Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Book of Imaginary Beings” as Want to Read:
The Book of Imaginary Beings
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Book of Imaginary Beings

4.11  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,944 Ratings  ·  280 Reviews
Jorge Luis Borges is generally acknowledged to be not only the greatest living writer in the Spanish language today but a giant in the world of literature. In "The Book of Imaginary Beings" Borges has drawn upon his vast knowledge of international literature to complete a modern variation of the traditional bestiary.

In 120 pieces, he assembles bizarre and beautiful creatur
...more
Paperback, 250 pages
Published 1970 by Discus / Avon (first published 1957)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Book of Imaginary Beings, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Book of Imaginary Beings

Good Morning, Midnight by Jean RhysThe Bostonians by Henry JamesThe Slynx by Tatyana TolstayaThe Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas by Ursula K. Le GuinOpen Secrets by Alice Munro
Books with 1,001 - 5,000 Ratings
83rd out of 487 books — 44 voters
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeeThe Raven by Edgar Allan PoeI Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya AngelouMake Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskeyHarry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
The Birds
214th out of 514 books — 79 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
William1
A fascinating compendium of incredible beasts from world mythology, folklore and fiction. The entries are generally from one to three pages in length. There are illustrations, too, by one Peter Sís; stylish intaglio etchings. The format is that of an encyclopedia with the entries in alphabetical order. My favorite entries include the "Banshees," "The Celestial Cock," "The Chinese Dragon," "The Western Dragon," "The Hydra," "Lilith," "The Golem," "The Unicorn," "The Chinese Unicorn," etc. etc.

Th
...more
Huda Yahya
كدت أجن لأحصل على كتاب ألبرتو مانغويل عن بورخس
فإذ بي أحصل على كتابين معاً

مليون شكر لا تكفي لمن قام برفعه

للمهووسين أمثالي ب بورخس


كتاب المخلوقات الوهمية لبورخس يليه في حضرة بورخس لألبرتو مانغويل


Mahdi
Jan 19, 2016 Mahdi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
چقدر این کتاب لذت بخش بود. چقدر خستگی در کن بود، بین ساعت های درس خوندن برای امتحان!

کتاب موجودات خیالی، از خورخه لوییس بورخس، نویسنده ی بزرگ آرژانتینی، که از بزرگ ترین نویسنده های سبک رئالیسم جادوییه
این کتاب یه دائرة المعارفه از جانوران خیالی ای که در افسانه های ملل مختلف موجود است (از چین تا ایران و یونان و اسکاندیناوی). بورخس همه ی موجودات افسانه ای رو جمع نکرده، که در این صورت نیاز به چندین جلد کتاب بود، بلکه خودش به سلیقه ی خودش، گزیده ای از این موجودات رو جمع آوری کرده، شاید اون هایی که به
...more
Γκέλλυ
Feb 24, 2016 Γκέλλυ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Αυτό το βιβλίο το διαβάζω εδώ και αρκετό καιρό, σίγουρα πάνω από χρόνο. Δεν διαβάζω τα μαγικά όντα με την σειρά, παρά "βυθίζομαι στις σελίδες του κατ’εκλογήν, ακριβώς σαν να παίζω με τα εναλλασσόμενα σχήματα ενός καλειδοσκόπιου" όπως πρότεινε και ο ίδιος ο Borges, ανατρέχω όταν χρειάζομαι κάποιες πληροφορίες. Όπως με το Γκόλεμ, κάποια στιγμή θα ξεκινήσω το ομώνυμο βιβλίο του Gustav Meyrink και αναρωτιόμουν τι στο καλό είναι αυτό το Γκόλεμ. Ή όταν διάβαζα το William Wilson του Poe που βασίζεται σ ...more
Teresa
Nov 13, 2015 Teresa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: g-contos, n-argentina
Um dicionário de criaturas lendárias e mitológicas - e de outras criadas por autores como Kafka, Wells, Flaubert - no qual Borges narra as suas origens e características.
Não desfrutei da leitura como esperava porque, além de já conhecer a maioria, não me interessa muito o assunto.
Nickolas the Kid
Nov 11, 2015 Nickolas the Kid rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: masterpieces
Τι διαφορά έχει ο κινέζικος δράκος από τον δράκο της Ευρώπης; Τι είναι το Γκόλεμ; Ποιός ακριβώς είναι ο μηγμυγκολέων και γιατί υπήρχε ένα τέρας σαν την Λερναία Ύδρα;;
Όλα αυτά μπορεί κανείς να τα μάθει στο συγκεκριμένο βιβλίο του Μπόρχες!!!

Αφάνταστα διασκεδαστικό με χιλιάδες πληροφορίες από όλες τις μυθολογίες του κόσμου. Ο άνθρωπος είχε πολλά βιβλία τα οποία όπως φαίνεται τα "ξεκοκάλιζε"!!!
Jon
Jun 04, 2007 Jon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: nearby bookshelves.
Borges explains at the beginning that the book is not intended to be read through, but opened at random and skimmed. Well, I read it through, and I don't regret it. But that's because I'm interested by very unusual things. Borges has here compiled from what is essentially a set of utterly trivial facts something with meaning. His selection is bizarre, pretty and humorous, and he describes each beast with great variation in tone. The reason for each voice only becomes clear after several beasts a ...more
Ruba AlTurki
May 20, 2014 Ruba AlTurki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

إستعراض رائع ومثير للمخلوقات الأسطورية الوهمية التي يرويها بورخيس دون تفصيل، وهو ما أحبطني قليلاً.. يعدد فيها الكثير من المخلوقات المتنوعة التي قد تكون وردت في روايات أو أفلام صادفناها سابقاً، مثل التنين والديك السماوي والفينكس و الجولوم و اليونيكورن و ليليث والهيدرا والعفاريت وغيرها الكثير ...يصف أشكالها ومنافعها وتاريخها الثقافي واللغوي والجغرافي..
سعة اطلاع مدهشة حقاً، ينقص الكتاب بضعة رسومات للكائنات ربما .. أعتقد أن الكتّاب والرسامين أيضاً سيجدون للكتاب ألواناً أكثر وأعمق للمتعة.
يلي هذه المخ
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
The book of imaginary beings, Jorge Luis Borges

عنوان یک: «کتاب موجودات خیالی»، اثر: «خورخهلوئیس بورخس»؛ برگردان: «احمد اخوت»، نشر: تهران، شرکت فرهنگی هنری آرست، 1373، در 227 ص.، فروست: مجموعه آرست؛ 15. شناخت؛ 1

عنوان دو: «کتاب موجودات خیالی»، اثر: «خورخهلوئیس بورخس»؛ برگردان: «احمد اخوت»، نشر: تهران، ماهریز، 1380، در 231 ص.، شابک: 9647049994 ؛ چاپ دوم: سال 1388

عنوان سه: «کتاب موجودات خیالی»، اثر: «خورخهلوئیس بورخس»؛ برگردان: «احمد اخوت»، نشر: تهران، ماهریز، 1385، مشخصات ظاهری: 178ص.، مصور؛ انداز
...more
Miss Ravi
خوبیش اینه که انگار همهچیز قبلاً اتفاق افتاده، یه جایی در گذشته، شاید خیلی دور، شاید هم خیلی نزدیک. اصلاً مهم نیست چقدر تخیل در شکلگیری این موجودات عجیب و غریبِ یه چشم و چهار دست و شیش پا سهم داشته، مهم اینه که خیلیها این موجودات رو همون اندازه قبول دارن که گربهی خونگیشون رو.
وقتی دارید توصیف یکی از این موجودات خیالی رو میخونین حس میکنید شاید کتاب جانورشناسی دست گرفتید که اینطور دقیق و با جزئیات وصف شدن. من که ابائو آکو، اسب تکشاخ، سانتورها، کوتولهها یا پیگمی، سیرنها، نورنها و ابولهول رو بیشتر ا
...more
Rachel
Aug 25, 2012 Rachel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: summer-12
This book is great! Unlike Rowling's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them or Holly Black's Arthur Spiderwick's Guide to the Fantastical World Around You, which provide authoritative portraits of magical creatures in a particular fantasy world, The Book of Imaginary Beings compiles interesting stories and details about a diverse array of imagined beasts, drawing from both Western and Eastern mythologies. Borges's aim is not simply to delight his readers with whimsical stories couched in a sati ...more
kaelan
Dec 16, 2014 kaelan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like much of the Borgesian oeuvre, The Book of Imaginary Beings exists on the peripheries of the make-believe. On a certain level, the work does indeed function as an honest-to-goodness encyclopedia—albeit one that deals almost exclusively with the fantastical. But as one might expect, things aren't quite what they seem, and the astute reader should also view the legitimacy—even the sincerity—of its various mythological claims with a grain (or two) of salt.

One of history's most prolific readers,
...more
Douglas Summers-Stay
One of my favorite books when I was about 15 was the AD&D Monster Manual, the original one printed in 1977. I read it cover to cover. (Well, I skipped the demons and devils, I was a good kid.) There was something really appealing about a world where everything from ethics (How does Lawful Evil differ from Chaotic Good?) to resistance to poison (saving throws) could be quantified and understood. It was a game, but it was at least as large as real life in what it could describe. The Monster Ma ...more
Mohammad
همانطور که در پیشگفتار کتاب آمده،پژوهش درباره موضوع های بی فایده و غریب لذتی کاهلانه در بر دارد.این لذت شامل خواننده ی کتاب هم می شود
ردپای بعضی موجودات خیالیِ معرفی شده در این کتاب، در داستان های بورخس مشهود است.
annik
Это самая настоящая энциклопедия мифологических существ. Акцента на какую-то одну мифологию (древнегреческую, например, к которой я давно прикипела душой) нет, что позволяет попробовать охватить необъятное :) Тем не менее, книга получилась довольно интересной, пояснения и комментарии из различных источников расширили восприятие уже знакомых монстров и прочих вымышленных существ. И уж скучно точно не было!

Форма подачи оказалась крайне удачной: в случае указания первоисточника читателю позволено о
...more
Aaron
Jul 09, 2013 Aaron rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you’re a mid- to light-weight fantasy fan, you should stay away from this one. If you resent or are suspicious of the validity of the fantasy genre or just hate it, this is absolutely the book for you. Either way, The Book of Imaginary Beings is a lethal takeout of the intellectual validity of Modern Western Fantasy. I’m talking about Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, all of them flipped over and bellies exposed. Of the three, I’m fondest of Game of Thrones, but less because i ...more
Amanda
Apr 19, 2016 Amanda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: translated
Don't read this is you're interested in trying Borges' work. Don't read this all in one go. This is an encyclopedia mixed with fairy tale in the driest sense of the term. Borges has collected the names and descriptions of a bunch of different imaginary beings. The collection is set out alphabetically. I think that hurt the reading experience. In one of the prefaces it says to pick your way through the book one entry at a time at random, but you shouldn't HAVE to do that. I wish it had been categ ...more
Stella
Ο λόγος που δεν μου άρεσε τόσο ήταν γιατί περίμενα ότι θα διάβαζα κάποιου είδους ιστορίες με πλοκή και όχι ένα εγχειρίδιο φανταστικής ζωολογίας. Αν ταλανίζεστε από απορίες όπως: τι ήταν ο ιππόγρυπας, πόσα κεφάλια είχε η χίμαιρα και τι έτρωγε το φυτικό ελάφι των ταρτάρων, αυτό το βιβλίο θα σας δώσει τις απαντήσεις. Οφειλώ να ομολογήσω πως αυτά τα φανταστικά όντα ασκούν μια ιδιαίτερη γοητεία. Σίγουρα πάντως η προσπάθεια του συγγραφέα να εντοπίσει σε διάφορα κείμενα όλα τα μυθικά πλάσματα που έχουν ...more
ميقات الراجحي
يتناول الخرافات وكل ما يندرج تحت باب الميثولوجيا والشخصيات الكونية الخرافية من ناحية التسمية والوصف والشكل بتعريف بسيط دون الإغراق وتعود جلها للعصور الإغريقية والقديمة منذ الحضارات الأولى على وجه الأرض من ناحية ذكر حيونات ذلك العصر وفق الثقافة السائدة عند عقلية تلك القرون الغارقة في الخرافات ليس لأجل الخرافة بقدر ماكان يتم خلقها لأجل المعرفة وبناء حدث وقصة كتلك الشخصيات المنتشرة بين قصص ألف ليلة وليلة، وهي قصص لم يثبت شيء منها كـ(ليليث) المرأة التي سبقت أمنا (حواء) وفي جميع النصوص الدينية كالقرآ ...more
Chad Bearden
This was totally an impulse buy at HalfPrice Books a little bit ago, a short book I thought I could toss off in little snippets as I went to bed each night. I've read Borges in short-story-form, and assumed this odd little beastiary would be similar in tone to his other whimisically-magical realism work.

It wasn't quite what I expected. There is some whimsy in these pages, but it is hidden amidst a series of almost-encyclopedic descriptions of various mythological and legendary creatures from a w
...more
Katie
Apr 14, 2012 Katie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book has taken me months; in fact, I'm still not quite done with it. But that's how it's meant to be read, I think. A few pages at a time, and then weeks to dream of the beasts you've met. It's written like an encyclopedia for imaginary beings. Every entry is a new creature of fancy, beautiful or terrifying, religious or secular, philosophical of entirely whimsical. The book is written beautifully and simply, although "simple" here means not one word too many- the contents are certainly not ...more
Mika Auramo
Dec 15, 2014 Mika Auramo rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: myyttien ja kirjallisuuden hirviöstä kiinnostuneille
Valitettavasti Borgesin keskeneräiseksi jäänyt yritys jäsentää kirjallisuudessa ja eri myyteissä esiintyviä mielikuvitusolentoja hakuteokseksi jää suppeaksi ja hajanaisen epätäydelliseksi.

Ensimmäisen laitoksen esipuheessa kirjailija pyytää apuja muilta, jotta seuraavissa laitoksissa olisi enemmän sisältöjä. Ei voi muuta sanoa, kuin että Wikipediassakin on paljon paremmin määritelty noita taruolentoja ja kattavammin niiden esiintymiset kaunokirjallisuudessa.

Rajaus on aina ongelmallista, enkä oiv
...more
Nikki
Feb 28, 2014 Nikki rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, dragons
I think the experience of reading this would've been much improved if my edition had illustrations. It's an interesting miscellany, but it really is more of a book to dip in and out of than to read right through. Maybe interesting for reference, particularly if you're a fantasy writer.

I found myself constantly wondering how much of this was Borges' own writing, and how much was quotation/repetition of sources. I think I'll have to read something else to see what I think of Borges' work.
Aya
لو أنّ الأسطورة مجرد مُتعة، فإنها أيضًا حميمة وواقعية -نعم واقعية!- مهما كان هذا منافيًا للعقل، وبخصوص العقل فننحيه جانبًا عندما نقرأ عن طائر الرُخ، ومصاصات الدماء، والمُسوخ، والتنين الصيني، والعفاريت، و"ليليث" أول حبيبة لآدم.. وغيره
فهُنا لن أقيّم أساطير بُنيت عليها ثقافات شعوب بأكملها، أتوقف فقط عند طريقة السرد، والتي كانت هُنا مختصرة وواضحة وغير مُطوّله، ومُشبعة لدرجة معقولة
..
الجزء الثاني من الكتاب هو ما سرده لنا مانغويل عن حياة بورخيس، كما رأتها عينه وعاشرتها حواسته..
عندما يصف حياة بورخيس، عا
...more
Kerfe
May 18, 2013 Kerfe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I used this book as a reference for a sketchbook project (http://www.sketchbookproject.com/libr...). Borges' descriptions are beautifully evocative in all kinds of directions and were for me very visual. I actually first looked at this edition because of Peter Sis' spare illustrations, but soon became intrigued by the way my mind created very different images from his mysterious and delicate renderings.

At first I grazed the text, but in the end I read from start to finish and then grazed again.

I
...more
Amir Yaghoubi
Mar 25, 2015 Amir Yaghoubi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
رودهدرازی نمیکنم:
بورخس نوشته و دائرهالمعارفی دربارهی موجودات افسانهای است.
...more
Dina Nabil
Dec 16, 2015 Dina Nabil rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
كعادته معنا يرحل بنا بورخيس الى ارض الخيال السحرى ، يكدس لنا المعانى في سطور قليلة و يحكى لنا عن هواجسنا و هواجس من قبلنا
يقلب لنا في تاريخ الهواجس بحثا عن عبتو و عنت السمكتان الاتى يحرسن سفينه رع في سيرهم الابدى من المشرق للمغرب صباحا ثم نفس الرحلة بالعكس ، و ثعبان القهيقران ذو الرأسين الاول في محله الطبيعى و الاخر عند الذيل كأنه لا يكتفي بلدغة واحدة، عن عالم المرايا و كيف ان السمك سيكون اول ناجى حين تنكسر اللعنه طويلة المدى و يتحرر اهل المرايا من تكرار حركاتنا و يتوقف الجميع عن استعارة وجوهنا ،
...more
Bukk
A neat and entertaining book of imaginary beings from fiction, mythology, and legends, with a great variety from all across human myth and history. A bit uneven and strange, though, as some descriptions are curiously vague, short, and devoid of any real interesting information on the creature, while others will be nothing but quotes taken from the original source, making their inclusion in the book unnecessary if Borges doesn't wish to expand on any of it. I frequently wondered what point it ser ...more
Abdulslam
Oct 10, 2013 Abdulslam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
حديث بورخيس الماتع مع اماكن ومخلوقات اسطورية ، الكتاب يتحدث عن المخلوقات الأسطورية أو الوهمية في ثقافات الشعوب ، لا تأتي بشكل مفصل بل بخفة وبشكل سريع عن المخلوقات وما قيل فيها ، إن كنت من محبي الميثولوجيا بالتأكيد هذا الكتاب اللطيف سيعجبك .
Stephen Curran
A book forever filed under 'fiction', but not a work of fiction at all. It's a cryptozoological compendium; an encyclopaedia.

For what is essentially a scholarly work, it's passably entertaining, and many of the stories it relates are pleasingly strange. For example, in the entry on 'Animals in the Form of Spheres' we discover that Origen, the 3rd century scholar, believed that the blessed would come back to life in the form of balls and roll into heaven. Then there is the Anglo-Saxon belief that
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Another side comment on a book I haven't read, for Barbara 2 31 Feb 13, 2009 02:28PM  
  • The Dictionary of Imaginary Places: The Newly Updated and Expanded Classic
  • The Book of Beasts: Being a Translation from a Latin Bestiary of the 12th Century
  • Giants, Monsters, and Dragons: An Encyclopedia of Folklore, Legend, and Myth
  • Encyclopedia of Things That Never Were: Creatures, Places, and People
  • Octaedro
  • The Annotated Classic Fairy Tales
  • The Book of Barely Imagined Beings: A 21st Century Bestiary
  • Italian Folktales
  • The Insufferable Gaucho
  • The Hearing Trumpet
  • The Museum of Eterna's Novel (The First Good Novel)
  • The Complete Illustrated Stories of Hans Christian Andersen
  • The Bow and the Lyre: The Poem, the Poetic Revelation, Poetry and History
500
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...

Share This Book



“We are as ignorant of the meaning of the dragon as we are of the meaning of the universe.” 27 likes
“Chang Tzu tells us of a persevering man who after three laborious years mastered the art of dragon-slaying. For the rest of his days, he had not a single opportunity to test his skills.” 17 likes
More quotes…