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Borges: Selected Non-Fictions Paperback – November 1, 2000
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Selected Non-Fictions demonstrates just how quickly Borges began wrestling with such brainteasers as identity, time, and infinity. Indeed, the very first piece in the collection, "The Nothingness of Personality" (1922), already finds him fiddling with the self: "I, as I write this, am only a certainty that seeks out the words that are most apt to compel your attention. That proposition and a few muscular sensations, and the sight of the limpid branches that the trees place outside my window, constitute my current I." There are many such meditations here, including "A History of Eternity" (in which Borges maps out his own, disarmingly empty version of the eternal, "without a God or even a co-proprietor, and entirely devoid of archetypes"). But it's more fun--and more revelatory--to see the author venturing beyond his metaphysical stomping grounds. Borges on King Kong is a hoot, and a cornball masterpiece such as The Petrified Forest elicits this terrific nugget: "Death works in this film like hypnosis or alcohol: it brings the recesses of the soul into the light of day." His capsule biographies are a delight, his critiques of Nazi propaganda are memorably stringent, and nobody should miss him on the tango. True, the sheer variety and mind-boggling erudition of Selected Non-Fictions can be a little forbidding. But, taken as a whole, the collection surely meets the specifications that Borges laid out in a 1927 essay on literary pleasure: "If only some eternal book existed, primed for our enjoyment and whims, no less inventive in the populous morning as in the secluded night, oriented toward all hours of the world." Oh, but it does. --James Marcus --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Borges, who never wrote anything long in his life, was the master of the short essay. Every piece is full of profoundest and most unexpected insights, whether it purports to be about Citizen Kane, Argentinian literature, or the Ars Combinatoria of Ramon Llull. I recommend this book very highly.
He lived a long, rich life. He is the Librarian you might meet in heaven. If only he were still alive to guide the reading public. If only he lived today and had a website, to think of all the books he might recommend. And wouldn't it be wonderful, to learn about his opinions on modern writers.
With the Collected Fictions, this book is a testament to the literary critic/philosphical wanderer in us all. Each essay is a delicate delicacy. This book is for you if you're a gourmand of good writing, great thinking and the pleasure of exploring the vast expanding world of literature. This book is rich, complex and wondrous. His writings on Dante and Shakespeare, his reviews, his philosophical essays... just read the book and become Borges becoming you.
Borges covers worlds in his writing, worlds of Literature , worlds of the Argentinean society he and some of his ancestors grew up in, worlds given in a universal encycopediac reading, which seems to cover all continents and all cultures.
Borges greatest work is considered to be his ' Ficciones'. But his signature is present in all , in a single page of a book- review or a philosphical meditation.
For him worlds mingle and combine, and are retranslated in such a way as to reappear as Literature.
He also in this work reveals himself to be a decent and courageous opponent of Fascism.
He confounds and surprises us at times with these strange mixings of things, but the poetic and parable- like element is so strong in this work that it engages us, and forces us to question our own small pictures of reality.
What a great and interesting writer. What a pleasure to have this work to enrich our minds with.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you only read one English-language Borges book, go for his fantastic “Collected Fictions”. Afterwards, this book of non-fictions is must-reading. (I think it is out or print. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Marc Riese
densely packed essays - full of interesting references -
nobody else thinks like Borges he is an eye opener
If you like his fictions and shorts, and are interested in the man and his thoughts, this is a nice text.Published 12 months ago by Karma
This book is what got me back into reading passionately, Jorge Luis Borges has become one of my favorite writers because of these series of essays that are both informative and... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Orlando Ocampo
Surprise! Back in the day he reviewed films in Argentina as Graham Greene did in England. Here we get his take on KING KONG, THE INFORMER, THE PETRIFIED FOREST, NOW VOYAGER, THE... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Chadwick Henley Essex
While I personally tend to prefer the collected fictions of Borges, I enjoy reading the essays and reviews in this book because they offer the reader a chance to engage with many... Read morePublished 17 months ago by A-Ron