O aleph
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O aleph

4.41 of 5 stars 4.41  ·  rating details  ·  14,300 ratings  ·  457 reviews
Full of philosophical puzzles and supernatural surprises, these stories contain some of Borges's most fully realized human characters. With uncanny insight he takes us inside the minds of an unrepentant Nazi, an imprisoned Mayan priest, fanatical Christian theologians, a woman plotting vengeance on her father's “killer,” and a man awaiting his assassin in a Buenos Aires gu...more
Published (first published January 1st 1945)
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“Oh God, I could be bounded by a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space.”
Hamlet II:2 (quoted by Borges, in epigraph The Aleph)

Borges, my blind king of infinite space and limitless imagination, published these 17 stories in 1949. The anchor story, “The Aleph,” describes a point in space that contains all other spaces at once. Most of these stories are variations on “The Aleph” and its themes of infinity, time, identity, labyrinths, and darkness. Here is a brief description of most of...more
Jason Carlin
You're avoiding a single star, Borges, simply because I try my best not to dish them out. There's little value in reading if one is going to try consider ways to dislike doing it. I love your ideas, but not your executions. Reading through the contents list, I can easily choose five or six stories whose very conception alone excite me(The Immortal, The Zahir, The Writing of The God, The House of Asterion), but you continually bashed me over the head with names, places, dates, literary and histor...more
Bill  Kerwin

A masterful collection by a writer of genius. I believe "The Aleph" is just as good as "Fictions," and "Fictions" is as good as any book of short pieces produced in the 20th Century. If you like paradoxes, puzzles, doppelgangers and labyrinths used as metaphors for the relation of microcosm to macrocosm and the fluid nature of personal identity, then this is the book for you. These stories are profound, but they are written in such an entertaining traditional narrative style that they might ofte...more
Immenso Borges

Se leggendo “Finzioni” non si può fare a meno di ammirare Borges per l’originalità inventiva e il geniale virtuosismo, leggendo “L’Aleph” si impara ad amarlo incondizionatamente. O almeno a me è successo così.
A chi si accostasse per la prima volta a questo scrittore, consiglierei pertanto di iniziarne la conoscenza da quest’opera, che a mio avviso ne rivela più intensamente ed esaustivamente le eccezionali qualità narrative e il singolarissimo profilo intellettuale.
Ciascuno dei d...more
Magdalena Santos
Me costó mucho terminar este libro. Tenía ganas de leerlo por decir "ya leí a Borges en algún punto de mi vida", pero realmente fue una lectura algo difícil.

El contexto histórico, fantasioso y en ciertos momentos filosóficos fueron muy abrumantes. Seguramente me pareció eso debido a que venía leyendo estilos y géneros muy distintos al de cuentos fantaseosos con un nivel de profundidad alto (en la mayoría de ellos).

Es el primer libro con el que experimento la convicción de volver a leerlo en ot...more
El Aleph es una colección de cuentos (de ficción, la mayor parte) recopilada, si no me falla, por el mismo Borges, donde se exploran diversos temas que pasan por la inmortalidad y su opuesto, la divinidad, el significado de dios y todo esto lo conjunta con la metafísica, teología, filosofía y estoy seguro que hasta algo de metaliteratura hay por allí.

Y hay varios cuentos en la colección que me dejaron muy buena impresión, El Inmortal paso a ser uno que recomendaría sin dudas, El Aleph es probabl...more
قرأتها قبل عامين
و هذا ما كتبته حينها
مجموعة قصص قصيرة لـ بورخيس...0
ليست قراءته سهلة... فهذا الإنسان موسوعي جدا و كأنه مطلع على كافة الثقافات و الأديان و الأساطير في الأرض... كثرة الأسماء و التداعيات جعلتني أتوه... و حُقَّ لي أن أتوه و هو أبو المتاهات و التوهان... فقصصه تدور بمعظمها حول المتاهة واللانهائية و الدور و الشك و اللامنطقية... فمثلا كيف لنقطة أن تحتوي كل الزمان و المكان و كل شيء بوقت واحد لا متعاقب...0
طبعا ليس من داع لأقول أن لم تكن كل القصص على سوية واحدة و أن فكرته كثيرا ما كان يعيدها...more
Want a great description of what it's like to look at the World Wide Web through a browser for the first time? Read the long beautiful paragraph in which Borges describes his first look into the Aleph.

I keep coming back to these stories and those in Labyrinths. Borges captures so much, so quickly.
Giacomo Boccardo
È la raccolta di 17 racconti dello scrittore argentino Jorge Luis Borges.

Purtroppo lo stile con cui sono scritti, ma anche il contenuto degli stessi, ha fatto sì che le parole mi entrassero da un occhio e mi uscissero dall'altro, anche contemporaneamente ( ? ). Mi è chiaro che vi siano innumerevoli riferimenti ad altre opere, ma bisogna avere una cultura accademica per comprenderli tutti, o almeno per intuirli. Inoltre, sono troppo razionale per poter apprezzare il salto continuo tra realtà e fi...more
Ci ho provato e riprovato. Ogni volta mi impegnavo a leggerne un pezzetto in più, ma ogni volta mi ritrovavo con un testo cervellotico, artificioso e saccente, che faticavo ad afferrare; anzi, mi infastidiva. E ogni volta mi sentivo come quel rudimentale troglodita del primo racconto, tuttavia priva di immortalità.
L’ho ripreso infine da poco, quando ho scoperto su GR un gruppo di lettura che aveva scelto proprio "L’Aleph” per il mese di dicembre.
Sono rimasta dietro le quinte in attesa, e anche...more
The right question is: when is somebody ready to read Borges? Two stars only but only because I wasn't at all and I wanted to be so badly.
Trippy in the best, Borgesian sense. One of my favorites is "The Zahir," about a coin the narrator can't stop thinking about (this happenned to me once with the Redwall books when I was much younger: I found myself unable to stop thinking about the picture of Cluny the Scourge on the Redwall paperback cover, and I FREAKED out thinking that it would be the only thing I would think about for the rest of my life!! Thankfully, that didn't happen... until now...*ominous music*). "The Immortals" is ab...more
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly

In its beginning and in its end are thoughts of a woman. Then there is a sudden, plaintive cry in the middle about her with the author identifying himself.

The beginning:

"On the incandescent February morning Beatriz Viterbo died, after a death agony so imperious it did not for a moment descend into sentimentalism or fear, I noticed that the iron billboards in the Plaza Constitucion bore new advertisements for some brand or other of Virginia tobacco; I was saddened by this fact, for it made me rea...more
On the back part of the step, toward the right, I saw a small iridescent sphere of almost unbearable brilliance. At first I thought it was revolving; then I realised that this movement was an illusion created by the dizzying world it bounded. The Aleph's diameter was probably little more than an inch, but all space was there, actual and undiminished. Each thing (a mirror's face, let us say) was infinite things, since I distinctly saw it from every angle of the universe. I saw the teeming sea; I...more
Olivia Z
I found this book on a shelf at a library two days ago. The name of the author sounded familiar, but I did not know from where. I picked it up and opened it on a random page, which happened to be the first page of the short story "The House of Asterión".

It was one of the most stunning things I had ever read. Needless to say, I brought The Aleph home with me that day.

Since then I've been reading. It would be a lie to say I understood everything, that I caught every reference. Maybe that even ad...more
I'd read most of these stories in translation about six years ago, but had forgotten almost everything except that they were mind-expanding. They leave the impression of all being mind-expanding in a similar sort of way, but I think that's because the aspects that do recur (mainly: infinity and labyrinths) are so striking that it takes an effort to remember the other stories, excellent though they are. The title story hadn't been included in the translation, which is surprising in some ways beca...more
Birdbath Birdbath
When I began reading Borges, I desperately tried to “get” him. Now, I'm not simply swept away on a rhetorical magic carpet, whizzing through the cosmos, questioning reality and wondering if my brain is sitting in a jar somewhere. A present read elicits a laugh. Borges ridicules himself by revealing the writer's impossible task of describing the indescribable, the absurdity of doing (seriously) what cannot be done, the apparent pretentiousness that inevitably accompanies the act of writing (super...more
I cannot remember who the first person was who recommended Borges to me. All I know is that there were many, and they spanned a string of years. I put off actually following up on these recommendations for many reasons, some legitimate, some not so much. The one I am most ashamed to admit is my discrimination towards the Spanish language.

I suppose it started back in high school, when I was one of the rare students studying French as opposed to Spanish. People would tell me, "Learn Spanish, it's...more
Eternidad. Esto es lo que fue. El libro es tan denso, sus lecturas tan pesadas que es difícil mantener el ritmo, es difícil, si no un suplicio, leer dos cuentos al mismo tiempo. Las historias son tan cortas y el libro tan pequeño, que es sorprendente la cantidad de tiempo que me tomó terminarlo.

El libro es bueno. Los temas son poderosos, espirituales, más allá de lo evidente. Son lecturas bien pensadas y escritas limpiamente. Son la clase de historias que alguien muy espiritual guardaría como t...more
I know why I didn't write a review. I wrote several reviews about Borges' books and I got tired of saying how amazing this writer was. Is. Will always be. This is one of the greatest short stories collections I've ever read. There are ordinary situations combined with magical events, sometimes very subtle, sometimes not. But it's there. And they're all beautifully written. Stories like "El Inmortal", "Emma Zunz", "La casa de Asterión" or "Los teólogos" are outstanding pieces of literary work tha...more
Borges è un visionario ed un maestro:prende le vite degli uomini e ne illumina un istante,portandolo sul palcoscenico che la sua fantasia ha creato.Il suo tono fatalistico e un pò oscuro ci apre mondi sconosciuti e inquietanti portandoci a riflettere su ciò che si cela dietro l'apparente linearità del mondo.Un libro da leggere, che attraverso una serie di racconti, tocca in modo del tutto originale i temi universali che accompagnano l'esistenza di ogni uomo:il dolore,il destino,la morte,la pazzi...more
Aidan Watson-Morris
a fairly sizeable contingent of borges fans say the aleph is overrated, but it reaches such great heights i can't imagine why.
No se confunda intelectual con pedante. El Aleph pertenece al segundo grupo.
Once again I find myself at a loss for the words I really want to use, and this loss is magnified by having just read half of this book. Borges has an incredible ability to find exactly the right word for the moment, the sentence, the entire story. Some of these shorts are masterful examples of eschewing needless words. For example, The Dead Man is an entire Cormac McCarthy border trilogy novel distilled - and I mean distilled, in the sense of heating and bubbling and reducing - down to six page...more
"Cualquier destino, por largo y complicado que sea, consta en realidad de un solo momento: el momento en que el hombre sabe para siempre quién es." Biografía de Tadeo Isidoro Cruz (1829-1874)

"No en vano fue una reina mi madre; no puedo confundirme con el vulgo, aunque mi modestia lo quiera.
El hecho es que soy único. No me interesa lo que un hombre pueda transmitir a otros hombres; como el filósofo, pienso que nada es comunicable por el arte de la escritura." La casa de Asterión

"En el primer v...more
Aspects of this collection of short stories gave me an impression of Borges as an inveterate shit talker. Several of the stories were framed in peculiar ways. Some of these seemed contrived. Frequently, the stories seemed pointless or made no sense. As I spent more time reading the notes on the translation, I understood that a reader native to Argentina or perhaps South America in general who understood more of the history of the region would appreciate a subtlety of point and counterpoint that...more
Stephanie W
I had never read anything by Borges before and I am so astonished by the style and how much I loved it. I loved the language, the themes, the perpetual elements of greek mythology and labyrinths and mirrors. I loved "The Immortal", "House of Asterion" and "The Aleph".

I can't explain why I loved everything about this book. It's a little dense, but I would not have picked up this book were it not for book club. All the stories are so similar and beautiful in their connectivity. With themes like d...more
Uno de los mejores libros que he leído en mi vida y que, puedo asegurar, abrió para mi un mundo de literatura que hasta el momento (yo tenía 12 años) no me había pertenecido. He leído este libro tantas veces que ya he perdido la cuenta: sus múltiples juegos temporales, su fantasía que no resulta fantasía y el estilo impecable de Borges me dejó con ganas de leer todos y cada uno de sus libros. El universo que he descubierto a través de los años vuelve a mí con cada lectura haciendo de este, un li...more
Such a satisfying read, Borges takes his readers into a very metafictional atmosphere where he literally witnesses a whole new universe that is The Aleph.
That universe is non-tangible and infinite, so many worlds within worlds that grasp the meaning of eternity. The main character has the key to The Aleph that helps him in his writings; resulting in a rivalry between literary writers. The political flaw in society where every writer wants to sabotage other writers careers through envy and wary...more
No solía gustarme Borges. Tenía la noción estúpida de que o me gustaba Cortázar o me gustaba Borges. Había que clasificarlos como opuestos y contradictorios. Lo dionisíaco y lo apolíneo. Lo nuevo y lo viejo, lo joven y lo choto. Este paradigma dominó gran parte de mi adolescencia y subsiguientes años.

Parte de mi aberración por Borges nacía por su anti-narratividad. Sus cuentos no son cuentos, son esbozos de relatos, ideas que analiza y desarrolla a medias, un esteta que no encuentra la forma de...more
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Goodreads Italia: L'Aleph di Jorge Luis Borges - Commenti e discussione 30 133 Feb 23, 2014 07:45AM  
O meu Aleph (book club): Os teólogos 1 6 Apr 28, 2013 02:10AM  
O meu Aleph (book club): O morto 1 4 Mar 09, 2013 01:20PM  
O meu Aleph (book club): O Imortal 11 17 Feb 27, 2013 11:23PM  
O meu Aleph (book club): geral 2 10 Feb 26, 2013 03:02PM  
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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 Selected Poems The Book of Sand

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“A man sets out to draw the world. As the years go by, he peoples a space with images of provinces, kingdoms, mountains, bays, ships, islands, fishes, rooms, instruments, stars, horses, and individuals. A short time before he dies, he discovers that the patient labyrinth of lines traces the lineaments of his own face.” 130 likes
“There are those who seek the love of a woman to forget her, to not think about her.” 53 likes
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