La Enciclopedia de los muertos
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

La Enciclopedia de los muertos

4.29 of 5 stars 4.29  ·  rating details  ·  942 ratings  ·  37 reviews
Este libro reúne nueve relatos. Todos ellos están relacionados con un tema común cuyo fantasma recorre, desde los tiempos de la epopeya de Gilgamesh, las mejores páginas de la historia de la literatura: la muerte. La visión que nos da Danilo Kis en estas páginas recorre las diferentes ideas que el hombre ha albergado sobre la muerte, y se sitúa a caballo entre el pensamien...more
202 pages
Published 2002 by El Aleph Editores (first published January 1st 1983)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,882)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
November 1, 2012 All Saints' Day. Death looks very much like the ending of a book. It is inevitable, inescapable, final, often unpredictable yet necessary and common to all. Each human life that ends is like a book that has been read, and was loved, and is kept in at least one other person's memory. For a book, its author or its first reader; for a person, his/her mother or someone who had loved him/her most.

All Saints' Day is a celebration and commemoration of sequels, or the possibility thereo...more
Jennifer (JC-S)

I’ve not previously read Mr Kis’s work and I was not sure what to expect. I read this collection in translation (by Michael Henry Heim). This was the first book I could obtain, and I was totally swept up in the beauty of the prose from beginning to end. This collection of nine stories touches on a number of facets of life: relationships, encounters and experiences. Each is unique. Each illustrates a different aspect of existence, including questioning the notion of divine order.

‘Everything a liv...more
If for whatever reason you haven't read anything by Danilo Kis yet, I'm gonna go ahead and say "Do so as soon as possible." Jewish guy from what was Yugoslavia at the time, wrote in Serbo-Croatian, and as good as anybody you'd care to name. Really just top shelf. You can start anywhere because all the books are good. This is stories, loosely linked by the theme of death. Kis's three big topics are death, childhood, and the Holocaust, and yeahyeah, heavy stuff, and generally pretty depressing but...more
This book, like Mahler's Symphony no. 9, has a central theme of the dead. And, also like Mahler's Symphony, raises many questions, but leave to the reader(listener) to find the answers for himself, since there is no unique and unified approach on solving the problem of death and its overcoming. In this precious book we see nine ways of trying to overcome the death, which are told through nine stories. They raise many unpleasant questions, and the basic one is: Can a human being achieve the immor...more
I love Borges and after I exhausted his books, I went looking for other authors who were influenced by him. Danilo Kis came up near the top of the list, so I picked up "Encyclopedia of The Dead", his book of short stories. And indeed, Kis' subjects are Borgesian: gnostic heretics, infinite encyclopedias, men condemned by dictators, Koranic legends, reviews of imaginary books. In many ways, Kis is a better writer than Borges— the stories have the mournful lyricism of Milan Kundera at his best. Bu...more
Guillermo Jiménez
En el mejor estilo que ya nos había heredado Borges, leemos a Danilo Kis disfrutando cada frase y oración que construye, envolviéndonos en un mundo que a la vez que es fantástico y que nos mantiene con los pies en la tierra. No es evasión, es goce puro. Reconocer en leyendas y citas de obras que no nos son accesibles la familiaridad con que las distintas corrientes de pensamiento proyectan líneas que sabemos que se tocan, o que lo hicieron, y otras a las que no les falta gran cosa para hacerlo....more
Jared Colley
May 17, 2007 Jared Colley rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Borges ans such
Shelves: fiction
Danilo Kis is a Yugoslavian writer; I read this collection of stories for a class a couple years ago and was thoroughly impressed. Imagine Borges as an Eastern European writer. The self-conscious, meta-fictional style is here, but the stories are resourcing a completely different historical experience - namely one of Eastern Europe in the tumultuous 20th century. This is a great reading experience; I enthusiastically recommend it.
Es una maravilla, un libro bien contado y bien escrito, pero confieso que demasiado para mi en este momento. Lo leí por partes, acabé brincando gran parte, supongo que estoy un poco emocional, y este libro es duro como pocos. Quizás en algun momento lo vuelva a intentar. No me molesta que se hable de la muerte, lo que ahora no se si puedo manejar, es que la muerte sea tan importante.
Sara, I gave you The Golem and you've given me the Encyclopedia.
Óscar Brox
Conocí la obra de Danilo Kiš a través de los relatos póstumos que componen Laúd y cicatrices, donde cada una de sus historias dejaba un rastro de un personaje, detalle o acontecimiento real enmascarado tras la ficción. Hasta ese momento, mi conocimiento tanto de Kiš como de la literatura yugoslava -si hacemos caso a las obras aparecidas antes de su desintegración durante los 90’- era prácticamente anecdótico; un poco de Ivo Andrić, por curiosidad lectora y cercanía de un ejemplar de Un puente so...more
Eric Phetteplace
A pretty good set of short stories, albeit not quite what I was looking for. I was hoping for a more sustained, interesting look at death, which this book does not contain, though many of the stories deal with death. There are a lot of religious themes and a definite hint of Borges (especially in "The Conspiracy" or "The Encyclopedia of the Dead" which have intriguing situations) to these "metaphysical" stories. The stories about fictional books and authors were the best ones, and some of the sh...more
I picked up this short story collection because it's mentioned in Dubravka Ugresic's "Museum of Unconditional Surrender." Although it had its moments, I think I'm just going to stick to Ugresic herself, who is a brilliant novelist and essayist if you haven't read her yet. For "Encyclopedia" I would actually recommend reading the handy postscript at the back before any of the stories--they shed a lot of light on ones which are rambling and/or confusing such as "The Legend of the Sleepers" and "Th...more
Takes words, mingles them with historical things. Makes new things. This book kind of slowly amazed me in its scope. It took things from war, from history, from now, from before and made them all stories in the Yugoslav now-ish. Incredible read. There was love, hate, violence, was subversiveness and above all the warning of vulgarity and inhumane behaviour. You know this author is a person who looks to truth beyond the fallacies of a million opportunities to lie. Its kind of like the overflow of...more
N-am abandonat-o dintr-un singur motiv: am primit-o de la cineva drag (cu tot cu recomandări).

Pînă la urmă, n-a fost chiar atît de rău. Din fericire, e o colecție de povestiri, unele mai cu sens (pentru mine) decît altele.

Autorul e preocupat de supranatural, moarte și tot soiul de întîmplări dubioase-obscure-metafizice (culese din ziare/cărți și alte lecturi asemenea) și le rescrie într-o manieră pseudojurnalistică sau, mai bine zis, în maniera originalului din care și-a „împrumutat” ideea.

O s...more
I had high hopes for this collection of stories I've been holding onto for a few years now. Truthfully, I made it through three-quarters of the collection and found myself left with a sense of unemotional, flavorless philosophizing. That's not to say that philosophical writing doesn't have it's place, but I read for emotional resonance, so unless the intellectual lifting is pretty damn impressive, I'm probably going to get bored, which I did. The title story and "The Mirror of the Unknown" were...more
It is impossible not to love Kiš!

Author's authentic creation of nine different environments contributes to the elements of mysticism (which always accompanies any reflection on death).


“Mislila sam, kao što ljudi u teškim nevoljama misle, da će mi promena mesta pomoći da zaboravim svoj bol, kao da svoju nesreću ne nosimo u sebi.”

“Nikad se ništa ne ponavlja u istoriji ljudskih bića, sve što se na prvi pogled čini da je isto jedva da je slično; svaki je čovek zvezda za sebe, sve se događa uvek...more
It's hard at first to get in to his writing, but once you're in, you're really in. It's like a trance, his imagery is so evocative, ethereal. Esp. The Legend of the Sleepers. I was reading it sitting in a patch of sunlight coming in through the window, but felt the cold damp of the cave most acutely, and then the redeeming warmth of the sun as the sleepers were carried out.

The title story, too, was very poignant. He captures the fragility and beauty, the depth of the little things that go to mak...more
3.5 - I loved most of the themes, a few of the stories, and a lot of the gorgeous, inventive sentences, but I got pretty sick of the underwhelming, yet long Borgesian fake-bibliography-as-story stories (and I am into Borges). The author's note in the back of the book was one of my favorite things to read; it gave some background info & made everything richer/more satisfying. Unfortunately, reading the note first would have given away some of the plots, but I'm inclined to think it would have...more
For fans of the vertiginous fictions of Borges, the short story collection 'The Encyclopedia of the Dead' by Serbian writer Danilo Kiš is worth checking out. Kiš, greatly influenced by Borges, uses the same dense intertextuality and metaphysical themes, though tinged with a typical Balkan-style magical realism that is also found in Pavić.

Read my review:
This is beautifully written, but I didn't feel it as engaging as his other book I recently read: A Tomb for Davidovich. There is a postscript in this book which is very helpful, because many of the stories are obscure and clearly referring to some history which I was ignorant of, the postscript explains much of this. I do recommend the book because of the beauty of the language.
Leonardo Rodríguez
Son nueve relatos. Algunos no me gustan (los de tema muy fabuloso), otros están muy bien (entre ellos el que da título al libro) y dos ("El libro de los reyes y de los tontos", "Sellos rojos con la efigie de Lenin") me parecen geniales. Kis asalta un territorio político particularmente ominoso y deja unas cuantas calaveras de regalo: corrosivas, delicadas, secretas.
Brilliant brilliant brilliant. A global range of perfect stories, each odd and striking in its own tragic way. It riffs through so many different mythologies from Eastern Euro fables to the Qur'an to sailor tales of Hamburg and the Kabbalah and Mormons and Communism. This book awes me with every reread.
Lyrically written, fantastic, deeply allegorical set of stories - some of them worked much better for me than others, but I found that reading the author's notes at the end helped bolster my appreciation for the collection as a whole by adding some valuable additional context...
Another great writer few people have ever heard of - so many books, so little time.

Borges is often mentioned when reviewing this, and it is easy to understand why: these stories are inhabited by a similar intelligent fantasy, and are of almost the same stellar quality.
Nathan Eilers
A good grouping of short stories, almost all of which are thought-provoking and well-told. I wrote a paper on this one in my postmodernism class.
Rikki Chadwick
An interesting book and an interesting fact that Daniel said that he knew about writing a book like this will not go unpunished.
Quite good and frequently interesting. I just wish every short story author wasn't compared to Borges.
A very interesting collection of short stories, written in the author's unique style.
Due for a reread and a review. A masterpiece, no doubt. Kiš the Mask!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 62 63 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Seobe
  • Death and the Dervish
  • Landscape Painted with Tea
  • Prokleta avlija
  • The Cyclist Conspiracy
  • Nečista krv
  • Orlovi rano lete (Pionirska trilogija, #1)
  • Götz and Meyer
  • Pop Ćira i pop Spira
  • Plavi čuperak
  • Gospoda Glembajevi
  • Una
  • Gospođa ministarka
  • Besnilo
  • Gorski vijenac
Danilo Kiš was born in Subotica, Danube Banovina, Kingdom of Yugoslavia, the son of Eduard Kiš (Kis Ede), a Hungarian Jewish railway inspector, and Milica Kiš (born Dragićević) from Cetinje, Montenegro. During the Second World War, he lost his father and several other family members, who died in various Nazi camps. His mother took him and his older sister Danica to Hungary for the duration of the...more
More about Danilo Kiš...
A Tomb for Boris Davidovich Rani jadi Garden, Ashes Hourglass Mansarda

Share This Book

“Istoriju pišu pobednici. Predanja ispreda puk. Književnici fantaziraju. Izvesna je samo smrt.” 13 likes
“U svakom mom retku, u svakoj mojoj reči, u svakoj tački nalaziš se i ti, kao polen.” 13 likes
More quotes…