la excepción como la regla. Si bien no pienso presumir que he entendido lo que Borges quería trasmitir en cada uno de sus poemas, si me fue posible concentrarme en ellos y dejarme sorprender por lo que evoca. Tal vez lo que me impacta es la completa ausencia de humor en cualquiera de ellos. Parece que la vida lo sorprende y angustia tanto que le es imposible burlarse de ella, cada línea esta impregnada de una devoción religiosa a algo. Como ese tipo de reuniones donde las personas se sienten tan importantes (por ejemplo los banqueros) que quien sonríe es sospechoso de algo - de que no se - pero de algo!

En otras palabras es claro que no estamos leyendo nada tonto ni sensiblero; es impactante y de alguna manera nos llama a despertarnos de la cotidianeidad pero tan denso que es difícil saborearlo. No es un libro para días de sol. En realidad solo debe ser abierto si esta dispuesto a que le digan una y otra vez que nada es lo que parece ser. Y tal línea de pensamiento no cuadra enaquellos momentos donde todo nos importa un jopo.

5-0 out of 5 stars Jorge Luis Borges, un poeta mayor.
Es importante poder contar con una edicion que reuna la obra poetica de uno de los escritores mayores de la literatura hispanoamericana del siglo XX y de todos los tiempos. La edicion es excelente y por supuesto, lospoemas tambien. Leer a Borges es indispensable para cualquiera que aspire atener un minimo de cultura literaria en estos momentos. ... Read more

9. The Book of Sand and Shakespeare's Memory (Penguin Classics)
by Jorge Luis Borges
Paperback: 176 Pages (2007-12-18)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$8.14
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0143105299
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
The acclaimed translation of Borges's valedictory stories, in its first stand-alone edition

Jorge Luis Borges has been called the greatest Spanish-language writer of the twentieth century. Now Borges's remarkable last major story collection, The Book of Sand, is paired with a handful of writings from the very end of his life. Brilliantly translated, these stories combine a direct and at times almost colloquial style coupled with Borges's signature fantastic inventiveness. Containing such marvelous tales as "The Congress," "Undr," "The Mirror and the Mask," and "The Rose of Paracelsus," this edition showcases Borges's depth of vision and superb image-conjuring power. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars Magnifico escritor

Jorge Luis Borges es un escritor, que en mi opinion
debe estar en todas las casas que amen la literatura.

5-0 out of 5 stars In memory...
Trying to full describe the writings of Jorge Luis Borges is like trying to explain exactly why Leonardo da Vinci's art still captivates. The man wrote works of art.

And "The Book of Sand and Shakespeare's Memory" brings together two of Borges' shorter collections, with all sorts of surreal twists in a seemingly ordinary world. These rich, slightly uneasy stories are a shining example of why people enjoy Borges -- magical, rich in language, and poignant in their finality.

Interestingly, two of the stories -- one from each collection -- have strikingly similar stories. "August 25, 1983" has Borges stumbling across an older version of himself, dying as he tells Borges a bit about his future. And "The Other" has Borges at Cambridge, where he accidentally bumps into a younger version of himself, whom he imparts some wisdom to.

But the stories are about far stranger things as well -- a hunt for blue tigers that leads to strangely fascinating stones, an alchemist's rose, a poet telling a king of pure beauty and wonder, receiving the hazy memories of Shakespeare, a book with no ending, the ultimate Word, a creepy religious sect, and even a Lovecraftian homage in which a man comes across grotesque aliens in a remote house.

Good luck finding flaws in this book -- Borges' writing is exquisitely detailed and atmospheric, and densely packed with philosophical pockets. And these stories are magical realism in the purest sense, with a slight, almost mystical twist to the everyday events that we take for granted -- being mistaken for someone else, being sold a book, et cetera.

And Borges wraps these stories in lush, digified prose that takes a little while to wade through, but the richness of the words he uses is worth it ("The sin the two of us now share... the sin of having known Beauty, which is a gift forbidden mankind"). He's even able to craft stories very unlike his usual style -- "The Mirror and the Mask" has the style and flavour of an ancient Irish myth.

Perhaps it's because these were Borges' last stories, but there's a very reflective, introspective feeling to many of them -- Borges seems to be glancing back at his life, and ahead to his death. But he doesn't lose his touch for the haunting, almost otherworldly explorations ("Blue Tigers") and the feeling that the unnameable is just a misstep away.

"The Book of Sand and Shakespeare's Memory" is a brilliant collection of Borges' exquisite stories. Magical and gritty, beautiful and haunting -- and sadly, the last work he did.

5-0 out of 5 stars There is no Book Borges has read that he himself
There is no book Borges has read that he himself has not written. In essence he is Literature and all he ever does is read himself to himself.But because he likes games and because the world has acertain intractability it is not enough for him to lose himself in such fantasies. Instead he must sit down and sentence by sentence, paragraph by paragraph write these masterpieces. And so he has here written a number of small masterworks each of which gives more temptation to thought than do whole libraries of many other writers. In the story for instance 'The Other' in which two Borges' one a young man and another an aging Borges meet the conservation lingers upon who is dreaming who, and whether the real Borges is either of them. We cannot know , but as readers we can take tremendous pleasure and interest in the work of this maker of ficciones and poemes who is always rereading and rewriting himself .
These small pieces all done after Borges was seventy and already blind open the mind and the eyes to one of the great worlds of modern literature. Who reads this book reads a hombreand a very great writer indeed.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Book of Sand
The Book of Sand has thirteen stories - an accidental or fatal number, the author tells us, but not magical - and they all, more or less, deal with the same theme. While, in each and every story, there is a mystery, an enigma, a puzzle that may or may not be solved, the answer is always the same. Borges wants us to look beyond the artifices of our lives, beyond the linguistic, economic, political and religious restrictions we have given ourselves, and see the world for what it actually is.

One of the - many and varied - literary techniques that Borges uses is that of the literary reference. Always, the narrator uses an obscure reference to better make a point, or to expand the depth of a scene or image, using Tacitus, Sigurd and Brynhild, Ibsen, more. Yet, nestled quietly in between real authors and works are fictional creations, authors that are clever combinations of existing writers, works with titles that are pure fancy. The point that Borges is making is, I believe, that, with the passing of time and the simultaneously corrupting and enhancing efforts of language and culture, it does not matter if these works ever existed or not. To be affected by them it enough, to make a point or drive home an idea is enough. Four hundred years on, invoking the 'fighting windmills' phrase, does it matter if Cervantes ever really existed? Does it matter if I have or have not read the exploits of the man from La Mancha? In Borges world, the answer is no.

In one story, 'Utopia of a Tired Man', Eudoro Acevedo is transplanted from his home in the 20th century, to a place many thousands of years into the future. He meets a man, who explains the fall and rise again of mankind, who reveals the future history until 'now', when everything is different. He explains:

'The planet was populated by collective ghosts - Canada, Brazil, the Swiss Congo, and the Common Market. Almost no one knew anything of the history that preceded those platonic entities, but, of course, they knew every last detail of the most recent congress of pedagogies, or of imminent breakdowns in diplomatic relations, or of statements issued by Presidents...These things were read to be forgotten, for, only hours later, other trivialities would blot them out.'

This lengthy quote is perhaps Borges' most blatant and clear attack on the culture in which he lived. He quite obviously has a love of nature and literature and life, and bemoans the seeming lack of interest that most other people display. While the rest of the story is an interesting look at the future, it is clearly fanciful, and not an ideal world for Borges. Rather, it was written to make us think, something we just don't do enough.

The stories, composed when Borges was over 70, are for the most part an exercise in memory. A narrator of one - Ulrike - will remember a fleeting love. Another story has a group of men conversing on the problem of knowledge, which inspires an old man, 'a bit lost in metaphysics', to share a story of his youth. This is fairly typical for Borges, but is especially poignant here. The characters are remembering sad or strange or horrifying times, and nearly every single narrator mentions needing to share the tale before they die. Borges, at seventy, probably shared this opinion.

I have not taken the time to summarise Borges' short stories, for to do so would be to lose the point. Borges is capable of compressing a vast myriad of ideas and thoughts into a seven page short story, and to further reduce such themes and suggestions would be to lose them. Instead, I have commented upon what they meant to me, and what, I believe, they meant to him. Perhaps I am wrong, perhaps not, but that is the genius of Borges. He is infinitely interpretable, and should be: For each of us, there is an interpretation that fits, and for each of us, it is the right one.

5-0 out of 5 stars Utopia of a great wirter
The review's title is, of course, a paraphrase of one of the best stories in this collection, one written when Borges was already old and wiser than ever. His wisdom is a disenchanted one, but then again he was never an exactly cheerful writer. His scope is infinite, as he deals not only with far distant lands but also with entirely imaginary ones. One of the most peculiar characteristics of Borges, acutely present in this slim volume, is his constant mixing up of reality with fantasy, of different epochs, and of true and imaginary identities.

The best example of this is the first tale, "The Other", an encounter between the young and the old Borges. Both are sitting on a bench by a river, but the young one is in Geneva in the twenties, while the old is in Cambridge, Mass., in 1969. Their conversation is friendly but distant, and it is simply impossible to read it without imagining what you would say to your younger self if you had a chance to talk to him. All the stories are good -vintage Borges-, but some of my favorites are: "Utopia of a Tired Man", a chilling encounter with a man from the distant future; "The Night of Gifts", a gaucho story of learning about sex and death in a single night; "There are more things" (English title in the original), an homage to H.P. Lovecraft; "The Book of Sand", about an infinite book.

This mature collection is a strong sample of Borges's best qualities: concision, brevity, high-octanage imagination, philosophical profundity without pretentiousness. ... Read more

10. On Argentina (Penguin Classics)
by Jorge Luis Borges
Paperback: 192 Pages (2010-06-29)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$7.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0143105736
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Best of the Penguin Borges Relaunch
Penguin released five topic-based Borges titles in Spring '10 that to a great extent reprinted material from their three-volume Deluxe Penguin set of ten years before. Those earlier books were a massive dose of Borges, and one of them, Selected Non-Fictions, is a must buy. The other volumes, Collected Fictions and Selected Poems, are controversial as to the merits and even legality of the translations used.

The only volume of the five new ones that contains an appreciable amount of previously untranslated material is On Argentina, consisting mostly of essays about his homeland (though some readers might find the Sonnets volume handy, as translations of some of these haven't appeared in book form until now). The translation is muddy in places, but this is probably unavoidable; Borges' Spanish prose in his early years as a writer, when he was most concerned with Argentina's culture and landscape, is notoriously baroque and inaccessible. Those interested in early Borges will find the new material fascinating. I'd advise reading Selected Non-Fictions first if you're interested in Borges' essays in general, which are phenomenal. This is good as a supplement to that, and would also prove interesting to those whose primary interest is Argentina (c. 1900-1950) rather than its presiding genius. ... Read more

11. A Personal Anthology
by Jorge Luis Borges
 Paperback: 224 Pages (1994-01-14)
list price: US$12.00 -- used & new: US$6.90
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0802130771
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

After almost a half a century of scrupulous devotion to his art, Jorge Luis Borges personally compiled this anthology of his work—short stories, essays, poems, and brief mordant “sketches,” which, in Borges’s hands, take on the dimensions of a genre unique in modern letters.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Borges' favorite selections of the writer, Borges
Published first in Spanish in 1961 and in English in 1967, Jorge Luis Borges' A Personal Anthology was released after Borges had achieved world-wide fame as the author of the short story compilations The Garden of Forking Paths, A Universal History of Infamy, and The Aleph, as well as numerous books of poetry and essays.

A Personal Anthology can be read as a sort of broad summation of the major themes and metaphors of Borges's literary life, or as a mere introduction into his expansive oeuvre.As an avid reader of Borges, to me his anthology is an exciting glimpse into the intellectual heart of the writer.As a truly "personal anthology", edited by Borges himself, the work is, in essence, Borges' own idea of his contribution to literature, philosophy, and criticism.It is, to a great extent, what Borges would choose to leave to that infinite library that he often invokes.

The literary styles within the text span the extent of Borges' work, from short story, to literary meditation, to essay and philosophical argument. The themes of Borges' works are primarily existential.His questions surround the nature of identity, time, and consciousness, and his narratives usually lead back to the questions of myth and history, creator and creation, philosophical idealism, and the line between the waking mind and the dreaming mind.Summarizing Borges' works proves difficult, as he draws heavily from history, philosophy, religion, and references to real and imaginary books.Meaning is meant to be layered; the sacred and the profane, the everyday and the fantastic weave together to create his strange literary vignettes.

In the the book we find some of Borges' most well-known short stories, including The Aleph, Death and the Compass, Funes the Memorious, The South, and The Zahir.He also includes pseudo histories like The Warrior and the Captive, the essay A New Refutation of Time, and his brief meditation Borges and I.Borges is attracted to paradox, to unanswered questions, and his anthology reflects that propensity.While A Personal Anthology portrays Borges' at the heights of his intellectual powers, which span numerous languages, histories and literary styles, the collection also gives us Borges in his most vulnerable state, a scholar going blind, asking questions he knows are beyond his grasp to answer.

For Borges fans, A Personal Anthology is an ideal compendium to have in the library, and for those new to Borges, the edition provides a perfect introduction into the fascinating world of the writer.

5-0 out of 5 stars A selection of some ofBorges' bestwork
This work contains some , but no means all, or even most of Borges' best work. It contains ' The Maker' and 'Everything and Nothing'. It also contains the great memory story ' Funes' and one of Borges' signature stories' 'Death and the Compass'. It has an introduction by Anthony Kerrigan.
On principle it is difficult to read any work of Borges without coming away enriched.
He takes us somewhere else into a literary world of his own which resembles other literary worlds yet has a mysterious and wondrous quality all its own.
It is by this timea cliche to say that Borges is a great writer but I will repeat the cliche as I suspect most readers who have not read him yet and who will come to his work , will feel the very same thing.

5-0 out of 5 stars His Own Selected Choice.
Jorge Luis Borges (1899 - 1986) was one of the greatest Argentinean's writers of all times. Since 1970 he was candidate to Nobel Literature Prize, which he never attained. In 1980 he was bestowed Cervantes Prize, the Spanish major literary award. He influenced two generations of Latin American writers. Even those who despised him as "elitist writer" admired his powerful imagination and writing skills.

Jorge Luis was born in a high-class family. He was bilingual, due to his English grandmother. He moved with his parents to Europe where he resided from 1914 till 1921 and profited from enhanced education. When he returned to Argentina he fells in love with Buenos Aires. This love affaire begot several poetry volumes and inspired him many stories.
He actively participates in Literary Cenacles, collecting life long friends and unflinching foes. He used a mixture of irony and naivety to disarm his detractors and his quotes (real or attributed) are famous and endearing.
Borges was an omnivorous reader with a wide range of interests: Cabbala, Golems, Classic Mythology, Gaucho's life and hardships, Immortality, Predestination, Buddhism, Tango, Christianity and Reincarnation are just a sample. His tales, poetries and essays reflect this interest.

The present volume was the first of Borges' works I've read when I was in the last high-school year. It was a delightful experience. In just one dose I enjoyed all the genres of his creations.
"Funes the Memorious" elaborates on what happens if a person may recall every instant of his whole life. "The Aleph" deals with magic reality. "The Golem", is situated in the Middle Ages inside a European Ghetto. "Biography of Tadeo Isidoro Cruz" is a story derived from Jose Hernandez's epic poem "Martin Fierro"; here Borges cleverly creates a mini-biography of an important, yet secondary character.

With this book the reader has the unique opportunity of tasting a complete sample of this wonderful writer's work. More: a selection of his own chooses!
Give this book a chance, you will no be disappointed!
Reviewed by Max Yofre.

5-0 out of 5 stars Borges' anthology of his work
Jorge Luis Borges was born in Buenos Aires in 1899. His parents, multilingual intellectuals, would soon travel to Europe with their childrenin the hopes of finding medical treatment for the progressive (inherited) failing eyesight that Borges' father was experiencing. Borges was a brainy, precocious, nearsighted and bookish child who was deeply attached to his sister Norah,with whom he played nearly exclusively and happily, mainly in the protected indoors ofthe family's library, or in the garden, and at the Buenos Aires Zoo, where Borges adored tigers most of all. (Stroking the fur of a living tiger was a lifelong dream and one that he finally attained - in old age).

Borges wrote his first short story at age six and, amazingly,at the age of nine translated Oscar Wilde's short story "The Happy Prince" from English to Spanish, publishing the story in a local newspaper. It was simply assumed that his father (also "Jorge Borges") had done the translation.Borges was educated in the classics, was multilingual, and was eventually named Director of the National Library of Argentina. The irony of being blind - and also in direct control of "800,000 volumes" did not escape him.

This book was assembled by Borges himself, in the 1960s.It's an assortment ofshort stories, essays, fictions and nonfictions, and poems. It is a demanding and rewarding read. Like most of his work, his human subjects here are mainly males- of history, myth, and his own invention. Women are not much included in his oevre. I add that so that readers new to Borges are informed, in advance.

He does not court the reader so much as respect readerly intelligence.As such his work sometimes initially intimidates students - and later, thrills. It stays with you, permanently.

Borges was a master of several forms, and they are here. Most of his areas of interest are 'big'themes : art, poetry, mortality, loyalty, destiny, ancient and world history.(He even wrote articles about books or other articles that, in fact, did not exist - other than for his express purposes.)In his poetry and other pieces, notions of eternity versus mortality(for example: one's knowing that one will never again open a certain beloved book, travel a familiar street, or know or see a still-living loved one)is approached with profound humility and grace. There are meditations on a variety of men and topics, among them Shakespeare, 'the Aleph,' and Shih Huang Ti, the Chinese emperor who ordered that the Wall of China be built, and "likewise ordered all books antedating him to be burned."

Borges loves details, material culture, and even minutiae, too. There is much to hang on to in these pieces. It'sa deliberate and purposeful sampling of some of his work - not a "best of," since one volume of 200 pages can't really do that. His writing demands full engagement. Many of his stories lack characters of romance, drama, or overt emotionality - but have great power nonetheless.

Several of his most well-known poems are included. "The Art of Poetry," as able an explication of the meaning of art, life, and eternity as you might ever read and "The Tango," a poem about (among other things) Argentina ("The South, behind suspicious walls,/Keeps a knife and a guitar." In conclusion: "An impossible recollection of having died/ Fighting, on some corner of a suburb.")

Borges is considered to be a modern master, and this collection illustrates why.

5-0 out of 5 stars Borges!
Borges is with Joyce, Proust, and Kafka among the titans of literature of this century.This personal anthology ranks with his best work, and will be read when the second rate books, and second rate reviews, have been forgotton.Order now! ... Read more

12. On Writing (Penguin Classics)
by Jorge Luis Borges
Paperback: 192 Pages (2010-06-29)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$8.40
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0143105728
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Customer Reviews (1)

3-0 out of 5 stars Mostly reprints; buy Selected Non-Fictions instead
Penguin's publication of this book makes little sense.Of the 38 pieces compiled, 28 are reprinted from Selected Non-Fictions, which is a much more comprehensive book, with over 150 pieces, published by Penguin just eleven years ago.The ten new pieces in On Writing can, to use Borges's phrase, "be omitted without great loss" (p. 98) --perhaps they were deliberately left out of Selected Non-Fictions.Since every Borges fan ought to own Selected Non-Fictions, the purchase of On Writing is nearly superfluous.Levine's groupings of the 38 pieces under various headings add nothing to the appreciation or understanding of them.So one star for literary regurgitation, but five stars for regurgitation of Borges, for an average of three. ... Read more

13. The Aleph and Other Stories (Penguin Classics)
by Jorge Luis Borges
Paperback: 224 Pages (2004-07-27)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$8.41
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0142437883
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Full of philosophical puzzles and supernatural surprises, these stories contain some of Borges’s most fully realized human characters. With uncanny insight he takes us inside the minds of an unrepentant Nazi, an imprisoned Mayan priest, fanatical Christian theologians, a woman plotting vengeance on her father’s "killer," and a man awaiting his assassin in a Buenos Aires guest house.This volume also contains the hauntingly brief vignettes about literary imagination and personal identity collected in The Maker, which Borges wrote as failing eyesight and public fame began to undermine his sense of self. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars Borges is one of the greatest short story writters
Many people bewail that Borges was not awarded the Noble Prize for Literature because of political reasons. The prize was given to Gabriel Marques, a superb writer, but Borges is better. Borges stories are a delight to read and they have mystical messages. Both Borges and Marques write in the tradition of Spanish magical writers.It is like reading how a person is walking across a bridge and continues by floating across in the air.

This volume has twenty of Borges' short stories, including the title tale The Aleph. The letter aleph is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Its form is very similar to the English letter X. Both can be seen by the mystically-minded as a man pointing simultaneously to the heaven and the earth. But the aleph is the first, the primal letter, and could and did invoke in many ancient minds the idea that all of creation, past, present, and future, can be contained in the small space of this letter, far less than an inch in height and breadth.

Borges story captures this ancient notion. A man enters a house and descends down a cellar and discovers the aleph there. Readers of the tale will ask themselves many questions, such as: What is the significance of descending to gain the knowledge? Isn't knowledge attained by ascending? What is this knowledge? Is it possible that all knowledge can be capsulated into a single small idea? Is all of nature really one, as God is one? Once the man knew what the aleph contained, could he remember it? When we get insights, can we remember them?

1-0 out of 5 stars No idea what this was about.
This book seemed more like personal opinions of others' works than anything else. Reading it was like reading a grip of book reviews; it would have been like this site binding together this review and others to make a book. Since I have never read pretty much all the books this book referred to while making comparisons, I was completely lost. I read up to the fourth entry into the first part of the book - "Story of the Warrior and the Captive Maiden" of "The Aleph" - and just couldn't go on. I'm only now getting into books, so my library was insufficient to grasp these works. The cover, the name, the description on the back seemed to make it out as some mind blowing epic. It was mind blowing; like trying to understand a foreign language without knowledge of its existence.

I wanted to like it, but it was just over my head.

2-0 out of 5 stars english?
I was trying to get this book in Spanish,the language it was written .I didn't .

5-0 out of 5 stars The path you are to take is endless
Trying to full describe the writings of Jorge Luis Borges is like trying to explain exactly why Leonardo da Vinci's art still captivates. The man wrote works of art.

"The Aleph and Other Stories" includes two different books of Borges', very different in their styles -- one is rich and epic, while the other is sort of short and quirky. But this collection is a shining example of why people enjoy Borges -- magical, rich in language, and lets us glimpse the minds of anything and anyone he can conjure up.

The title story involves a sort of fictional version of Borges, who makes regular pilgrimages to the house of a woman he loved, and encounters her slightly nuts first cousin Daneri, who is composing a horrible epic poem describing the whole world. When Daneri's house is threatened, he reveals how he's composed the poem -- the Aleph, which he discovered as a child, and he allows Borges to catch a glimpse of... everything.

The other stories have tales of heretics and holy men, of a man's last days awaiting an assassin's bullet, of a girl who coldly seeks revenge for her father, and the Zahir (the opposite of the Aleph), which can cause an all-encompassing obsession in the one who sees it, until they shut out reality.

And in the second book, he spins up a long string of very, VERY short stories (some only a paragraph). Some are musings on his toes, and nothing much more. But there are also brief stories of startling depth, such as God speaking to Dante and the "Divine Comedy's" leopard, and assuring them of their literary immortality.

The main flaw with this collection is that it's basically split into two very dissimilar styles -- some of them are short and relatively plain, while the others are dense pockets of philosophy. In fact, all the stories in the first portion of the book are based on the idea of shared experiences and infinite time, where there are no "new" experiences but only repetition.

And Borges wraps these stories in lush, digified prose that takes a little while to wade through, but the richness of the words he uses is worth it ("every generation of mankind includes four honest men who secretly hold up the universe and justify it"). And his writing takes on many different people's selves -- he even makes readers squirm by taking us into the mind of a loyal Nazi.

It's almost like another world, Borgeworld, which is almost like ours, but where magical items are hidden in the cellars, soldiers are forgotten, the Minotaur plays in his maze, and God dreams of mortal lives. The most entrancing foray into Borgeworld is "The Immortal," about a Roman soldier who goes searching for a city of immortals, and finds an ancient poet who seems very familiar.

"The Aleph and Other Stories" is a brilliant collection of Borges' exquisite stories. Magical and gritty, beautiful and haunting -- this collection should be cherished.

4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting collection of ideas
This collection of short stories covers a huge array of concepts and ideas, ranging from history and religion, through philosophy to science.One recurring theme involves taking a well known story or idea and looking at it from a different angle or viewpoint.

The translation is well handled and the translator's notes are designed to give a background to place names or people that a non Argentinean would not necessarily know without getting in the way of the text.

This is the first of JLB's books that I have read; I will certainly look out more.
... Read more

14. Borges: Selected Non-Fictions
by Jorge Luis Borges
Paperback: 560 Pages (2000-11-01)
list price: US$22.00 -- used & new: US$11.90
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0140290117
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
This unique volume presents a Borges almost entirely unknown to American readers: his extraordinary non--fiction prose. Borges' unlimited curiosity and almost superhuman erudition become, in his essays, reviews, lectures, and political and cultural notes, a vortex for seemingly the entire universe: Dante and Ellery Queen; Shakespeare and the Kabbalah; the history of angels and the history of the tango; the Buddha, Bette Davis, and the Dionne Quints.

Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in criticism
Chosen International Book of the Year by George Steiner in the Times Literary SupplementAmazon.com Review
Jorge Luis Borges was our century's greatest miniaturist,perpetually cramming entire universes onto the head of a pin. Yet hissplendid economy, along the wafer-thin proportions of such classicvolumes as Ficciones and Labyrinths, has givenreaders the impression that Borges was miserly with his prose. Infact, he was something of a verbal spendthrift. His collected storiesalone run to nearly 1,000 pages. And his nonfiction output was evenmore staggering: the young Borges cranked out hundreds of essays, booknotes, cultural polemics, and movie reviews, and even after he losthis sight in 1955, he continued to dictate short pieces by thedozens. EliotWeinberger has assembled just a fraction of this outpouring inSelected Non-Fictions, and the result is a 559-page Borgesianblowout, in which the Argentinean fabulist takes on being andnothingness, James Joyce and Lana Turner, and (surprisingly) racialhatred and the rise of Nazism. So much for our image of the mandarinbookworm! The very engagé author of this bookseems more like a subequatorial Camus, with a dash of Siskel and Eberton the side.

Selected Non-Fictions demonstrates just how quickly Borgesbegan wrestling with such brainteasers as identity, time, andinfinity. Indeed, the very first piece in the collection, "TheNothingness of Personality" (1922), already finds him fiddling withthe self: "I, as I write this, am only a certainty that seeks out thewords that are most apt to compel your attention. That proposition anda few muscular sensations, and the sight of the limpid branches thatthe trees place outside my window, constitute my current I." There aremany such meditations here, including "A History of Eternity" (inwhich Borges maps out his own, disarmingly empty version of theeternal, "without a God or even a co-proprietor, and entirely devoidof archetypes"). But it's more fun--and more revelatory--to see theauthor venturing beyond his metaphysical stomping grounds. Borges onKing Kong is a hoot, and a cornball masterpiece such as ThePetrified Forest elicits this terrific nugget: "Death works inthis film like hypnosis or alcohol: it brings the recesses of the soulinto the light of day." His capsule biographies are a delight, hiscritiques of Nazi propaganda are memorably stringent, and nobodyshould miss him on the tango. True, the sheer variety andmind-boggling erudition of Selected Non-Fictions can be alittle forbidding. But, taken as a whole, the collection surely meetsthe specifications that Borges laid out in a 1927 essay on literarypleasure: "If only some eternal book existed, primed for our enjoymentand whims, no less inventive in the populous morning as in thesecluded night, oriented toward all hours of the world." Oh, but itdoes. --James Marcus ... Read more

Customer Reviews (13)

5-0 out of 5 stars Stylish literary and philosophical pieces.
I think it was said about Goya - He was the last of the Old Masters and the first of the Moderns. That kind of applies to Borges. He came from the late 19th/early 20th century tradition, admiring writers such as Kipling, HG Wells and DeQuincey and you can see it in his writing. His style is polished and elegant. It has a cool, sophisticated tone.

Anyway, this is an eclectic and entertaining collection. It's ordered by date and goes from 1922 to 1986. There's a lot of different stuff.It includes - essays, book and film reviews, capsule biographies, prologues, and lectures. Some of them are less than a page, few are 10 pages or more. Random examples: he reviews The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury (which he liked) and there's an essay called A History of Eternity (the nature of time being one of his obsessions). Good stuff!

Couple of lines I liked (the book's got a million of em):

"Joyce is as bold as the prow of a ship, and as universal as a mariner's compass." - From - Joyce's Ulysses

"Arthur Shopenhauer wrote that dreaming and wakefulness are the pages of a single book, and that to read them in order is to live, and to leaf through them at random, to dream. Paintings within paintings and books that branch into other books help us sense this oneness." - From - When Fiction Lives In Fiction

5-0 out of 5 stars Like Always, No surprises, Borges is the man.
A must read. A great selection of non-fiction material. If you know and like Borges you know you'll be pleased, if this is your first time reading Borges I guarantee that it won't be your last, you'll keep buying all his work. Borges wasn't a man, he was a library, a portal to knowledge and wisdom.


5-0 out of 5 stars The supreme chef of Literary-Philosophical Delicacies
To read Borges, you become Borges. You see yourself in his mirrors, you regard the books you read as the books he reads. You appreciate what he appreciates, loving the literature he has absorbed, finding your way through the complex interweaving of his passions: Romantic English Poetry, Shakespeare, H.G. Well, Edgar Allan Poe, Dante, Icelandic Sagas, German Idealism, the Kabbala, Schopenhauer, Bergson, English Empiricism, Sufism, etc... All literary roads lead to Borges.

He lived a long, rich life. He is the Librarian you might meet in heaven. If only he were still alive to guide the reading public. If only he lived today and had a website, to think of all the books he might recommend. And wouldn't it be wonderful, to learn about his opinions on modern writers.

With the Collected Fictions, this book is a testament to the literary critic/philosphical wanderer in us all. Each essay is a delicate delicacy. This book is for you if you're a gourmand of good writing, great thinking and the pleasure of exploring the vast expanding world of literature. This book is rich, complex and wondrous. His writings on Dante and Shakespeare, his reviews, his philosophical essays... just read the book and become Borges becoming you.

5-0 out of 5 stars What a great and most interesting writer
Eliot Weinberger has done a real service to the world of literature by selecting, and translating these pieces. They show the range of interest, the incredible ability to make inventive creative cross- connections of one of Modern Literature's true masters, Borges.
Borges covers worlds in his writing, worlds of Literature , worlds of the Argentinean society he and some of his ancestors grew up in, worlds given in a universal encycopediac reading, which seems to cover all continents and all cultures.
Borges greatest work is considered to be his ' Ficciones'. But his signature is present in all , in a single page of a book- review or a philosphical meditation.
For him worlds mingle and combine, and are retranslated in such a way as to reappear as Literature.
He also in this work reveals himself to be a decent and courageous opponent of Fascism.
He confounds and surprises us at times with these strange mixings of things, but the poetic and parable- like element is so strong in this work that it engages us, and forces us to question our own small pictures of reality.
What a great and interesting writer. What a pleasure to have this work to enrich our minds with.

3-0 out of 5 stars Something for everyone and some things for no one
Because Borges lived and worked in Argentina, few have heard of him in the English-speaking world.Those that have are probably most familiar with his fiction stories.This book of non-fiction essays shows the vast knowledge and wide variation of interests of Borges.Therefore, this collection really does have something for everyone.Unfortunately, there are also many essays that are unreadable, some annoying repititions, and some essays are just plain dull.

So, what does Borges write about?He covers some metaphysical ground on the nature of time and infinity.He defines heaven as an infinite library, and then goes into the nature of infinity.On the more mundane end, he reviews movies and gives capsule biographies of authors - King Kong, Citizen Kane, and more obscure (and not necessarily Hollywood) films.He writes on contemporary (at the time) politics - Nazi Germany, the curators of the national library, etc.He gets intensely personal - there is one essay on the progression of his blindness.But if there is a main theme that permeates these pieces, it's his love of literature in all languages - Spanish, English (old and modern), German.He has an abiding love of the Greek classics (Homer, Virgil) and great admiration for Joyce, Poe, and Chesterton.

Unfortunately, those of us with a less classical education cannot keep up to everything that Borges says - I, for one, will never have the time to learn ancient Greek! - which makes certain essays difficult.There are other essays (especially early on) that are simply unintellegible (this may be the fault of the translators, especially since there are times when two or three essays cover the same ground with increasing degrees of murkiness).But it always happened that a real gem would appear just when I was getting frustrated with a series of uninteresting essays.

On the balance, about a third of the essays are not interesting (or badly translated, or repetitions), a third are interesting if not spectacular, and the final third have at least one moment of sheer brilliance.It's well worth buying, but it's unlikely you'll read it from cover to cover without taking a break - I took many breaks to read other things, and it took me over 1.5 years to complete the whole book.But you know what? - on the balance, I like his non-fiction better than his fiction ... Read more

15. Jorge Luis Borges (Spanish Reader) (Spanish Edition)
Hardcover: 223 Pages (2000-01)
list price: US$17.88 -- used & new: US$7.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0618048235
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Borges
This editions of Spanish Reader are excellent for my Spanish 4 classes and for my AP Spanish.Borges is presented in an accessible manner for the intermediate student and also challenging enough for AP students.
I am quite happy with these Spanish Reader series.I bought already the Ana Maria Matute, Miguel de Unamuno, Federico Garcia Lorca and of course the Jorge Luis Borges volume.

5-0 out of 5 stars On Borges
This is a book of Borges criticism by Jaime Alazraki. I do not know why, but I see that most copies are being sold for under $2.00. I will always prefer to re-read Borges' books a hundred times by myself before turning to a book of criticism, but I had to read this one (and others) while I was studying Literature at Buenos Aires University, and it is one of the best books on Borges writings to be found. So I'd say, go ahead, try it. ... Read more

16. The Sonnets: A Dual-Language Edition with Parallel Text (Penguin Classics)
by Jorge Luis Borges
Paperback: 336 Pages (2010-03-30)
list price: US$18.00 -- used & new: US$9.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0143106015
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
This landmark collection brings together for the first time in any language all of the sonnets of Jorge Luis Borges. More intimate and personally revealing than his fiction, and more classical in form than the inventive metafictions that are his hallmark, the sonnets reflect Borges in full maturity, paying homage to many of his literary and philosophical paragons—Cervantes, Milton, Whitman, Joyce, Spinoza. ... Read more

17. Obra Poetica (Volume 1)
by Jorge Luis Borges
Paperback: 121 Pages (1998)
list price: US$13.95 -- used & new: US$10.74
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 8420633461
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Brillante en la forma, acerada y precisa en el concepto, rotunda en su expresion, la poesia de Jorge Luis Borges corre parejas con su genial obra narrativa. Este primer volumen de los tres que en esta «Biblioteca de autor» ocupa su Obra poetica -que se presenta ordenada cronologicamente-, recoge los tres libros mas tempranos de la poesia borgiana -Fervor de Buenos Aires (1923), Luna de enfrente (1925) y Cuaderno San Martin (1929)-, obras que, sucedidas por un prolongado silencio que no habria de romperse hasta 1960 con la publicacion de El hacedor, conforman nitidamente la primera etapa de una de las trayectorias liricas mas atractivas de nuestro siglo. ... Read more

18. Jorge Luis Borges: Ficciones (BCP Spanish Texts)
by Jorge Luis Borges
Paperback: 232 Pages (2009-11-02)
list price: US$20.00 -- used & new: US$18.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1853995908
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
By common consent, the Argentinian Jorge Luis Borges (18990-1986) is one of the greatest writers to have emerged from Latin America. His finest work is "Ficciones" (1944), a collection of brilliantly-crafted, essay-like short stories. This edition, updated from the original 1976 edition by the same authors, offers a comprehensive selection of stories from the work with a full introduction, detailed notes, a generous vocabulary, bibliography, as well as chronological and other tables. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

1-0 out of 5 stars Typos Everywhere!Book should not be on the market.Zero stars.
This book containe 3-4 typos in each story!I have contacted the editors and publisher to the extent possible online, and have received either no response or the equivalent of "Eh, whatever . . . ."This edition is supposedly for English speakers who want to improve their Spanish -- but apparently no one involved actually knows Spanish, or can be troubled to proofread.The book should not be on the market at all.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent for non-native Spanish speakers
This edition is a marvelous gift for second-language Spanish speakers. The stories are fascinating, fantastical and mind-bending -- the best detective story you've read with a healthy dose of magic realism. I got the book as a high-school graduation present, and it was a smooth transition up from the literature we'd been reading in class: the back of this edition has a Spanish-English glossary of the more challenging words, good for someone who's had a few years of the language but isn't quite at native fluency. The language of the stories themselves is captivating, and I've been savoring them for some years now. This book made Borges one of my favorite authors.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Fair Sample of Borge's Universe.
Jorge Luis Borges (1899 - 1986) was one of the greatest Argentinean's writers of all times. Since 1970 he was candidate to Nobel Literature Prize, which he never attained, but he well deserved. In 1980 he was bestowed Cervantes Prize, the Spanish major literary award. He influenced two generations of Latin American writers. Even those who despised him as "elitist writer" admired his powerful imagination and writing skills.

Jorge Luis was born in a high-class family. He was bilingual, due to his English grandmother. He moved with his parents to Europe where he resided from 1914 till 1921. When he returned to Argentina he fells in love with Buenos Aires. This love affaire begot several poetry volumes and inspired him many stories.
Borges was an omnivorous reader with a wide range of interests: from Cabbala thru Golems; from Mythology thru Gaucho's hardships; from Immortality thru Infinite; from Buddhism thru Christianity. His tales reflect this interest.

The present book contains a good 30 pages introduction in English and present Borge's texts in Spanish.
This volume encompasses two of the author earlier stories collections: "The Garden of Forking Paths" (1941) and "Fictions" (1944) and constitute a fair sample of his writings and style.
"La Loteria de Babilonia" describes an improbable world, ruled by fate embodied in a lottery game. "Funes el Memorioso" elaborates on what happens if a person may recall every instant of his whole life. "El Jardin de Senderos que se Bifurcan" is an elegant detective's story. "La Biblioteca de Babel", is one of Borge's best known texts, where he speculates on an infinite library containing every volume of human literature and gave way to mathematical conjecture.
In other tales the reader will get in touch with some themes very dear to Borges: mirrors, treason, solitary Hero, multiple divergent versions of the same character, whole universe created ex nihlo from his imagination and more much more.

This is a very good book for anyone interested in reading Jorge's work in his native language!
Reviewed by Max Yofre. ... Read more

19. El Libro de Arena
by Jorge Luis Borges
Paperback: 140 Pages (1997)
list price: US$16.49 -- used & new: US$8.86
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 8420633135
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars El Argumento Imposible
"El Libro de Arena" nos presenta a Borges en todo su esplendor, como cuentista de una imaginación extraordinaria y un control magistral sobre el lenguaje y los argumentos. Estos ultimos usualmente tan retorcidos y sofisticados que podrìan compararse, en intensidad y sofisticación mental, a un estilo platonico de encrucijadas filosoficas o al famoso metodo-critico paranoico de Dali.

Este compendio parece ser la continuacion obligada y obvia de "Artificios". En ambos libros, Borges utiliza su maestria literaria- acaso tambien academica e intelectual -para plasmar diferentes tópicos como la fragmentación del tiempo como vehículo para autocontemplarse en asincronía ("El otro"), el enigma que encierra la idea una sola palabra omipotente ("Undr" y "El Espejo"), objetos inconcebibles y misticos ("El disco" y "El Libro de Arena"), el misterio de una Secta intangible y eterna ("La secta de los treinta"), o la utopía de una empresa que solamente puede cumplir su objetivo mediante su disolución ("El Congreso").

En cada cuento, la pluma de Borges esta presente, inigualable, inconfundible, incisiva... La tensión y la resolución de las tramas reciben el distintivo toque borgeano; ese toque magico que nos sorprende, nos confunde, nos asombra a cada instante.

En suma, "El Libro de Arena" es un libro indispensable para todo lector avido de fantasias y enigmas, retos e incognitas... pero escrito con el distintivo genio de Borges que con una precision casi epigramatica, elabora cada cuento con la diligencia y constancia de un albañil, así como con la precisión y planeamiento de un arquitecto. El poeta Borges, asoma solo subrepticiamente ("Ulrica"), endulzando esta monumental obra y llevándola a un climáx de literatura. ... Read more

20. The Total Library: Non-fiction, 1922-1986 (Penguin Modern Classics)
by Jorge Luis Borges
Paperback: 576 Pages (2001-01-18)
list price: US$20.67 -- used & new: US$14.07
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0141183020
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Though best known in the English speaking world for his short fictions and poems, Borges is revered in Latin America equally as an immensely prolific and beguiling writer of non-fiction prose. In "The Total Library", more than 150 of Borges' most brilliant pieces are brought together for the first time in one volume - all in superb new translations. More than a hundred of the pieces have never previously been published in English. "The Total Library" presents Borges at once as a deceptively self-effacing guide to the universe and as the inventor of a universe that is an indispensible guide to Borges. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful collection of Borges' non-fiction
This is a wonderful collection of Borges' non-fiction.It is a marvelous book to read and ponder.The only thing I could have wished for is a larger print font.I find I have to read this one with a magnifying glass.I suppose I shouldn't complain because there is SO much material.I will give this 5 stars just for the wealth of good reading it has to offer. ... Read more

  1-20 of 102 | Next 20
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z  

Prices listed on this site are subject to change without notice.
Questions on ordering or shipping? click here for help.

site stats