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The Widow Ching-Pirate (Penguin Mini Modern Classics)
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The Widow Ching-Pirate (Penguin Mini Modern Classics)

3.65 of 5 stars 3.65  ·  rating details  ·  128 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Borges became famous as a writer of short stories that contained new realities: elaborately conceived, ingenious and gamesome précis of impossible worlds or imaginary books. In these five stories there is danger on the high seas, an ungracious teacher of etiquette and an encyclopedia of an unknown planet - and Borges's unique imagination and intellect play throughout.
Paperback, 75 pages
Published by Penguin Books
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Borges makes me wish I had a set of encyclopedias. When I read his short stories I believe what he is saying is the truth. It is the truth. What would Borges have thought of google? Bullshit!!! That's what he would of thought. Any Tlön would tell you that the Internet and anything posted on it is nothing but words written in a past that no longer exists. I love Borges. He teaches me things no one taught me in school. He taught me that life is now and only now. And there are many of my lives coex ...more
Mark Easton
There's always an inherent danger in reading Borges as his short fiction carries with it an intrinsic risk of exploding, each story being an impenetrable and enigmatic mass of chaos plucked from the depths of his cavernous imagination and bound in heavy and endless threads of language.

This short collection of five stories is no exception. Covering a range of themes-including piracy, thuggery, Japanese etiquette, false knowledge, and unoriginality of art-each story has, at its heart, a brilliant
Some of it very interesting, the rest of it either went completely over my head or quite dull. Not smart enough to tell which.
A 2011 publication containing five shorts by Jorge Luis Borges, The Widow Ching-Pirate covers some of the author's most influential works. These translated stories come from two of his early 20th century works: Historia Universal de la Infamia and Ficciones. The current edition (translated by Andrew Hurley) includes "The Widow Ching-Pirate," "Monk Eastman, Purveyor of Iniquities," and "The Uncivil Teacher of Court Etiquette Kotsuke no Suke" from A Universal History of Iniquity, as well as "Tlon, ...more
One of the Penguin Mini Modern Classics series, this is like a little collection of curios - five stories displaying different aspects of Borges's writing. Fittingly, there are examples of fantasy recounted with the gravity of history, and history told with the elaboration of fantasy. Three studies focus on lesser-known figures from history: the 'doughty' Widow Ching, who ran a formidable pirate fleet in the seas around China; the New York gang boss Monk Eastman, with his unexpected affection fo ...more
The Book
Overall, not my favourite collection of stories by Borges. I usually find that I enjoy the concepts in his stories but on occasion the language and style gets in the way of my enjoyment of them. I find his fist person narrative style overly fussy in Pierre Menard for example, and didn't want to finish reading it. Then again, I enjoyed The Uncivil Teacher (...) which has a different, calmer narrative style.
Memorable Quotes
The Widow Ching-Pirate
“Be cruel, be just, be obeyed, be victorious.”

Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius
“…the present is undefined and indefinite, the future has no reality except as present hope, and the past has no reality except as present recollection"

“…while we sleep here, we are awake somewhere else, so that every man is in fact two men.”
The stories of "Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius" and "Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote" are both so original and mind-bending they are a joy to read. I love the depth and frugality of Borges.
This is the perfect little book to have in your bag just in case, for example, you have to wait 25 minutes at the dentist. It weighs less virtually nothing and contains five stories by Borges, of the invented historical and literary anecdote type. Each is beautifully crafted, but my favourite is 'Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius', which I've read before in another collection. It's an account of an imaginary simulacrum of a world that proves more fascinating than the real one. As with most Borges stori ...more
This was my first reading of Borges, and while I was pleasantly surprised by how creative and amusing some of the stories are, I haven't yet figured out how to approach his work in general. Clearly there's are larger significance within the fabric of his extremely short fictions, but without looking at more of his work its hard for me to put the ideas together. It's ironic that I need to read much more of his work to understand the stories here, because otherwise the variety covered is perfect f ...more
A collection of 5 short stories from 1939 and 1944. I especially enjoyed "Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius" and "Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote". Borges is, as always, simultaneously playful and thought-provoking in his ideas and prose.
Marion Honey
Jan 02, 2014 Marion Honey rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Marion by: Rosianna
The story concepts were too dense for me. I always felt like I was reading to finish rather reading for enjoyment. The writing wasn't bad; it just wasn't for me. Guess I'll be staying away from this dude.
Enjoyable sampling of Borges' works. The story ""Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius" almost has some Lovecraftian moments, with its discussion of secret otherworldly cults and undiscovered books.
I tend to really like Borges in general, but I didn't particularly like any of the stories in this collection. Would definitely not read again.
Chris Wright
Clever philosophy and social commentary in an unusual short story format. Well crafted is the phrase which springs to mind.
It makes me want to read more Borges, which is surely the point.
Johan Radzi
borges, lu memang kerennn!
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Jorge Francisco Isidoro Luis Borges Acevedo (Spanish pronunciation: [xoɾxe lwis boɾxes], Russian: Хорхе Луис Борхес) was an Argentine writer and poet born in Buenos Aires. In 1914, his family moved to Switzerland where he attended school and traveled to Spain. On his return to Argentina in 1921, Borges began publishing his poems and essays in Surrealist literary journals. He also worked as a libra ...more
More about Jorge Luis Borges...
Ficciones Labyrinths:  Selected Stories and Other Writings Collected Fictions The Aleph and Other Stories Selected Poems

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