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4.43  ·  Rating details ·  59,741 ratings  ·  3,473 reviews
The seventeen pieces in Ficciones demonstrate the whirlwind of Borges's genius and mirror the precision and potency of his intellect and inventiveness, his piercing irony, his skepticism, and his obsession with fantasy. Borges sends us on a journey into a compelling, bizarre, and profoundly resonant realm; we enter the fearful sphere of Pascal's abyss, the surreal and lite ...more
Paperback, 174 pages
Published February 1st 1994 by Grove Press (first published 1944)
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ScienceFictionBookclub No it's not. It was translated into English by Borges himself, who supervised the destruction of the only copies of the original Spanish manuscripts. …moreNo it's not. It was translated into English by Borges himself, who supervised the destruction of the only copies of the original Spanish manuscripts. In typical Borges style he declared the translations "superior and more complete".(less)
P.E. I don't know how many this fares in other countries, but maybe you can set hands on a bilingual edition of Ficciones! I find it to be a cost-effective…moreI don't know how many this fares in other countries, but maybe you can set hands on a bilingual edition of Ficciones! I find it to be a cost-effective purchase!(less)

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Jeffrey Keeten
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: south-american
”The truth is I grew up in a garden, behind lanceolate railings, and in a library of unlimited, English books.”

 photo Jorge Luis Borges_zpsysnqgemm.jpg
Jorge Luis Borges

Jorge Luis Borges, possibly one of the greatest readers of all time, lost his eyesight later in life. I believe the most terrible thing to have happen to a reader is to lose their ability to see. Yes, with Audible now making thousands of books available to be read to people, a blind reader has not completely lost the way to their magical escape tunnels to other worl
Reading Borges is always a challenge. When you read his stories, it seems you are reading everyone else's. There is a lot of references in his work, and if you want to truly (kind of) understand it (or begin to), you have to do some research. He ends up being an invaluable teacher.
Labyrinths, mirrors, libraries, dreams, fantasy, religion, philosophy, epistemology. My love for philosophical literature began with this author.
My all-time favorite story is "Las Ruinas Circulares" (The Circular Rui
Jim Fonseca
The author is a master of mixing fantasy and philosophy. He has been credited as a pioneer in magical realism in Latin American literature. In this classic collection, most stories are almost as much essays as they are short stories.

Recurring themes are non-existent and ancient books. Time. Geometry. Gnosticism. Mirrors. Encyclopedias. Chess. Labyrinths. Imaginary worlds. Memory and mnemonics. Infinity in books, libraries and labyrinths. All possible outcomes, like infinite universes in which e
*edited on 27.05.19

I now held in my hands a vast and systematic fragment of the entire history of an unknown planet, with its architectures and its playing cards, the horror of its mythologies and the murmur of its tongues, its emperors and its seas, its minerals and its birds and fishes, its algebra and its fire, its theological and the metaphysical controversies- all joined, articulated, coherent, and with no visible doctrinal purpose or hint of parody.

What could be said about a book which i
Are there fictional tales with such philosophical significance somewhere in all of literature? At Lessing, at Novalis, at Kafka, at Hesse, at Kierkegaard, perhaps? In any case, we swim in these waters there, in excellent company!
The stories arise from all kinds of horizons (mystical, fantastic, erudition, news stories, etc.) to spread with authority and confidence before the fascinated mind of the reader I am. And the ideas and the perspectives employed have taken me to all spiritual and philoso
mark monday
Borges looked inside the swirling mind of man and made a maze of it. A glorious maze! The maze that is Ficciones is a maze built of mazes, one opening unto another, circling around and looping back, an infinity of mazes, small as the smallest of small minds, large as the universe can be imagined. Its architecture is delicate and refined; the wry wit of its creator is apparent in every twist and turn. Borges' maze gently mocks yet empathizes with the self-important, the self-absorbed, and the sel ...more
Vit Babenco
Apr 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
To me Fictions by Jorge Luis Borges is the ultimate anthology of short stories… I find in it everything I ever want to find in literature: reality and surreality, realness and surrealness, fables and parables, legends and myths, mysticism and philosophy, history and fantasy and an endless enigma.
I owe the discovery of Uqbar to the conjunction of a mirror and an encyclopedia. The mirror troubled the far end of a hallway in a large country house on Calle Gaona, in Ramos Mejia; the encyclopedia is
I've just finished the seventeenth and final story in this volume. My symmetry-loving self is pleased to note that I've been reading and rereading these seventeen Borges' stories for exactly seventeen days. Incidentally, Borges says reality favours symmetries.

Another symmetry which strikes me is that the seventeenth story mirrors the fifteenth story which is called The End though we might expect the seventeenth story to be called The End instead. In any case, the seventeenth story is packed with
Mar 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020, recs
A series of laconic, fantastical tales that provoke thought at every turn. The collection’s made up of seventeen stories packed with irony, metaphors, and allusions to works of literature from a vast array of places and times, but all the pieces have easy-to-understand concepts. In one the writer allegorizes the universe as infinite library, and in another he explores Argentinian identity through a man’s fantasy of a heroic death. The work invites rereading.
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
4.5 stars, rounding up. I read and then reread several of these stories (some of them for a third time) while I was writing my final review for Fantasy Literature, and they keep impressing me more ... for the most part. My literary friends will be so proud of me! :D So here's the full review, where you can follow along with the journey of myself and my (severely challenged, but ultimately edified) brain cells ...
Ficciones is a classic collection of seventeen short stories by acclaimed Argentine
Steven Godin
Feb 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
There can be at times circumstances that affect your thoughts on what's being read. Or even just the way that you read it. This is one of those very occasion where I will undoubtedly benefit reading again. It's clear to see why Jorge Luis Borges is regarded as one of the 20th century's most inventive writers, and Ficciones is a collection of small stories that are on a grand scale, but my overall problem was going through three or four at a time and finding them hard to digest, jumping fro
Jul 28, 2012 rated it it was ok
Ok, I'd tried to read Labyrinths years ago and found it dry and dull. I thought that perhaps I just wasn't in the proper state of mind, or perhaps wasn't well read enough to get it. I'd also come off of a Calvino kick, so Borges felt boring. Fast forward to me thinking that I really should commit to Borges and give him a real chance.

I have to say that hard a hard time with this book. I only really like one story The Babylonian Lottery. The Circular Ruins, The Library of Babel, The Garden of Fork
“Blind to all fault, destiny can be ruthless at one's slightest distraction.”
Reading Jorge Luis Borges is a bewildering experience and a challenge all in one. There is no logically understanding the mazes Borges creates, but that is what fantastical-realism is all about. Ficciones is a labyrinth, beautiful and witty, of ideas and feelings that mock and conquers the reader.

Borges can speak for himself, who am I to explain his brilliance and imagination?
“When it was proclaimed that the Lib
Mar 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
              Infinity         Sophistry             Penumbra
          Symbolic               LABYRINTH                 Heresiarch
              Prefigured         Philology             Nihilism
                                        Maze             Allegorical

This may not be the prettiest word cloud ever constructed, but I think it’s a fair representation of the Ficciones experience. Much of the time spent trying to solve the stories’ puz
Jun 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing
The peer pressure from my intellectually superior friends finally shamed me into reading this (as I had no Borges under my belt). Obviously from the 5 stars, I'm glad I caved in. This is a collection of 17 of his "best" short stories, held together merely by the thread that they are like nothing else you've ever read or even thought about.

Not every story is perfection, but all are surprising, irritating, challenging and somehow rewarding. Standouts are "Pierre Menard, Author of Don Quixote" - a
Jacob Overmark
A dream within a dream

It was a fascinating first-acquaintance with Borges, an author who has been staying with me for a long time, a house-ghost, a little of this and a little of that, a glimpse into my subconscious and all legends and myths in one place.

Cleverly wrought essays on Swedish scholars and secret societies planting false information and a lot of babble –

I clearly get the impression that Borges never minded hearing himself speak, and being spoken of.
The best short stories are the
Matthew Ted
94th book of 2020.

My copy of Ficciones arrives on June 11th through the letterbox. It is raining, and the light is silvery in the house. I turn the parcel over to find it is open, nicely, cut open, along the Sellotape’s line. This is a photograph of my parcel the way I found it.


Perhaps, the Sellotape came away of its own accord. Perhaps, someone opened it, hoping for something worth more than a book; its general shape could have been a DVD or a video game. In any case, I consider a fictional sc
Mar 25, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2013
“You who read me, are You sure of understanding my language?” Jorge Luis Borges, “The Library of Babel”

Even though I read Borges’s “Collected Fictions” in Spanish, my native tongue, I have to confess I didn’t understand half of it. Presumptuous of me to think I would. Famous for being the founder of postmodernist literature and influenced by the work of fantasists such Edgar Allan Poe and Franz Kafka, whom I adore, I was naive enough to assume I would be able to untangle Borges’s labyrin
Sep 03, 2020 rated it liked it
Okay... So I need to choose my words and sentences in a careful way so nothing will be misunderstood in this review: I think this is one of the Latin American masterpieces. However, it is not easy to read it or to understand it, or in which way to understand it. Borges reminds me so much of Kafka in the way he writes and what he writes about. Also, it is not possible for me to read Borges' books only once, since I needed to re-read the stories twice or three times if necessary.
The meaning behind
Jul 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literary-fiction
Oh boy! It appealed more to my engineering brain than the literary. Short stories were a puzzle of metaphors and verbs. It was a stop and study approach in between consulting the dictionary and Google. I tried to make sense, than, I just left it all to my imagination and enjoyed Borges' brilliance. It was a bewildering journey but an absolutely fascinating one. It took 9 days to read less than 200 pages. ...more
Mutasim Billah
“Every man should be capable of all ideas, and I believe that in the future he will be.”

Jorge Luis Borges is a monumental inscription in the world of philosophical fiction. His short stories with his labyrinthine themes and language have been explored and analyzed to the point that he has been named one of the pioneers of post-modernist fiction. His fabulistic stories with strange fictional realms and complex social systems and unusual metaphors had a significant influence on the Latin American
PGR Nair
Feb 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
( Note: This is an article I wrote in 2009 to mark the 110th birth Anniversary of Borges. Therefore, some of the stories I cite here may not belong to this collection. I thought to post it here as this book is the most cited. If you plan to buy a book of Borges, buy this one or Labyrinth and other stories as both contain the same set of stories and translators. His best translators are Norman Thomas di Giovanni and Anthony Kerrigan . Stay away from the translator Andrew Hurley)

This collection of short stories is a great introduction to Borges' fictional universe. At times his stories read like a non-fiction article or book review, but Borges sort of sneaks up on you and gives a tug at your conception of what constitutes real versus imaginary.

I would say that some of the stories are more engaging than others, but that's just a matter of personal interest. They are all worth reading, and recommended, especially to those who enjoy magic realism, fantasy, and sci-fi books
MJ Nicholls
The all-stars from this collection—‘The Library of Babel,’ ‘Pierre Manard—Author of Don Quixote’, ‘The Garden of Forking Paths’ and ‘Death and the Compass’, and so on comprise some of the finest and first pangs of the postmodern in book form. Reading the Sainted Borges feels at times like difficult math(s) homework or taking a primer in logical philosophy, and the dusty archaism of his references can make the stories feel like relics from the 18thC (both a plus and a minus), otherwise, the engag ...more
Roy Lotz
Sep 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
17 August, 1967: I just finished Ficciones today. I also received it today. That is, today, three weeks ago; I mean, three weeks ago, today. (Three groups of seven, totaling twenty-one; or, in Arabic numerals, 3 x 7 = 21.)

I read the book once a day, for each of the days since receiving it. (A total of twenty-one times; 21/1 = 21.) The first week, I read the book in a different mood per day. I started off neutral. The next day, I recalled annoying instances from my past to put myself in an angr
Read as part of the Collected Fictions, reviewed here, with links to detailed reviews:

All my Borges reviews are on this shelf:

May 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bitchin
I owe the discovery of El Matrero to Harper Lee. Five years ago I was spending the evening with my friend Renaldo Compostella, and, as was often the way, literature was our main topic of conversation. Renaldo, who always, or certainly more than I, kept an eye on forthcoming releases and bookish news, happened to mention the scheduled publication of a new novel by Harper Lee, the American authoress famous for To Kill a Mockingbird. The ensuing discussion was notable not for what we had to say abo ...more
RJ - Slayer of Trolls
A collection of short stories by the influential Argentine author that are short but challenging. It would not be unfair to say that his work might be admired more than it is enjoyed.

PART 1 - The Garden of Forking Paths
Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius - 3/5 - Carefully warm up and stretch your brain prior to reading this story to prevent any unfortunate injuries. Borges imagines a fictional, created world of subjective idealism that eventually becomes real. The Wikipedia page for this story makes an
K.D. Absolutely
Nov 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
For me, reading has always been like connecting your brain to that of the book's author. Since January of this year, I have already finished 100 books and I never had experienced delving into a mind as scintillating as that of Jorge Luis Borges, the Spanish author of this strangely amazing (or amazingly strange) book - FICCIONES which means FICTIONS.

To understand the book, you really have to slow down and reflect on each phrase. It is different from reading Salman Rushdie who I find confusing be
Jul 04, 2017 rated it did not like it
So, so not for me. I'm sure this is a genius, philosophical, South American masterpiece. It bored me to tears. ...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 wo ...more

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