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Siete noches

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  1,542 ratings  ·  123 reviews
Las conferencias que, revisadas y con el titulo de Site noches se reunen en este volumen, fueron ofrecidas por Boges en el teatro Coliseo de Buenos Aires en 1977: La Comedia, La pesadilla y Las mil y una noches , El budismo, La poesia, La cabala, y La ceguera
Paperback, 173 pages
Published April 1992 by Fondo de Cultura Economica USA (first published 1977)
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Sidharth Vardhan

“What is magic? Magic is a unique causality. It is the belief that besides the causal relations we know, there is another causal relation. That relationship may be due to accidents, to a ring, to a lamp. We rub a ring, a lamp, and a genie appears. That genie is a slave who is also omnipotent and who will fulfill our wishes. It can happen at any moment.”

“A good poem does not allow itself to be read in a low voice or silently. If we can read it silently, it is not a valid poem: a poem demands
...more
Jonfaith
Apr 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crit
Emerson said that a library is a magic chamber in which there are many enchanted spirits. They wake when we call them. When the book lies unopened, it is literally, geometrically, a volume, a thing among things. When we open it, when the book surrenders itself to its reader, the aesthetic event occurs. And even for the same reader the same book changes, for the change; we are the river of Heraclitus, who said that the man of yesterday is not the man of today, who will not be the man of tomorrow. ...more
Brian
Apr 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2009
This was good. It's seven lectures that Borges gave in seven nights in Buenos Aires in 1977 (that's a lot of sevens). But it felt more like it was me an Borges sitting in a small room across from each other. He started talking to me about The Divine Comedy Inferno; Purgatorio; Paradiso and urged me to shed my fears and read the book. He said I would greatly be enriched. So I told him ok, I will. I was a still a bit intimidated by his presence and at that point would have stuck my hand in boiling ...more
DB
Jul 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Borges is our Virgil; only he knows the way." (from the introduction by Alastair Reid)

At first you might mistake the frequency and variety of Borges' references for pretentiousness, but soon you will understand it as a symptom...of genius! Borges seems to be an expert in all things even marginally literary, and it shows very clearly in this clever, erudite, and surprisingly easy-to-read collection of essays. Since they were adapted from a series of lectures he gave, they really do read
...more
Rise
Sep 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A transcription of Borges lectures originally delivered in Buenos Aires. Lit-crit without the academic pom-poms. Playful takes on seven subjects: Dante's Commedia, dreams and nightmares, the endless pleasures of The Thousand and One Nights, Buddhism, poetry, the Kabbalah, and blindness. I imagine myself attending these lectures (in English) and turning the ideas over in my mind before going to sleep. Perhaps I will sleep peacefully knowing that the next night's lecture will be another food for ...more
R.
Jul 11, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2007
Finished this on my birthday. Read one chapter a day for a week--not the author's recommended method, but the obvious one. Like taking a night class. His voice, ideas echoed in my head and had an effect on some of my browsing choices for the next few weeks.

Actually, it's the translator's voice, isn't it? The lecture-transcriptionist's voice.

Borgesian, that.
Stela
Jun 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Seven Nights gathers seven lectures delivered by Borges in Buenos Aires at the Teatro Coliseo, between June and August 1977. As usual, the erudition is overwhelming, the subjects enthralling, the interpretation original and the passion catching. Most of all, they offer, as usual, keys for reading not only the classics but also Borges’s works, revealing his obsessions, his views and his literary games.

The first conference is dedicated to his book of all books, The Divine Comedy, which can be
...more
Andy Zhang
May 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"A writer, or any man, must believe that whatever happens to him is an instrument; everything has been given for an end. This is even stronger in the case of the artist. Everything that happens, including humiliations, embarrassments, misfortunes, all has been given like clay, like material for one's art. One must accept it."
Justin Labelle
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An absolute joy to read.
Borges has a rare gift when it comes to literature.
He manages to make you fall in love with the act of reading. Few people can talk about classics in literature with true passion and little pretension. Borges does both.
I strongly recommend this to anyone who needs a reminder that there is still plenty of joy to be had in holding a paper book.
While all 7 texts are memorable, his lecture/view on The Divine Comedy will surely make you want to pick up a copy.
Seven Nights
...more
Smiley
Jan 06, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lectures
Reading this compact book of Jorge Luis Borges's seven lectures delivered in 1977 in Buenos Aires was something entertaining and informative due to his vast knowledge and in-depth understanding on each lecture topic. Nowadays his name might be less popular, few readers might not be keen on reading his works; indeed, he has long been acclaimed as one of the great writers in Latin America. Please visit this website to know him a little more:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jorge_Lu..., then we may ...more
Harold
Five stars is not enough for this. Reading lectures by Borges is sheer pleasure and this book of seven lectures is fascinating from the first word to the last. We get Borges talking on subjects such as blindness, The Arabian Nights, The Divine Comedy etc and there is never a dull moment.This would be a good starting point for people who have yet to read Borges. I started with his Fictions and then went to his Non Fictions but I could have started here with as much fascination.
C
Dec 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wish I could understand Spanish and hear Borges in person. These lectures are a marvelous substitute leaving me wanting more.
J.
Sep 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: readers
Borges believes in intersecting continua; the dreamer who writes the story that is the dream of the writer who envisions the reality that is after all, only a dream. He believes that when writing or when dreaming we are simply functioning on different planes, and that 'real life' may be only the most useful, or most convincing of these at a given moment. He believes that somebody may have dreamed us.

He believes a lot of things that cheerfully contradict each other, and has no problem with the
...more
Miruna Caragheorgheopol
After I first read short stories and fictions and got my head wrapped up in delicious intertextuality and puns and plays on words that I sadly don't understand completely since I am reading a translation and I don't speak or read Spanish (and in the case of the stories written together with Adolfo Bioy Casares, the very specific argot of Buenos Aires, Lunfardo), I tried to get further into his brain and there I was - a series of conferences he held on topics that range from poetry to his own ...more
Md Estigoy

In 1977, Jorge Luis Borges delivered a series of lectures for seven nights.The said lectures were then unofficially reproduced not until Borges serialized copies of them and produced this wonderful book. The lectures were about Divine Comedy, Dreams, A Thousand and One Nights, Kaballah, Buddhism, Blindness and Poetry.

I am very much unfamiliar with Borges before I came across this compilation but after getting through with the rest of it made me think that there is a very great possibility that
...more
Eduard Barbu
Jun 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book gathers seven conferences given by Jorge Luis Borges. Fortunately, all the conferences were recorded and are also available on youtube, therefore the Spanish speaker has a double treat: listening to Borges and reading the content. As for myself, I have listened to some conferences and read others. If you know Spanish I recommend listening to youtube recordings even if the master had some difficulty speaking, and sometimes is hard to understand what he says. All conferences are ...more
Jigar Brahmbhatt
Aug 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nice, comprehensive lectures from the grand-daddy of literature. I especially liked the pieces on Nightmares and Buddhism. What I found, which I seldom find even in books on psychology, is that the dreamer remembers not the dream but the memory of it. It is a very simple notion and I was delighted with how Borges handles it, calling a dream an ongoing work of fiction. That is not surprising from a man who even considered heaven as some sort of library. I truly wish I could attend one of his ...more
Oli
Jan 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: admirers of the western canon
Reading this delightful short transcription of seven lectures feels like having a conversation with Borges. This is truly a man of the letters. It is delightful to learn about his fascination of Dante’s Commedia and Arabian nights. I particularly liked reading the lecture on Blindness, where Borges talks about his building fascination with first the English language and then Icelandic through the Sagas and Eddas. It is a short read and likely to be enjoyable to all lovers of literature.
Jay
Nov 14, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, 2015
Interesting little essays. I didn't find these as interesting as his short stories, but they did give me some things to think about.
Stephen B
Oscillated between 3 and 4 stars. I think I probably expect more from Borges, so came down on 3. A couple of the talks were knockouts, and I'll explore the subjects more, perhaps even read Dante (finally); a couple I found fine as gentle explorations; a few, to be frank, didn't engage me at all - I guess the existence of Buddhism and the Kabbalah at the very least say something fundamental about the Human mind, but I just feel limited by those subjects, rather than opening out.

I was going to
...more
Todd Voss
Oct 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is Borges at his most straightforward (so to speak) since these are lectures as opposed to his intricate game-like fictions and essays. This is Borges showing and sharing his love for poetry and literature and associated aesthetic experiences in a way that is contagious. I can't improve on the wonderful statement in the preface: "The lectures are separate literary journeys that we could not take by ourselves. Borges is our Virgil; only he knows the way." When someone asks for a ...more
Nate
Sep 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Borges could write about anything and I would read it. He could write about the technique he uses to brush his teeth in the morning and I would be completely enthralled. He is one of the rare few that are supremely eloquent and he has such a wide knowledge base that it feels like he's a deity of literature. In these lectures he covers a variety of interesting and interrelated topics, everything from Dante to the Kabbalah to the experience of blindness and every bit of it is fascinating. I hate ...more
Riley Wilson
Nov 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wowowowow this book was good. I’m not giving it five stars because there were a couple essays that didn’t charm me, but overall it’s a great collection. The last one, “Blindness,” is probably the best personal essay I’ve ever read. Borges is great, and that he writes so personally as a literary critic is inspirational and aspirational.
salma k
Oct 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book left me dissatisfied, vacant, and downcast. I can’t help but imagine how enchanted I’d be if I attended the lectures, how fascinated and inspired I’d be; however, in return, it made me realize how boring and lacking originality the lectures I attend are, how monotonous and a complete waste of time!
Benjamin Wallace
Dec 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jorge Borges gave these lectures and then had them transcribed in English to mimic the cadence of his lecturing voice, with his own mind behind the translation and editing. In a word, these lectures are magic. I especially loved his talks on Buddhism, Poetry, and Blindness. Such a wealth of knowledge, humor, and humanism lived in this man.
Emmeline Solomon
A series of lectures in which he doesn’t only talk about prose, he embodies it and performs it. Storytelling, Dante, Libraries, and Blindness both real and metaphorical (occasionally both.)

Read If You Like: Magical Realism, storytelling in general, any literary theory at all.
Shabuz
Sep 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I could spend my life reading borges. Not only he feels beauty , he lets us feel that too.
David
Sep 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: latin-american
Collection of talks given by Borges in his latter years. Fascinating and delightfully conversational. Dude loved his Dante and Cervantes.
Anna
Dec 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
I didn't get all of it, but I still find Borges fascinating. Despite some of it going over my head, his essay on nightmares and dreams has been lodged in my brain. I want to read more!
L

Borges is the lecturer (or to use a better word - a storyteller, because truly, these lectures have the magic and appeal of a story)of seven lushly informative (among other characteristics) lectures told in seven nights. The subjects seem random, but in fact are not - Borges was a man with an instinct for the universal, he could find a legitimate link between nations,philosophies, literatures thousands of miles and years away from each other, and thus has showed us how alike we all are, that now
...more
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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 ...more
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“Personally, I am a hedonistic reader; I have never read a book merely because it was ancient. I read books for the aesthetic emotions they offer me, and I ignore the commentaries and criticism.” 390 likes
“I...have always known that my destiny was, above all, a literary destiny — that bad things and some good things would happen to me, but that, in the long run, all of it would be converted
into words. Particularly the bad things, since happiness does not need to be transformed: happiness is its own end.”
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