Erik Erickson's Reviews > Ficciones

Ficciones by Jorge Luis Borges
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's review
Jul 31, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: fiction, prose
Read in July, 2011

Fantastic little "fictions" that are sometimes not even a full 3 pages long but contain more ideas per paragraph than typical narratives. Full of great ideas along particular themes of time, language, faith, the power to create through words and alternate realities. I am so glad that I somehow stumbled across this on Amazon late (very late) one night (technically morning). Although this wasn't what caused me to discover it, Christopher Nolan apparently cited The Secret Mracle, contained in this collection, as one of the inspirations for Inception (and likely a primary one given the core similarities). There are so many great stories and ideas woven throughout, and it's hard to pick favorites, but if I had to I'd say Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius (that's one story, by far my favorite), The Garden of Forking Paths, Death and the Compass, The Circular Ruins, The Library of Babel.

I encourage anyone who is intrigued by language and philosophy and even science fiction to seek these out. A word of caution though: the most widely available translations are by a Mr. Andrew Hurley who, according to some detractors on Amazon, does a bad job. The best versions are supposedly by someone with the last name di Giovanni but I couldn't find any of those. The translators of the edition I got seemed fine, but honestly I wouldn't know the difference. Regardless, i would avoid Hurley and accept any of the other translated editions.
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