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.
Ordered on my brother's account, but it was wonderful. The book itself seems small, but don't let that fool you. It is dense information-wise. An enjoyable read!Published 15 days ago by Han Kyul
Beautifully composed, possibly the most influential writer in South America. His style is like no other, his mastery of human strife, dramatization, and puzzles have been nicely... Read morePublished 29 days ago by Michelle C
I couldn't get through this book the first time I tried. The second time, I couldn't put it down. I think it hit me that this book was more of a delicious ride than a standard... Read morePublished 1 month ago by RAPHAEL RICE
essential works from the master of compression. always rewards re-reading.Published 5 months ago by Gary T. Kleemann