Its enormous influence on writers aside, Ficciones has also--perhaps more importantly--changed the way that we read. Borges's Pierre Menard, for instance, undertakes the most audacious project imaginable: to create not a contemporary version of Cervantes's most famous work but the Quixote itself, word for word. This second text is "verbally identical" to the original, yet, because of its new associations, "infinitely richer"; every time we read, he suggests, we are in effect creating an entirely new text, simply by viewing it through the distorting lens of history. "A book is not an isolated being: it is a relationship, an axis of innumerable relationships," Borges once wrote in an essay about George Bernard Shaw. "All men who repeat one line of Shakespeare are William Shakespeare," he tells us in "Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius." In this spirit, Borges is not above impersonating, even quoting, himself.
It is hard, exactly, to say what all of this means, at least in any of the usual ways. Borges wrote not with an ideological agenda, but with a kind of radical philosophical playfulness. Labyrinths, libraries, lotteries, doubles, dreams, mirrors, heresiarchs: these are the tokens with which he plays his ontological games. In the end, ideas themselves are less important to him than their aesthetic and imaginative possibilities. Like the idealist philosophers of Tlön, Borges does not "seek for the truth or even for verisimilitude, but rather for the astounding"; for him as for them, "metaphysics is a branch of fantastic literature." --Mary Park --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
While reading this book, I began to believe that Borges was a bored librarian, surrounded with books, who wrote out his frustrations. Read morePublished 15 days ago by E. Simpson
While certainly an intelligent writer, it's a mistake to write off Borges as too dry or intellectual to be able to convey emotion in his writing. Read morePublished 21 days ago by ryh
Take the most imaginative story you ever read, put it on drugs and amp it up with steroids and you have the kind of stuff that Borges achieves with Ficciones.Published 2 months ago by Hamdy Elgammal
Purchased this for a Fiction Writers' Workshop, required by instructor, and my first reading of the works of Jorge Luis Borges. Read morePublished 2 months ago by D Jean Schmidt
Intelligent, whimsical, and brilliant! Perusing the literature of Latin American (if there is such a general category) is highly rewarding with Borges.Published 6 months ago by Harry Haller
This compilation of writing is thought provoking. I had read some of it once before and it still blows my mind. Read morePublished 9 months ago by David Meidinger
This was an assigned book for the discussion group I belong to. Each person was given one short story to present, and we were encouraged to read the other stories assigned in... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Julia C. Johnson