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4.18  ·  Rating details ·  3,653 ratings  ·  353 reviews

Dreamtigers has been heralded as one of the literary masterpieces of the twentieth century by Mortimer J. Adler, editor of Great Books of the Western World. It has been acknowledged by its author as his most personal work. Composed of poems, parables, and stories, sketches and apocryphal quotations, Dreamtigers at first glance appears to be a sampler—albeit a dazzling one

Paperback, 96 pages
Published January 1st 1964 by University of Texas Press (first published 1958)
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Average rating 4.18  · 
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 ·  3,653 ratings  ·  353 reviews

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”Impressions, momentary and vivid, would wash over him.” and then they wash over the reader.

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.

Dreamtigers, aka The Maker, is the fifth, published in 1960, and I’m including reviews of two pieces published under the title Museum, and the four prose pieces from In Praise of Darkness, published in 1969.

Brevity and Blind
”Impressions, momentary and vivid, would wash over him.” and then they wash over the reader.

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.

The Maker is the fifth, published in 1960, but often under the name Dreamtigers, so my review of The Maker is now under that title, here:
Ian "Marvin" Graye
"A Paradise From Which Nobody Shall Ever Expel Us"*

When the Emperor’s labyrinth was finally completed, one of the architects remarked that it had captured infinity. The Emperor didn’t believe him, because he had not yet entered the labyrinth and experienced its power, but the remark gave the Emperor an idea for a challenge that he would later make to his two favourite court scribes. And that was that they each create a work that captured infinity in words. Being naturally competitive, the two sc
Pat Settegast
Oct 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing
University of Texas has the distinction of being the only US school at which Borges was a permanent faculty member. He fell in love with Austin. His mother became an obsessive fan of UT football. In poetry and interview, Borges compared central Texas to the country of his birth, Argentina. Later in life--after he was all but blind--he claimed Austin was the most beautiful city in North America. When asked by a reporter how he could know that... Borges replied, "Because I have beautiful dreams in ...more
Oct 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
My favorite collection of Borges in English.

Borges is the most engaging philosopher I have ever read. He was a man who read every book. His imagination was infinite.

How do you classify a piece like 'Toenails' for instance? A poem. A remarkable fragment of contemplation. A story. A prose piece in the tradition of Walser.

Borges did not have to write long books because he could place eons in a sentence. A continent in a handful of words.

Foucault was inspired to write 'The Order of Things' by a line
M. Sarki
May 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-star-wonders
Few things have happened to me, and I have read a great many.___Jorge Luis Borges

It was uncanny upon my first reading of only a few pages that the mood and tone of this Borges work seemed surprisingly familiar to me. It was as if I was the one writing what I was reading, even though I understood so little of the text. But it felt so comfortable. I was blissfully content being involved so intimately with this music, and the words of Borges (or his translator) I found to be simply perfect everywhe
Out of the five books by Jorge Luis Borges I've read so far, this is probably the one I find hardest to categorize. It is certainly the most autobiographical of his short story collections, yet also the one that is most mythological in character. The overall impression is that it's Borges himself reflecting back upon both his personal life, literary legacy and all of human history that leads up to this with the consideration of what will happen then. Borges' own internal spiritual life then come ...more
Steven Godin
Read as part of a binge on Borges. It's one of his more personal works, and although it contains everything you would come to expect: mysterious and magical prose, blurring the lines between the dream world and the real one, it's Probably my least favourite. Not because I didn't think much of it (had this been my first Borges, I would have been saying wow!) but rather I had simply read too much of him over a short space of time, and this was the last one of five others, which all felt deeper to ...more
Mar 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
"Covered Mirrors", my favourite of his, comes across as somewhat solipsistic in retrospect, but this is still a worthy collection. I like stuff that is touched by/touches upon the real, rather than literary (ew [retches]), world, mention of Macedonio, those which come across, at least, as personal narratives, relation of anecdotes, statements of influence and inspiration amongst friends. ...more
Matthew Mousseau
Jan 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, short-stories
To Leopold Lugones

Leaving behind the babble of the plaza, I enter the Library. I feel, almost physically, the gravitation of the books, the enveloping serenity of order, time magically desiccated and preserved. Left and right, absorbed int heir shining dreams, the readers' momentary profiles are sketched by the light of their bright officious lamps, to use Milton's hypallage. I remember having remembered that figure before in this place, and afterwards that other epithet that also defines these
Kate Savage
Jun 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I admire Borges' ability to craft a plot, but maybe that's because the Borges story always cracks a little bit at the end, he always has the urge to take it all back and say Maybe this was a dream, maybe it was something happening far away and at another time than I've just said.

Dreamtigers is entirely cracks, notes, fragments. Dreams and recantings and odes to toenails. It's the best Borges I've ever read.

As an example: "Parable of the Palace," tells the story of a poet being shown an infinite
Oh My God!!! It's incredible how Borges can make you feel so many things with just one page. SUPERB! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED IT

Oh por Dios! Es increíble como Borges puede hacerte sentir tantas cosas en una sola página. SOBERBIO! ALTAMENTE RECOMENDADO!!!
Apr 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: faves
One of the most beautiful articulations of longing I've ever read.

Feb 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Strange and prismatic. I wish I could read this forever.

"Islam asserts that on the unappealable day of judgment every perpetrator of the image of a living creature will be raised from the dead with his works, and he will be commanded to bring them to life, and he will fail, and be cast out with them into the fires of punishment. As a child, I felt before large mirrors that same horror of a spectral duplication or multiplication of reality... I watched them with misgivings. Sometimes I feared th
Sep 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

It's Borges. You know what to do.
Sep 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A man sets himself the task of portraying the world. Through the years he peoples a space with images of provinces, kingdoms, mountains, bays, ships, islands, fishes, rooms, instruments, stars, horses, and people. Shortly before his death, he discovers that that patient labyrinth of lines traces the image of his face.

This quote is taken from the afterword of this truly beautiful collection.

What Borges was aiming to create in Dreamtigers (or El hacedor [The Maker], its original Spanish title)
Kunal Sen
Jan 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I went into reading this book knowing that it is hailed as a defining piece of literature of the 20th century; that it was highly recommended by a friend whose taste in books is impeccable; that it is an odd collection of short anecdotes and poems, apparently disconnected, but tied together by a deep thread; but above all, written by a writer whose earlier books had left me spellbound by their sheer intelligence and philosophical depth. Therefore, obviously I was expecting a lot.

The book didn't
Philip Mazza
This book is one of Borges' best. In condensed (one paragraph long) short texts and poems, Borges translates into beautiful words his otherwise inefable metaphysical reflections. Proofs of the existence of God and meditations on death and finitude are yuxtaposed with poems and bits of literary criticism. This amounts to the implicit thesis that reality is but a dream in Borges's private system of idealism.
The intriscally metaphysical character of Borges' art can be showcased with the following
Dec 29, 2014 rated it liked it
Borges called this his most personal work, but he did not mean it was his best (not that writers have a good track record with choosing their best work). Because it is personal it is hit-or-miss when taken piece-by-piece, but becomes coherent as a complete whole. I have not gone blind, but I would imagine that your visual memory eventually begins to fade and leaves behind only the images which were branded on your brain when they were made. This is Borges's mental photo album, hence its fragment ...more
Aug 24, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is a book about dreams, about the fierce forces that tear the mortality into our lives, and about libraries. I remember being in the Cepeda library for the first time this spring and seeing this on the shelves before being hurried to leave by Jon and Rosie. I had never heard of it before but it seemed like some fantastic artifact. Time to go. At the circulation desk I saw a flyer for a reading Sandra Cisneros was giving at the Paramount Theatre for the anniversary of House on Mango Street. ...more
The cover of my edition of this book has a sheet of lined graph paper with a nebulous image of a tiger carefully drawn over it. I think this is a good visual representation of this poetry. I think the introduction says something to this effect-- Borges indulges in fantastical thinking not for its own sake, but to come at reality from a more advantageous angle. A lot of "mindfucks" here, and a lot of good things to just meditate on. Maybe its related to magical realism? Seems like it. Like the Ta ...more
Gwen Golaszewski
Jul 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Borges grounds ontological inquiry into short narratives, and shares powerful insight into what it means to be a human experiencing life. His esoteric is nuanced. I held out on one star here because I'm present to a sadness upon reading Dreamtigers, Borges leaves me feeling a little chilly, a little haunted. I cannot say exactly why Dreamtigers now occupies a melancholy space on my bookshelf, but I'm intrigued by it. ...more
Jun 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: literary-fiction
''Nor has my life been without its friendships, which are what really matter. I don't believe I have a single enemy - if I do, nobody ever told me. The truth is that no one can hurt us except the people we love...I hope the reader may find in my pages something that merits being remembered; in this world, beauty is so common''. ...more
Jimmy Ele
Feb 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pure-literature
This book is an experience. JLB is a master at writing deep short stories and works that reach beyond time and seem to speak to the humanity in all of us. This book is a work of art. Highly recommended.
Cooper Renner
A hodge-podge, fiction, essayettes, and poems. Borges's return to fiction about a decade after El Aleph. His poetry is, I think, his weakest writing. ...more
Jeff Johnson
Aug 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I've read this book more than once. I'll read it again, too. every time you pass through these words you see something new. ...more
Sep 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I'm in a bit of a pickle as to how to classify this book. "Non-fiction" seems redundant enough and even of that I feel uncertain.  Borges "leaks" himself into the writing through literary sketches of different kinds, some beautiful, some even more so. All of it, authentic.

Come to think of it, I remember reading some of it as a teenager back when I came across his personal anthology. Felt like it spoke to me on a deeply personal level. I'm glad there's an entire book of these little weirdos...
Mason Miller-Breetz
Aug 18, 2021 rated it liked it
unfortunately lost my patience. really hammered in the borges w the short stories, which were really almost epigraphs; they were good but not as fun as ficciones. poems were so full of greece i needed a thick wad of napkins
Omar Abu samra
A bit Confused about it, but overall it's good ...more
Aug 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A literary meal
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Jorge Francisco Isidoro Luis Borges Acevedo, usually referred to as Jorge Luis Borges (Spanish pronunciation: [xoɾxe lwis boɾxes]), 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 wo ...more

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