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Labyrinths (New Directions Paperbook) Paperback – May 17, 2007
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Instead, being a librarian and one of the world's most widely read people, he became the leading practitioner of a densely layered imaginistic writing style that has been imitated throughout this century, but has no peer (although Umberto Eco sometimes comes close, especially in Name of the Rose).
Borges's stories are redolent with an intelligence, wealth of invention, and a tight, almost mathematically formal style that challenge with mysteries and paradoxes revealed only slowly after several readings. Highly recommended to anyone who wants their imagination and intellect to be aswarm with philosophical plots, compelling conundrums, and a wealth of real and imagined literary references derived from an infinitely imaginary library. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Borges is arguably the great bridge between modernism and post-modernism in world literature. --David Foster Wallace"
Borges anticipated postmodernism (deconstruction and so on) and picked up credit as founding father of Latin American magical realism. --Colin Waters"
Top Customer Reviews
Since then, Borges has come to stand alongside Vladimir Nabokov as my favorite writer; they are two people whose writing I couldn't imagine not knowing. And LABYRINTHS is the place to begin - it's where I started, and once a year or so, it's the collection I most readily return to.
Other reviewers have done an excellent job of summing up his style, so instead of rehashing, I'll zero in on some favorites: "Death And The Compass," which blends Borges' vast knowledge of global histories and religions with his love of pulp and genre conventions; the end results are a metaphysical mystery like no others. Or "The Sect Of The Phoenix," which - in the most simplistic analysis - is a birds-and-bees discourse undertaken with unusual originality, and enhanced with anthropological allegories.
Other high-water marks include "A New Refutation Of Time," "The Garden Of Forking Paths," the brief "Borges And I" and "Pierre Menard, Author Of The Quixote." I would note that there's not a false moment to be found here, and after dozens of re-readings, I still enjoy finding new secrets hidden within these crystalline fictions, parables and essays.
Anyone with a love of literature should get to know Borges.
I first red Borges when i was 15 (im 17 now), i started with "The Aleph", and i just didnt have the intelectaul requirements to understand it. Buy right now im reading "Personal Anthology", and i find it simply wonderfull.
His obsession with Mirrors, Cats and Labyrinths its very intresting. His conception of the world is strange and difficult to describe, and his love for knowledge and languajes is outstanding.
Borges gave his life to literature, and he died saying "I wasnt happy... books took my life". He took a sacrifice to teach others. He gave his whole life to his readers, and i, as a reader, am very very greatfull. Literature would have a huge hole without this genious of literature.
I apologize for any grammar mistakes... this is not my native languaje, but i thought an Argentine perpective of Borges was, at least usefull, if not necessary.
Jorge Luis Borges is one of the great writers of the twentieth century. His literary works include short stories, essays, and poetry, but not novels. He was never awarded the Nobel Literature Prize, a rather remarkable failure by the Nobel Committee. Borges will be read and respected long after many Nobel Prize winners of the last century have been forgotten.
"Labyrinths" is an exceptional collection, great as an introduction to Borges, but equally suitable for the reader already familiar with his works. It consists of 23 of his best known stories, ten literary essays, eight short parables, an elegy to Borges from Borges himself, and a very useful bibliography.
The detailed bibliography helps make Borges' works more accessible. In the last fifty years Borges' works in English have been published as a confusing mix of overlapping collections, largely due to complications regarding publishing rights.
Translations also differ. The first sentence in The Form of the Sword (from Ficciones) - "His face was crossed with a rancorous scar: a nearly perfect ashen arc which sank into his temple on one side and his cheek on the other" - is recognizable, but transformed in The Shape of the Sword (from Labyrinths) - "A spiteful scar crossed his face: an ash-colored and nearly perfect arc creased his temple at one tip and his cheek at the other." While both translations are good, I suspect that the effort to master Spanish would be paid in full by the joy of reading Borges in his native language.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great introduction to a cerebral writer. Mind blowing, but don't look for propulsive narrative. Been a Borges fan for better than forty years. Read morePublished 9 days ago by David A. Dorfman
Why are you not reading this already? The stories to check are "The Immortal" (a pulp eschatological adventure story, with the best pet dog reference in short fiction) and... Read morePublished 21 days ago by Rob Gordon
Perplexing, extraordinary, and full of historical/philosophical/theological allusions. Perhaps, the single most fascinating magic realism literature I have ever read. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Aidan Gavril W.
Borges always has surprises and complex plots in store for readers. His characters and descriptions enrich his surreal universe.Published 1 month ago by Cecil McGregor
My review doesn't have a lot of meaning, because I'm more of a book-collector, for reference, than an avid, buy-to-read, purchaser. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Adam J. Smith
Reading Labyrinths strangely reminded me of a passage from the Hindu Rig Veda "Hymn to Creation":
This flow of creation, from where it did arise,
Whether it was... Read more
Good writers can transport the reader to another place. Few authors however, can rival Borges for imaginative use of the narrative form to transport the reader to a completely... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Sturmey Archer