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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
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...
Published on December 21, 2001 by Michael Wischmeyer

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0 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Borges is a master... I am so stupid
That found it awful. Could not tolerate Borges' permanent quotes and did not like his style nor his humor. I speak a few languages, but there is no need to read all of them in the same book, which I found extremely annoying.
Published on May 4, 2012 by Rosina Cavestany


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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ficciones - Unique, Remarkable and Exciting., December 21, 2001
This review is from: Ficciones (Spanish Edition) (Paperback)
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.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Un clasico de Borges, September 4, 2001
This review is from: Ficciones (Spanish Edition) (Paperback)
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
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vision and Foundation, December 12, 2001
This review is from: Ficciones (Spanish Edition) (Paperback)
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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genial y soberbia., July 19, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Ficciones (Spanish Edition) (Paperback)
Los cuentos de Borges son geniales, ejercitan una descripcion de la realidad y la re-dimensionan. A diferencia de lo "real maravilloso", Borges pinta un mundo comun pero revisado, interpolado, ampliado, incesante.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, elegant, August 9, 2011
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This was a great collection of short stories. Borges's elegance and form never cease to amaze when I read his stories. Many of these stories beg to be read several times as the ideas they present are so complex that the first reading isn't enough to understand them.

The first book in this collection, El jardin de senderos que se bifurcan is really fantastic. In "Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius", Borges tells of a conspiracy to convince the world that another world really exists and that we have had contact with them. This conspiracy spans many generations and several centuries, and every time that a new discovery related to the made-up world appears, it comes closer to reality and existence. The story makes me want to question what is really necessary for an unknown (and possibly extinct) world to exist or have existed. Is it enough to have a written proof, or is that proof too easily manufactured? What is the difference between discovery and fabrication? Where is the line drawn? Does history only exist because we write it?

Another story in this collection, "La loteria en Babilonia" reminds me of Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery", published 7 years after Borges's work. The two stories explore the role of chance in life and make one question what the nature of chance actually is. Are we really the slaves to it that we believe ourselves to be, or are we willingly subjected to its vagaries?

In all, a great collection, but I preferred El jardin de senderos que se bifurcan to Artificios. It was the stronger collection, depending less on the journalistic style to tell compelling stories, and taking greater flights of fancy. But, for me, Borges is always worth reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars De imprescindible lectura, November 24, 2011
De imprescindible lectura, como todo lo de Borges, sin embargo nuevamente anotaría que se hecha de menos en esta edición mayor información acerca de la editorial y el copyright y de otra parte, la maquetación es muy desmañada, diría que inexistente, me parece que Borges merecía una edición mucho más digna. Para terminar, el precio, demasiado alto para un autor ya fallecido y bastante distribuido en otros formatos. Si se corrigierran estos problemas, de seguro lo compraría.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ficciones: aún relevante aunque sin la sorpresa de hace 50 años, July 19, 2011
This review is from: Ficciones (Spanish Edition) (Paperback)
Borges es sin duda un maestro de las micro-narraciones. Cada cuento reunido en este libro es una lección de cómo escribir una historia en pocas páginas.

Los temas que toca Ficciones son conocidos: laberintos, la muerte, el sentido de la vida, la mente humana, religiones, Dios, y otros. Una de mis frases favoritas del libro, "Lo que hace un hombre es como si lo hicieran todos los hombres," da cuenta de sus creencias filosóficas y religiosas.

Para el lector actual, si bien muchos de los temas siguen relevantes y las narraciones son pequeñas obras maestras, el libro sufre un poco de "envejecimiento." Laberintos, la mente, el materialismo dialéctico (sólo por nombrar algunos tópicas) son temas que ya han sido elaborados por muchas otras disciplinas. A diferencia de un Dostoyevski, por ejemplo, el libro no logró atraerme e iluminar con nuevos significados algunas problemáticas eternas del hombre. Quizás soy sólo yo como lector.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a favourite book/ un libro favorecido, July 28, 2000
This review is from: Ficciones (Spanish Edition) (Paperback)
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. La descripción de Tlön, un pais ficcional a lo que contribuyen los sabios del mundo, sirve como ejemplo para entender el misterio del mundo tal y como se presenta a la percepción humana. Los supuestos habitantes de Tlön, por ejemplo piensan que el idealismo va tán de suyo como para nosotros el materialismo. Los filósofos, por tanto, han establecido algunas aporías las que entrene el idealismo y las que los filósofos de Tlön discuten con tanto ardor como los modernos las aporías del eleatismo. Estas circumstancias complejísimas vienen descrito con inmensa virtuosidad, de una manera que es fácil imaginarse los habitantes de Tlön. Pero hay que leerlas todas. Un libro favorecido.Debo hacer un fín.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Powerful! Exhilerating! One of the year's best!, December 3, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Ficciones (Spanish Edition) (Paperback)
Fictions, by Jorge Luis Borges, is a powerful look into the world of dreams and the supernatural. Through stories such as "The Secret Miracle" and "The Circular Ruins," Borges forces us to re-evaluate our own beliefs concerning our own reality by taking us into his laberynth-like mind where anything can happen. Borges' stories demonstrate his firm grasp of historical knowledge, as he places his characters in the midst of important wars and revolutions, then lets them explore universal philosophical questions and themes as "Who am I?" and "What is really real?"
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5.0 out of 5 stars Ficciones es lo mejor., December 3, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Ficciones (Spanish Edition) (Paperback)
El libro "Ficciones," es un buen libro. A mi me gusta el estilo de Borges: nunca se sabe que va a occurir en sus cuentos. Tambien, me gusta los conceptos del tiempo ciclico y laberíntico, que están en muchos cuentos de Borges. Mi cuento favorito es "Las Ruinas Circulares." Borges escribe mucho sobre el tema de gente que trata de llegar a Díos. En total, es un buen libro.
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Ficciones (Spanish Edition)
Ficciones (Spanish Edition) by Jorge Luis Borges (Paperback - 1997)
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