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Fictions

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Fictions.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Jorge Luis Borges(Author)

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The most popular anthology of Jorge Luis Borges's short stories, Fictions is a wildly original and influential collection of fantastic tales, translated from the Spanish with an afterword by Andrew Hurley in Penguin Modern Classics.

Jorge Luis Borges's Fictions introduced an entirely new voice into world literature. It is here that we find the astonishing accounts of 'Funes the Memorious', the man who can forget nothing; 'Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote', who recreates Miguel de Cervantes's epic word-for-word; a society run on the basis of an all-encompassing game of chance in 'The Lottery in Babylon'; the mysterious world of 'Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius' which seems to be supplanting our own ; and the 'Library of Babel', which contains every possible book in the whole universe. Here too are the philosophical detective stories and the haunting tales of Irish revolutionaries, gaucho knife fights and dreams within dreams which proved so influential (and yet impossible to imitate). This collection was eventually to bring Borges international fame; over fifty years later, it remains endlessly intriguing.

Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986) was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. A poet, critic and short story writer, he received numerous awards for his work including the 1961 International Publisher's Prize (shared with Samuel Beckett). He has a reasonable claim, along with Kafka and Joyce, to be one of the most influential writers of the 20th century.

If you enjoyed Fictions, you might like Italo Calvino's The Complete Cosmicomics, also available in Penguin Modern Classics.

'Hurley's efforts at retranslating Borges are not anything but heroic. His visions are clear, elegant, crystalline'
Ilan Savans, The Times Literary Supplement

'One of the most memorable artists of our age'
Mario Vargas Llosa

Although Jorge Luis Borges published his first book in 1923--doling out his own money for a limited edition of Fervor de Buenos Aires--he remained in Argentinian obscurity for almost three decades. In 1951, however, Ficciones appeared in French, followed soon after by an English translation. This collection, which included the cream of the author's short fictions, made it clear that Borges was a world-class (if highly unclassifiable) artist--a brilliant, lyrical miniaturist, who could pose the great questions of existence on the head of pin. And by 1961, when he shared the French Prix Formentor with Samuel Beckett, he seemed suddenly to tower over a half dozen literary cultures, the very exemplar of modernism with a human face.

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Book details

  • PDF | 192 pages
  • Jorge Luis Borges(Author)
  • Penguin Classics; New Ed edition (7 Sept. 2000)
  • English
  • 4
  • Fiction

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Review Text

  • By Mori West on 12 September 2017

    A great read, thought provoking and not time consuming at all.

  • By robin summers on 2 April 2017

    Extremely clever, multi layered, hyper intellectual tome. Explores themes from religion and mysticism. Does not hit the spot for me. I much prefer the writings of Silvina Ocampo. I enjoyed the Carlos Castaneda flavoured The Circular Ruins though.

  • By D. Maskelyne on 1 February 2009

    Borges is one of the few authors with the ability to let you know for sure that you are an idiot. You can read most of his stories in the time it takes to make a cup of tea, yet it may take you a lifetime to grasp anything about it.This particular collection of Borges' fiction does nothing to ease you in gently. While your brain silently contemplates 'Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius' you find yourself mulling over the reality of this surreal tale. Does this country (later planet) exist? Of course not, but what about the group that dreamt it up? It ends with the conclusion that the lie will become truth. 'The Circular Ruins' also touches this concept of reality. The taciturn man from the South uses his dreams to create another man, his 'son' if you will. As he contemplates the plight of this being, and the horror it will experience when it discovers that it is not real, merely a projection of thought, he attempts to kill himself, only to discover that he too is nothing but another man's dream.The book contains a number of labyrinthine tales: 'The Garden of the Forking Paths', 'The Shape of the Sword', 'The Theme of the Traitor and the Hero', and 'Death and the Compass'. These stories question identity and time. 'Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote' tells the tale of a man attempting to rewrite Cervantes' novel word for word. His version, albeit identical, is richer because he is Menard, not Cervantes.Borges is a master of short fiction, he is able in a few pages to create a labyrinth deeper and richer than many authors can produce in a novel 700 pages long.

  • By music fan on 4 December 2015

    This was damaged

  • By Mark J. Easton on 23 December 2012

    I'm unsure if I profoundly enjoyed Ficciones, or if I'm still lost in its labyrinth of words, bifurcating stories, and fictional chaos.Although light of dialogue and prone to fleeting philosophical meanderings, the stories range wild over the intellectual terrain of the 20th century from the mathematical absurdity of the Library of Babel to the metaphysics of identity in The Form of the Sword, leaving the reader certain that each story embodies its own unique mental workout.More than most collections of short stories, this is a collection to be mulled over with each story being considered individually and in isolation from the other stories. Some are to be savoured and some discarded as brazen experiments in the readers' minds. Above all Ficciones stands as a demonstration that fiction can be at once immense and at once frustrating, an enjoyable entrapment of the reader in the infinite realms of uncertainty that leaked from the mind of Jorge Lluis Borges.


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