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El Aleph

4.39  ·  Rating Details ·  22,104 Ratings  ·  768 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 gues ...more
Paperback, 179 pages
Published 1957 by Emecé Edit (first published 1947)
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Glenn Russell
Nov 25, 2013 Glenn Russell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition


We have all experienced different dimensions in our life, to name just three: waking, deep sleep and dreaming. Yet when it comes to describing or imagining the afterlife, I’ve read very few accounts postulating how awareness could shift between various levels; rather, life (or lack of life) after death tends to be portrayed as an uninterrupted hum all at one frequency, the three major frequencies: 1) awareness within a specific form, like a light body 2) formless awareness, that is,
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
Anything can drive a person insane if that person cannot manage to put it out of their mind” – even… “a map of Hungary”! Obsession is the unifying theme of virtually all these stories, which is apt, because I’m beginning to be a trifle obsessed myself. It is perhaps most central to The Zahir.

I have the Collected Fictions (with copious translator's notes), but am splitting my review of that into its components, listed in publication order: Collected Fictions - all reviews. This is the fourth, pu
Mar 08, 2017 Cody rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This edition is broken into two parts. The first consists of the 1952 version of "The Aleph," while the second section is made up of stories from Borges 1960 collection "The Maker." Most of the stories in "The Aleph" could be considered fantasy, while "The Maker" appears to focus more on historical characters. There were a few stories in each that stood out, but since the stories in "The Maker" are so short, I will just share a few thoughts on my favorites from "The Aleph."

"The Immortal" The boo
Sep 18, 2014 Owlseyes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: argentinean-lit
Stevenson, Wells, Twain, Verne,…the Arabian Nights, were some of the references for Borges very early on, back in Argentina. At his father’s library, he read a lot. Then he went to Europe...

Borges: “American, old and a blind poet “ he realized once, later in life. Afterwards he had to live up to it and face old age as a “time of happiness”; the “animal being dead…man and soul go on”.

Borges: “a shy man who longed for oblivion” (“siempre tímido”, as he said of himself); but not shy stories, he
Mar 09, 2015 Sawsan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
عالم بورخيس القصصي عجيب
في بعض أحيان بتكون الفانتازيا والغرابة في النص الأدبي طريفة وممتعة وفيها صور خيالية جميلة
وأحيان أخرى تكون غاية في الغموض
بعض القصص في هذه المجموعة الخيال فيها مثير للدهشة, وأخرى أفكارها مفهومة إلى حد ما
وبعضها الكاتب نفسه بيدخل فيها فكأنها أجزاء من حياته.
قراءة مختلفة ومحيرة
Mar 01, 2010 Jason rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 19, 2015 Poncho rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After reading Borges my brain usually feels fried, so excuse all the nonsense in this review. My intention was never to write anything about it, to let it flow, to carry on with my life. But trust me, after reading this magnificent writer, and specially such writings as the ones collected in El Aleph, life's never the same. My brain may be fried, but my soul feels somewhat soothed.

Reading him is like facing the Zahir: something that seeds in one's soul a never-ending obsession in life's groundle
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
Feb 04, 2015 Adina marked it as abandoned  ·  review of another edition
This is the 2nd time I try to read these stories. This time I tried in Spanish (very bad idea- too difficult for my level) and then came back to the Romanian translation.

I liked the ideas (such as for the Immortals) but the author continually put references of different names, places, dates, literary and historical citations that in my opinion made the story unpleasant to read. I understand the author is very well read and he drew inspiration from all the book he cites (Iliad, Hamlet, etc) but
Mar 25, 2014 Teresa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: g-contos, e5, n-argentina
"Que o céu exista, mesmo que o nosso lugar seja o inferno."

Há dias (por "culpa" de uma amiga do Goodreads) ouvi uma pequena história de Jorge Luis Borges que me impressionou:
Um dia, junto das pirâmides do Egipto, Borges apanhou um punhado de areia, largou-o mais à frente e disse: "Estou a modificar o deserto.
...e, através da sua escrita, modifica a mente de quem o lê...

Dos dezassete contos, incluídos neste livro, não gostei muito da maior parte deles. Ou porque não os compreendi (perdida em l
Jun 21, 2012 Ginny_1807 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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
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
Mar 13, 2011 Salma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 23, 2011 29alabs rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Vit Babenco
Apr 16, 2013 Vit Babenco rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Our twentieth century had inverted the story of Mohammed and the mountain; nowadays, the mountain came to the modern Mohammed.”
Isn’t it about the modern mass media?
“‘When I opened my eyes, I saw the Aleph.’ ‘The Aleph?’ ‘Yes, the only place on earth where all places are – seen from every angle, each standing clear, without any confusion or blending.’”
As The Aleph is a locus of the entire world so the stories by Jorge Luis Borges are the epitome of the entire intellectual universe.
“His guiding p
Tolgonay Dinçer
May 24, 2017 Tolgonay Dinçer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mükemmel bir bilgi birikimi ve harika kurgulanmış öyküler eğer siz de bu bilgilere sahipseniz. Yüzeysel olarak okunarak da zevk alınacak bir kitap ama ben ayrıntılarda boğuldum, bilmediğim pek çok efsane, kültür, olay... Daha iyi bir dönem de tekrar okumayı kesinlikle isterim.
Jan 16, 2017 Raha rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: italo-calvino
کتاب مجموعه ای از 17 داستان کوتاه هست.کتاب خوبی بود و داستان های زیبایی داشت ...اما بزرگترین مشکل این اثر، حداقل برای من، این بود که کتاب پر بود از اسامی آدم ها ،اسطوره ها و سرزمین های ناشناخته ای که من به سختی اسم بعضی از آنها را شنیده بودم، و چون دائما" باید به پی نوشت ها مراجعه می کردم کمی خسته کننده و حوصله سر بر بود
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
Mar 06, 2008 Jerry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Nov 05, 2012 Olivia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 04, 2012 Rafa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
De haber un solo libro que fuera este.
Oct 30, 2015 GrauWolf rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
All'interno di questa raccolta ogni storia oltre a racchiudere un universo a sè stante, riesce a contenere almeno una parte della grande sapienza di Borges.
L'Aleph è un insieme di racconti fantastici, che dimostrano la grande capacità dell'autore di fondere la finzione e la realtà, lasciando il lettore in un apparente stato di sbalordimento.
Sono storie brevi estremamente colte, ricche di riferimenti a testi e autori tutt'altro che noti. Sono storie religiose, orientali, mitologiche, esoteriche,
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
Jun 10, 2012 Dolmar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: argentina
Acabo de terminar el primer cuento: El inmortal. Sólo con éste, El Aleph merece 5 estrellas, porque no es posible poner 10. ¡Es impresionante!

Si lo que me espera me maravilla de igual forma, entonces me uno a todos aquellos que catalogan a Borges como un escritor fuera de serie. ¡Sin duda!

No hay comentario porque para entenderlo mejor (le tenía terror, como le sigo teniendo a Ulises, de Joyce) consulto la monografía

Esta página ha desaparecido. La monografí
Down and Out in Lovecroft and Borges

At some point (but not today) I intend to do a review of Borges and Lovecroft together. Not to say anything important but merely to understand how they depend on one another. I think it is clear that Borges borrowed from Lovecroft. And I think it is just as clear that we read Lovecroft in light of what Borges did with the genre of fantasy/horror. At least a half dozen stories have been identified by readers as ‘cross-overs’ as it were from Lovecroft to Borges.
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
Jan 10, 2015 Vanita rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pode ser encarado como humildade, ignorância ou até alguma preguiça. A verdade é que há muito queria introduzir Jorge Luís Borges nas minhas leituras e fiquei radiante quando me ofereceram "O Aleph" no Natal. A certeza de que iria conhecer um mundo novo e entrar nos meandros que deram origem ao realismo mágico, o mesmo que serve de mote a um dos melhores livros de sempre - "Cem Anos de Solidão", de Gabriel Garcia Marques - lançou-me neste livro de contos com tanto entusiasmo, que acabei por esba ...more
Asiye Dilara Han
Ilk Borges okumamdi bu ve gercekten guc bir tanisiklik oldu. Birbirinden farkli bircok yazarla tanistim, ama hicbirinde Borges'te oldugu gibi zorlanmadim, hicbir zaman. Hemen adapte oldum anlatim bicimine, kendine ozgu diline vs. Ayrica Borges'in oykulerinde resmettigi arka planlari tanimayisimdan, bu zamana dek o kadar da farkli dunyalar, kulturler okumamis oldugumu uzulerek fark ettim. Cok farkli bir sesi var, cok fazla hayal kurduruyor, cok fazla sey ogretiyor; daha dogrusu ogrenmenizin atesi ...more
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
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/lit/: * The Immortal - Jorge Luis Borges 9 156 Mar 21, 2014 09:38AM  
Goodreads Italia: GdL Narrativa Dicembre 2013: L'Aleph di Jorge Luis Borges - Commenti e discussione 30 160 Feb 23, 2014 07:45AM  
O meu Aleph (book club): Os teólogos 1 11 Apr 28, 2013 02:10AM  
O meu Aleph (book club): O morto 1 9 Mar 09, 2013 01:20PM  
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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
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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.” 195 likes
“There are those who seek the love of a woman to forget her, to not think about her.” 80 likes
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