Simon's Reviews > Ficciones

Ficciones by Jorge Luis Borges
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Jorge Luis Borges was the grand-daddy of magical realism, metafiction and the "secret history" genres. This one is a collection of short stories often concerning elaborate literary hoaxes, strange forgotten cultural/religious practices, entire countries that might or might not actually have existed - often written as factual documents or based on metaphysical thought experiments. The stories are a lot more subtle in their handling of those ideas compared to many of Borges' imitators (Umberto Eco, Paul Auster etc.), and some of the historical inside jokes even I didn't completely get. Amusingly enough, several of the more down-to-earth of the stories end with the main character getting killed in a bar fight for no real reason!
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