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Fictions

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4.48 of 5 stars 4.48  ·  rating details  ·  22,884 ratings  ·  981 reviews
Jorge Luis Borge's Fictions introduced an entirely new voice into world literature. It is here we find the astonishing accounts of Funes, the man who can forget nothing; the French poet who recreated Don Quixote word for word; the fatal lottery in Babylon; the mysterious planet of Tlön; and the library containing every possible book in the whole universe. Here too are the ...more
Paperback, 179 pages
Published September 7th 2000 by Penguin (Penguin Modern Classics) (first published 1944)
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Fëde It's from an argentinian author so... yes.
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Steve Sckenda
“All books are the work of a single author who is timeless and anonymous.”

“Their fiction has but a single plot, with every imaginable permutation.”

-- Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius

Jorge Luis Borges was a blind visionary of infinite imagination. My favorite Borges collection is “Ficciones” (“Fictions”), which consists of 17 short stories that Borges threads with fantasy, mysticism, Gnosticism and philosophy. Most of the stories are told in an intimate first-person point of view of the narrator (some
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Steve
Metaphor
Infinity Sophistry Penumbra
Symbolic LABYRINTH Heresiarch
Prefigured Philology Nihilism
Maze Allegorical

This may not be the prettiest word cloud ever constructed, but I think it’s a fair representation of the Ficciones experience. Much of the time spent trying to solve the stories’ puzzles involves bandying these concepts about. I can’t honestly say I understood them all, but moments when s
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David
The peer pressure from my intellectually superior friends finally shamed me into reading this (as I had no Borges under my belt). Obviously from the 5 stars, I'm glad I caved in. This is a collection of 17 of his "best" short stories, held together merely by the thread that they are like nothing else you've ever read or even thought about.

Not every story is perfection, but all are surprising, irritating, challenging and somehow rewarding. Standouts are "Pierre Menard, Author of Don Quixote" - a
...more
Florencia
Reading Borges is always a challenge. When you read his stories, it seems you are reading everyone else's. There is a lot of references in his work, and if you want to truly (kind of) understand it (or begin to), you have to do a little research. He ends up being an invaluable teacher.
Labyrinths, mirrors, libraries, dreams, fantasy, religion, philosophy, epistemology. My love for philosophical literature began with this author.
My all-time favorite story is “Las Ruinas Circulares”; the power of
...more
Mateo
Todavía no supero este libro. Creo, el mejor de todos los libros de cuentos Borgianos. Todavía no supero que los habitantes de tlön no crean en el espacio y su lenguaje este compuesto de una sucesión infinita de verbos. Todavía no supero la concepción de un empresa como la Pierre Menard, que buscas escribir el Quijote, me rindo a ayudarle en lo que pueda. Todavía no supero la daga, ni los laberintos, ni los tigres, ni el sur, ni las bibliotecas, ni al otro...

Todavía no supero a Borges.
PGR Nair
( Note: This is an article I wrote in 2009 to mark the 110th birth Anniversary of Borges. Therefore, some of the stories I cite here may not belong to this collection. I thought to post it here as this book is the most cited. If you plan to buy a book of Borges, buy this one or Labyrinth and other stories as both contain the same set of stories and translators. His best translators are Norman Thomas di Giovanni and Anthony Kerrigan . Stay away from the translator Andrew Hurley)

THE BINOCULARS OF
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K.D. Absolutely
Nov 24, 2009 K.D. Absolutely rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Tata J (no one else among my friends can enjoy this book)
For me, reading has always been like connecting your brain to that of the book's author. Since January of this year, I have already finished 100 books and I never had experienced delving into a mind as scintillating as that of Jorge Luis Borges, the Spanish author of this strangely amazing (or amazingly strange) book - FICCIONES which means FICTIONS.

To understand the book, you really have to slow down and reflect on each phrase. It is different from reading Salman Rushdie who I find confusing be
...more
Jim
This collection of short stories is a great introduction to Borges' fictional universe. At times his stories read like a non-fiction article or book review, but Borges sort of sneaks up on you and gives a tug at your conception of what constitutes real versus imaginary.

I would say that some of the stories are more engaging than others, but that's just a matter of personal interest. They are all worth reading, and recommended, especially to those who enjoy magic realism, fantasy, and sci-fi books
...more
MJ Nicholls
The all-stars from this collection—‘The Library of Babel,’ ‘Pierre Manard—Author of Don Quixote’, ‘The Garden of Forking Paths’ and ‘Death and the Compass’, and so on comprise some of the finest and first pangs of the postmodern in book form. Reading the Sainted Borges feels at times like difficult math(s) homework or taking a primer in logical philosophy, and the dusty archaism of his references can make the stories feel like relics from the 18thC (both a plus and a minus), otherwise, the engag ...more
M. Sarki
http://msarki.tumblr.com/post/8547458...

As I was reading these stories, these ficciones, I was wondering where I might have heard this Borges voice before. And as I read it seemed to me that each story was important in its own rank as if derived from a serious study of an ancient text or the pouring over of history books detailing in no small measure the accounts that made up the results of whatever was being set forth. Of course, because the original Ficciones were written in Spanish and then t
...more
Glenn Russell
Even as a child, the Argentinian master storyteller Jorge Luis Borges lived among books and various languages -- myths, legends and literature from many civilizations and cultures: Spanish, Chinese, Persian, Nordic, to name just a few. His greatest childhood memory was his father's library; he was reading Shakespeare in English before the age of twelve; by the time he was an adult, Borges turned his mind into one vast library.

Borges did not write long, involved novels like David Copperfield, The
...more
Teresa
Jul 23, 2013 Teresa added it
I shouldn't write a review for this, much less assign stars to it (which I might not do by the time I'm finished writing). My GR friend Dolors has said it already, and so eloquently, too (here's Dolor's review), especially in her penultimate paragraph, its last sentence reminding me of Italo Calvino's If on a Winter's Night a Traveler, which I loved. None of the star rankings are applicable for me, though of course I recognize the work's brilliance and that it deserves 5 stars: I just don't thin ...more
Linda
I'm more a fan of "Artificios" than the actual "Ficciones" collection, though "El Jardin" remains one of the better ones from Ficciones. Reading this collection for my Boston book club made me realize that, having taught Borges short stories over the years and reading for my exams as a graduate student, I thought that I had read all of them.
But I hadn't; I encountered a few new ones here, namely "The End", which puts an end to the Martin Fierro story. So I've erased Borges from my "read" lists a
...more
Teresa
Este livro fez-me sentir com cérebro de pulga. Não sei se gosto disso…
…devo gostar pois, em vez de desistir, li e reli cada conto há média de um por dia e, até ao conto/dia seguinte, ia “ruminando” sobre o seu significado.
No principio, ainda me iludi e convenci-me de que se fosse paciente e persistente iria ficar a entender, minimamente, o universo Borgeano. Qual quê! Quanto mais lia mais me afundava em confusão. Mas, estranhamente, também me sentia cada vez mais enfeitiçada com o livro, quer p
...more
Peter
Reading Ficciones takes time. It is Jorge Luis Borges' most well-known collection of short stories, and it is full of dense, imaginative pieces that are full of lots of stuff, and to get out of them what he has put into them, readers need to commit to reading slowly and carefully.

There are two interrelated elements, I think, that make reading Borges so challenging: the fantastic vision (read: like a fantasy), and the prose.

The Fantasy: Many pieces in Ficciones take place in imaginary lands or im
...more
Morgan
Ok, I'd tried to read Labyrinths years ago and found it dry and boring. I thought that perhaps I just wasn't in the proper state of mind, or perhaps wasn't well read enough to get it. I'd also come off of a Calvino kick, so Borges felt dry and boring. Fast forward to me thinking that I really should commit to Borges and give him a real chance.

I have to say that hard a hard time with this book. I only really like one story The Babylonian Lottery with The Circular Ruins, The Library of Babel, The
...more
Sue
Jun 24, 2011 Sue marked it as couldn-t-finish  ·  review of another edition
After reading the first story I felt I might not be quite brilliant enough to read Borges works though I was able to appreciate the story itself. After trying to work my way through the next two stories, I felt these were obscure and abstruse. I don't have the time or patience to devote to the detailed reading which is apparently required in order to fully comprehend them or follow the inner workings. I tried one more but then realized I have shelves full of books and libraries also available to ...more
aidan w-m
"...looking at it as no one has ever looked at such a flower, though they might look from the twilight of day until the twilight of night, for a whole life long.”
Guido
Sono sempre sufficientemente ingenuo da lasciarmi sorprendere da Borges, dal suo modo di tendere dei fili invisibili tra il reale e l'immaginario; è un'arte subdola, una trappola in cui chi legge un racconto fantastico spera incessantemente di cadere. Impossibile stabilire con certezza quali dei riferimenti di Borges a libri, paragrafi, studiosi occultati dalla storia siano veri, puro sfoggio della sua erudizione; e quali invece si alimentino delle illusioni di un ignaro lettore che per la prima ...more
Nikki
I got along with Fictions a lot better than with The Book of Imaginary Beings; while it's still composed of various short pieces, each one has a plot and a purpose. The writing is beautiful; if the translation does any justice to the original, it must be gorgeous in its simplicity, while describing plots and settings that are anything but simple. I could almost go learn Spanish just to read Borges' own words -- though this Penguin translation by Andrew Hurley is a good one, and makes the stories ...more
Lotz
17 August, 1967: I just finished Ficciones today. I also received it today. That is, today, three weeks ago; I mean, three weeks ago, today. (Three groups of seven, totaling twenty-one; or, in Arabic numerals, 3 x 7 = 21.)

I read the book once a day, for each of the days since receiving it. (A total of twenty-one times; 21/1 = 21.) The first week, I read the book in a different mood per day. I started off neutral. The next day, I recalled annoying instances from my past to put myself in an angry
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Bjorn

There have been far better storytellers than Borges, but most of them are chemists at best.

Borges' Fictions is (are?) curiously fragile. Which is not to say that they're poorly written, or that they don't hold up 70 years later, but simply that for most of these stories, I find myself wondering if they are indeed stories or simply thought experiments, essays on potential stories, a literary criticism of things never written (or, taken somewhat less literally, always and constantly written). Ther
...more
Ananthu
“No one saw him slip from the boat in the unanimous night…” So begins Borges’ The Circular Ruins , one of his stories that revolutionized Western Literature. A growing sense of tension and enigma hides behind Borges’ crystalline prose. The translator opines that ‘the effect of Borges’ style is brought through an exploding word or phrase, dropped as though offhandedly into a quiet sentence’. It is best seen in The Circular Ruins.

My lips parted in awe, not infrequently, whenever my eyes fell on
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Sandra
E’ difficilissimo commentare questo libro. La maggior parte dei lettori lo definisce un capolavoro assoluto, un “classico contemporaneo”. Per me è stata una lettura assai complessa. Borges è uno scrittore per un lettore “erudito” –che non sono io-. Mi mancano le conoscenze letterarie di base per capirlo a fondo. E così scrivo di quel poco che sono riuscita a comprendere.
Innanzitutto il titolo: andando avanti con la lettura ho capito il perché del titolo. Finzioni significa astrazione dalla realt
...more
Lau
Éste es uno de esos libros que tuvimos que leer en el colegio y por lo tanto no disfruté (ni leí completo). Pasados ya cerca de once años del primer intento, era hora de leer a Borges. Sentía vergüenza conmigo misma por no haber abierto un libro suyo antes.

Ficciones está dividido en dos partes, compuesto de historias cortas diferentes, enigmáticas y complejas. En general comienzan relativamente sencillo, pero luego toman un camino muchas veces inesperado centrándose en una sola cosa y se vuelven
...more
Arun Divakar
The twilight was deepening as I walked the gravelly path to the building that stood at the end of it. It wasn't very well lit on the outside was the first impression I had on seeing the building. There was nobody to ask any further questions to and all I could do was to walk straight in. Closing the door, I turned around and gazed open mouthed at the row upon row of books stacked in that most magical of places : a library ! I moved through the aisles, picking up one book and replacing it as some ...more
Jesse
“There is no intellectual exercise which is not ultimately useless.” -from “Pierre Menard, Author of Don Quixote”

The reader of Ficciones must have a love for literary and historical esoterica and minutiae to get some type of pleasure out of most of these stories–if they can even be called "stories," that is. And how one feels on this issue makes all the difference in how the quote cited above is regarded: not interested in reading a fairly lengthy description about say, a typological error in t
...more
Ginny_1807
Muovendo da presupposti logici e con il supporto di un solido retroterra culturale che spazia nei più diversi campi del sapere, questi racconti si librano in volo come un raffinato gioco letterario e fantastico di rara perfezione.
I temi spaziano dallo scorrere del tempo alla memoria, dalla scrittura alla morte, facendo l’occhiolino ai più disparati generi letterari pur senza rispettarne fedelmente nessuno, offrendosi a molteplici chiavi di lettura ed aprendo la mente agli orizzonti sconfinati d
...more
Carmo Santos
Foram dezasseis contos em nada semelhantes a algo que já tivesse lido. Não gostei de todos; alguns(poucos) deixaram-me mesmo indiferente. Outros houve, que, foi preciso algum esforço para repor o queixo no seu devido lugar.Extraordinários!
Foi uma estreia em Borges. Hei-de voltar a ele um dia. Não é leitura fácil, mas é uma escrita de uma riqueza surpreendente, diferente de tudo o que já tinha lido.
Carolyn
With Borges I drink dandelion tea and am rid of my cognitive malaise. He blots his sponge against the dank crevasses of my conscience, carefully dabbing at woes of Realism vs. Idealism. In Ficciones, I am reminded of the paradox of defining "is"/Dasein - a definition cannot contain the word it defines (Heidegger speaks on this in his Sein und Zeit intro). Borges, in fact, offers a beautiful compliment to phenomenology, existentialism, and epistemology. I come away from this book defining myself ...more
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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...
Labyrinths:  Selected Stories and Other Writings Collected Fictions The Aleph and Other Stories Selected Poems The Book of Sand and Shakespeare's Memory

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