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> Borge's Personal Library
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(last edited Oct 17, 2008 12:27PM)
Oct 17, 2008 12:10PM
Books chosen by Borges in his "Personal Library":
1. Julio Cortázar, Stories
2. & 3. The Apocryphal Gospels
4. Franz Kafka, Amerika; Short Stories
5. G. K. Chesterton, The Blue Cross and Other Stories
6. & 7. Wilkie Collins, Moonstone
8. Maurice Maeterlink, The Intelligence of Flowers
9. Dino Buzzati, The Desert of the Tartars
10. Henrik Ibsen, Peer Gynt; Hedda Gabler
11. J. M. Eça de Queiroz, The Mandarin
12. Leopoldo Lugones, The Jesuit Empire
13. André Gide, The Counterfeiters
14. H. G. Wells, The Time Machine; The Invisible Man
15. Robert Graves, The Greek Myths
16. & 17. Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Demons
18. E. Kasner & J. Newman, Mathematics and the Imagination
19. Eugene O'Neill, The Great God Brown; Strange Interlude; Mourning Becomes Electra
20. Ariwara no Narihara, Tales of Ise
21. Herman Melville, Benito Cereno; Billy Budd; Bartleby the Scrivener
22. Giovanni Papini, The Tragic Everyday; The Blind Pilot; Words and Blood
23. Arthur Machen, The Three Imposters
24. Fray Luis de León, tr., The Song of Songs
25. Fray Luis de León, An Explanation of the Book of Job
26. Joseph Conrad, The End of the Tether; Heart of Darkness
27. Edward Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
28. Oscar Wilde, Essays and Dialogues
29. Henri Michaux, A Barbarian in Asia
30. Hermann Hesse, The Bead Game
31. Arnold Bennett, Buried Alive
32. Claudius Elianus, On the Nature of Animals
33. Thorstein Veblen, The Theory of the Leisure Class
34. Gustave Flaubert, The Temptation of St. Anthony
35. Marco Polo, Travels
36. Marcel Schwob, Imaginary Lives
37. George Bernard Shaw, Caesar and Cleopatra; Major Barbara; Candide
38. Francisco de Quevedo, Marcus Brutus; The Hour of All
39. Eden Phillpots, The Red Redmaynes
40. Søren Kierkegaard, Fear and Trembling
41. Gustav Meyrink, The Golem
42. Henry James, The Lesson of the Master; The Figure in the Carpet; The Private Life
43. & 44. Herodotus, The Nine Books of History
45. Juan Rulfo, Pedro Páramo
46. Rudyard Kipling, Tales
47. William Beckford, Vathek
48. Daniel Defoe, Moll Flanders
49. Jean Cocteau, The Professional Secret and Other Texts
50. Thomas De Quincey, The Last Days of Emmanuel Kant and Other Stories
51. Ramón Gómez de la Serna, Prologue to the Work of Silverio Lanza
52. The Thousand and One Nights
53. Robert Louis Stevenson, New Arabian Nights; Markheim
54. Léon Bloy, Salvation for the Jews; The Blood of the Poor; In the Darkness
55. The Bhagavad-Gita; The Epic of Gilgamesh
56. Juan José Arreola, Fantastic Stories
57. David Garnett,
Lady Into Fox
; A Man in the Zoo; The Sailor's Return
58. Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels
59. Paul Groussac, Literary Criticism
60. Manuel Mujica Láinez, The Idols
61. Juan Ruíz, The Book of Good Love
62. William Blake, Complete Poetry
63. Hugh Walpole, Above the Dark Circus
64. Ezequiel Martinez Estrada, Poetical Works
65. Edgar Allan Poe, Tales
66. Virgil, The Aeneid
67. Voltaire, Stories
68. J. W. Dunne, An Experiment with Time
69. Atilio Momigliano, An Essay on Orlando Furioso
70. & 71. William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience; The Study of Human Nature
72. Snorri Sturluson, Egil's Saga
73. The Book of the Dead
74. & 75. J. Alexander Gunn, The Problem of Time
Anybody read any of these books? Any opinions?
David S. T.
Oct 18, 2008 10:04AM
In the introduction of The Invention of Morel, if I remember correctly, Borges claimed it was one of his favorite books. I'm surprised it didn't make this list.
Oct 25, 2015 10:01PM
Among the unusual choices, Henri Michaux is excellent but can fall flat in translation; Léon Bloy often created an atmosphere of elegant hysteria; Marcel Schwob seems like a natural precursor to Borges.
Marcel Schwob: A Man of the Future
I want to read Momigliano's "Essay on Orlando Furioso," but my Italian is limited to ordering a pizza.
Hugh Walpole? None for me.
Oct 28, 2015 10:21PM
adrian's comment tipped me to this post. i feel like borges must have had a bunch of different lists -- i have to wonder if he chose these as his personal library because he needed them right at hand, or if they were a family collection or simply the ones the library he worked at didn't have. or maybe these are literal editions in his library -- might explain the strange numbering convention. i mean why is the bhagavad-gita sharing number with the epic of gilgamesh otherwise? (haven't read the first - love the second) :P
i mean, i get why his old friends henry james (of those three i think i remember the figure in the carpet best) and poe and chesterton are here but i'm primarily here because:
YES TO EGIL'S SAGA. EGIL'S SAGA IS AMAZING.
(i started doing the complete 1001 nights last year. still working my way through because sometimes it gets a bit repetitive)
i am assuming the book of the dead is the egyptian one, but i wish he'd made that explicit.
i am very fond of robert louis stevenson and kipling for their creepy stuff. i recall enjoying markheim. not sure i read the other by RLS but i may have. i am assuming tales includes all of kipling's ghost stories but there are probably others too.
there's a story by leopoldo lugones in the book of fantasy anthology borges edited (and i obsessed over) that i still think about often even though it didn't particularly strike me at first -- if this book improves on that? bam!
i always want to like arthur machen more than i do but i'm not sure i've read this title so maybe that's the quintessential one.
i am excessively fond of robert graves (particularly his suetonius twelve caesars translation and of herodotus. both wonderful for tone in ancient gossip.
i can't understand why the aeneid would be here over the odyssey.
i find it interesting that he hones in on wilde's essays (which i love) but not the short fiction. i feel like i've read somewhere that he wilde's serious side was not taken seriously enough.
i like his ibsen, o'neill, and shaw choices a lot.
of the ones i've not read on this list, i would be curious to hear about: 33, 39, 56 and 61. let me know if you end up reading those. :)
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