A Universal History of Iniquity
From his early years the Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges lived among books and languages, classical literature from many civilizations and cultures: Chinese, Persian, Nordic, Spanish, to name several. His greatest childhood memory was his father's library; he was reading Shakespeare in English at age 11; by the time he was an adult, Borges turned his mind into one vast library. Therefore, it is a bit ironic this bookish man chose to write an entire collection of tales about men of sheer act ...more
Similar to sounds, skilfully combined by a composer into a harmonious sequence, turning them into melody, simple words, cunningly used by an artful author, become intellectual music.
The runaway expected his freedom. Lazarus Morell’s shadowy mulattoes would give out an order among themselves that was sometimes barely more than a nod of the hea...more
Briefly: A catalog, a biographical dictionary of vile people with a worldwide range, real and/or imagined (imagined, certainly, even the real). This owes a debt to Marcel Schwob’s Imaginary Lives and to which J. Rodolfo Wilcox owes a debt for having enabled The Temple of Iconoclasts (which I’ll now return to liking quite a lot), and more recently, providing premise for Roberto Bolaño’s Nazi Literature in the Americas (which I read first, bassackwards, I).
4 stars for a fun, creepy read, made more...more
I have the Complete Fictions (with copious translator's notes), but am splitting my review of that into its components, listed in publication order: Collected Fictions - all reviews. This is the first, published in 1935.
I had read several profound and passionate reviews by friends, and felt the building lure of Borges, aided by a growing awarene ...more
Exercises in Style
These stories are fascinating exercises in style.
They effectively document the development of Borges' style at a time when "he was a shy sort of man who could not bring himself to write short stories, and so amused himself by changing and distorting (sometimes without aesthetic justification) the stories of other men."
Matter of Fact
As Borges said in an earlier Preface, "the stories are ...more
Most of these were published in singular form in the Buenos Aires newspaper Critica. The collection slots in nicely alongside most of his work. and features all the hallmarks you would come to expect from the Argentine master. Borges looks at notorious criminals from history as well as making things up as he goes along, so it's a classic example of fusing truths and imagination. Although there a ...more
Though the stories are straightforward, re-reading provides greater pleasures, as with all Borges. The trivia is that each story was written as contribution to a wee ...more
THE CRUEL REDEEMER LAZARUS MORELL - poor white southern trash con artist. mississippi/slavery.
THE IMPROBABLE IMPOSTER TOM CASTRO - weak entry. meh...
THE WIDOW CHING - PIRATE chaos on the yellow sea abates unexpectedly.
MONK EASTMAN, PURVEYOR OF INIQ ...more
جملات بالا اقتباس خیالی بورخس بود از جهان بینی پیامبر نقاب پوش ایرانی و البته تا حدودی یادآور عقاید مانوی ها لااقل برای من.
از مجموعه های دیگه که از بورخس خونده بودم کمی ضعیف تر بود و خودش توی ...more
Suffice to say that this is his first work, a compendium of fictional criminal chronicle he did for a newspaper. It is entertaining, of course: that is the purpose of such newspaper sections. The great merit of these stories lies not the -quite generic- content ...more
Well, I'm glad I've read more of him already, because this book didn't exactly exite me. This read more like dry summaries of potentially really interesting stories. Some of Borges dry wit and humour shines through, but for most of these described characters, the wikipedia pages already contain more interesting stuff.
The places were Borges ...more
Short, readable, I finished the whole of this slight work ...more
I don’t even…
Okay. I’m going to try to pull myself together and review this book. I’ll start by awarding it the ultimate “what did I just read” rating of three stars.
The first part of the book kind of makes sense to me as a nonfictional… erm… portfolio of fictional biographies? I guess? These feel like little character outlines you might create in the planning of a novel, and there are also some hints at interesting locations, and then later we have bits of plot - some ...more