Entering the library of babel

As I said yesterday the focus is back on translation firmly so I decide to jettison Waugh Wednesday for time being .So I found a suitable if not better replacement and that is working through the works one by one of a writer I hold in the highest possible regard Jorge Luis Borges .I read labyrinths late last year and struggled to review it as it is such a rich mix of stories and styles of writing ,so I decide to review each story individually from the three collections I own  first whilst adding to them over time .Borges is the godfather of magic realism and the Latin american boom ,He lived AND worked in Buenos Airies ,in later life he became blind and had people read to him on such was the writer Alberto Manguel .

Have you read Borges ?

What is your favourite story ?

I ll pick and mix them from collections as I go along

Have you read Borges ?

if so have you a favourite story ?

26 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. parrish
    Sep 06, 2011 @ 18:34:16

    Yes love Borges, with your Quixote read got to be Pierre Menard, or Lottery in Babylon, The Sect of Thirty, The Mirror & the Mask, The Book of Sand or hoe about The Book of Imaginary Beings, not quite a short story but not a big book either & how about some of his Poetry ?

    “For in the beginning of Literature is the myth, and in the end as well.”


  2. Frank
    Sep 06, 2011 @ 18:37:18

    Because it’s about writing, about language and (in a sense) about translation and authenticity, I’d also go with Pierre Menard, Author of El Quixote” (“Pierre Menard, autor del Quijote”)


  3. Rikki
    Sep 06, 2011 @ 18:44:14

    Never read anything by him, so I will be looking forward to what you have to say. Talking about one story at a time is a good idea. I did that with Kundera, even though his short stories were all about the same subject.
    I read today that Buenos Aires is one of the top ten cities for artistic inspiration, btw.


  4. Anbolyn
    Sep 07, 2011 @ 02:16:45

    I’ve never read Borges, but I’ve always loved his quote “that paradise will be a kind of library”. A man after my own heart – I look forward to your thoughts on his stories!


  5. Gavin
    Sep 07, 2011 @ 03:21:13

    It’s been a while since I read his stories but I love “The Library of Babel” and there are images in my head from other stories I don’t remember the names of. I must reread them. I keep a copy of the “Book of Imaginary Beings” on my nightstand:)


  6. Rise
    Sep 07, 2011 @ 07:30:04

    Stu, I love this idea of yours taking up Borges a story at a time. Pretty much anything in Ficciones is a favorite. Also recommend: “The South”, “Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius”, “The Garden of Forking Paths”.


  7. Nana Fredua-Agyeman
    Sep 07, 2011 @ 07:46:44

    Kinna has recommended Borges to me. He is one of her favourites authors but I am yet to read one. I currently own Saramago’s Blindness.


  8. Caroline
    Sep 07, 2011 @ 15:32:36

    He is due for a re-reading. I read him when I was very young, mybe too young. I liked some short pieces but not all of them.


  9. bythefirelight
    Sep 08, 2011 @ 05:05:41

    I love Borges. I’ve read all the stories in English and a few in Spanish, plus some of his non fiction. I’ve never really tried his poetry even though I have a copy. My favorite works come from Fictiones and the Aleph (most of his classics come from those two books). I like those more than his latter stuff, because 1) they have some great insights, and 2) they feel more like stories. His later works loose some of the flavor that makes the first ones fun. I particularly like Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius; Pierre Menard; The Library of Babel; Funes, His Memory; Emma Zunz.; the Aleph. The Garden of Forking Paths and The Library of Babel are close seconds. Really, anything from those two books are great. His first book, The Universal History of Iniquity is a quite different Borges, but worth it too.

    I’ve read him when I was in my early 20s and then ten years latter and he seemed to be as interesting, and I enjoyed the games just as much.



    • winstonsdad
      Sep 08, 2011 @ 20:31:39

      Its been a while since I ve read some of his stories I m alway interested in how time effects views on works ,I hope to add the volumes over time I ve not got ,all the best stu


  10. Vishy
    Sep 08, 2011 @ 12:10:39

    I don’t think I have read Borges, or maybe I might have read one short story by him. But he is a writer I have always wanted to read. Looking forward to your Borges posts in the future.


  11. Sigrun
    Sep 08, 2011 @ 18:15:53

    I read him years ago, loved it, but I can’t remember which of his stories I liked the best.
    Last year an issue of a Norwegian philosophical magazine was dedicated to Borges – so in addition to Borges’ own texts I also have several great articles about his authorship on my shelf.
    Looking forward to follow your reading!


  12. Emily Jane
    Sep 10, 2011 @ 16:27:01

    I haven’t read him yet, but own a huge collection of his and am waiting until I know I have enough time to dedicate to it. Could be a while, but I have a feeling he deserves it!


  13. Kinna
    Sep 20, 2011 @ 20:03:48

    I love Borges. I also read Labyrinths last year and am yet to review it for the same reasons that you cited. I think your idea to review each piece of work is a really good one.


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September 2011


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