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El Aleph

4.39  ·  Rating Details ·  21,475 Ratings  ·  738 Reviews
In stories that play with the very form of the short story, in this collection, Borges returns again and again to his themes: dreams, labyrinths, mirrors, infinite libraries, the manipulations of chance, gaucho knife-fighters, transparent tigers, and the elusive nature of identity itself.
Paperback, Biblioteca Jorge Luis Borges, 253 pages
Published September 1st 2007 by Planeta Publishing (first published 1947)
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Glenn Russell
Nov 25, 2013 Glenn Russell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

When I read the work of Jorge Luis Borges I feel like my universe is expanding a thousand-fold. And for good reason - my universe is, in fact, expanding a thousand-fold! This is especially true as I read The Aleph and Other Stories. Such sheer imaginative power. Fantastic! There are nearly fifty stories and brief tales collected here from three Borges books: The Aleph, the Maker and Museum -- and every tale worth reading multiple times.

For the purposes of this review, I will focus on 4 stories,
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
Glenn Russell
Jun 26, 2016 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,
Glenn Russell
May 01, 2016 Glenn Russell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

If asked to suggest a one word key as a humble first step to unlock the worlds and mysteries of Jorge Luis Borges, my answer would be: labyrinths. Here are two Borges quotes: “There is no need to build a labyrinth when the entire universe is one.” “It only takes two facing mirrors to build a labyrinth.” Many Borges tales have references, either direct or indirect, to labyrinths, my favorite, a one-pager entitled “The Two Kings and the Two Labyrinths.” Here is my write-up:

Synopsis: An ancient Bab
Glenn Russell
Jul 21, 2016 Glenn Russell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

The myth of the Minotaur goes back to ancient Greece, the Minotaur being a creature “part man and part bull” dwelling at the center of an elaborate maze-like labyrinth on the island of Crete. But who since the time of the ancient Greeks over two thousand years ago has ever thought to explore this vivid mythic tale with the Minotaur as the first-person narrator? Answer: Argentina’s master fabulist and storyteller Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986). Reading this Borges short story over the years has pr
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
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 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
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
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
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
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
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.
Stand By Me
Oct 30, 2015 Stand By Me 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
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
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
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/lit/: * The Immortal - Jorge Luis Borges 9 152 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.” 190 likes
“There are those who seek the love of a woman to forget her, to not think about her.” 74 likes
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