Borges, Jorge Luis Collected Fictions

ISBN 13: 9780140286809

Collected Fictions

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9780140286809: Collected Fictions

This is a collection of Borges's fiction, translated and gathered into a single volume. From his 1935 debut with "The Universal History of Iniquity", through the influential collections "Ficciones" and "The Aleph", to his final work from the 1980s, "Shakespeare Memory".

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Review:

Although Jorge Luis Borges published his first book in 1923--doling out his own money for a limited edition of Fervor de Buenos Aires--he remained in Argentinian obscurity for almost three decades. In 1951, however, Ficciones appeared in French, followed soon after by an English translation. This collection, which included the cream of the author's short fictions, made it clear that Borges was a world-class (if highly unclassifiable) artist--a brilliant, lyrical miniaturist, who could pose the great questions of existence on the head of pin. And by 1961, when he shared the French Prix Formentor with Samuel Beckett, he seemed suddenly to tower over a half dozen literary cultures, the very exemplar of modernism with a human face.

By the time of his death in 1986, Borges had been granted old master status by almost everybody (except, alas, the gentlemen of the Swedish Academy). Yet his work remained dispersed among a half dozen different collections, some of them increasingly hard to find. Andrew Hurley has done readers a great service, then, by collecting all the stories in a single, meticulously translated volume. It's a pleasure to be reminded that Borges' style--poetic, dreamlike, and compounded of innumerable small surprises--was already in place by 1935, when he published A Universal History of Iniquity: "The earth we inhabit is an error, an incompetent parody. Mirrors and paternity are abominable because they multiply and affirm it." (Incidentally, the thrifty author later recycled the second of these aphorisms in his classic bit of bookish metaphysics, "Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Teris.") The glories of his middle period, of course, have hardly aged a day. "The Garden of the Forking Paths" remains the best deconstruction of the detective story ever written, even in the post-Auster era, and "Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote" puts the so-called death of the author in pointed, hilarious perspective.

But Hurley's omnibus also brings home exactly how consistent Borges remained in his concerns. Aslate as 1975, in "Avelino Arredondo," he was still asking (and occasionally even answering) the same riddles about time and its human repository, memory: "For the man in prison, or the blind man, time flows downstream as though down a slight decline. As he reached the midpoint of his reclusion, Arredondo more than once achieved that virtually timeless time. In the first patio there was a wellhead, and at the bottom, a cistern where a toad lived; it never occurred to Arredondo that it was the toad's time, bordering on eternity, that he sought." Throughout, Hurley's translation is crisp and assured (although this reader will always have a soft spot for "Funes, the Memorious" rather than "Funes, His Memory.") And thanks to his efforts, Borgesians will find no better--and no more pleasurable--rebuttal of the author's description of himself as "a shy sort of man who could not bring himself to write short stories." --James Marcus, Amazon.com

About the Author:

Borges was born in Buenos Aires in 1899. A poet, critic and short story writer, he received numerous awards for his work including the 1961 International Publisher's Prize (shared with Samuel Beckett). He died in 1986. He has a reasonable claim, with Kafka and Joyce, to be the most influential writer of the 20th Century.

Andrew Hurley is Professor of English at the University of Puerto Rico in San Juan. He has translated works by Borges, Padilla and Arenas.

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Book Description Penguin Books Australia, Australia, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Complete and ed.. 212 x 142 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. For the first time in English, all the fiction by the writer who has been called the greatest Spanish-language writer of our century collected in a single volume From Jorge Luis Borges s 1935 debut withThe Universal History of Iniquity, through his immensely influential collectionsFiccionesandThe Aleph, these enigmatic, elaborate, imaginative inventions display his talent for turning fiction on its head by playing with form and genre and toying with language. Together these incomparable works comprise the perfect one-volume compendium for all those who have long loved Borges, and a superb introduction to the master s work for those who have yet to discover this singular genius. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780140286809

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Book Description Penguin Books, 1999. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: "A marvelous new collection of stories by one of the most remarkable writers of our century." -Richard Bernstein, The New York Times "The major work of probably the most influential Latin American writer of the century." -Michael Dirda, The Washington Post Book World "An unparalleled treasury of marvels . . . Along with a tiny cohort of peers, and seers (Kafka and Joyce come to mind), Borges is more than a stunning storyteller and a brilliant stylist; he's a mirror who reflects the spirit of his time." -Melvin Jules Bukiet, Chicago Tribune "An event worth of celebration . . . Hurley deserves our enthusiastic praise for this monumental piece of work." -William Hjortsberg, San Francisco Chronicle "Borges is the most important Spanish-language writer since Cervantes. . . . To have denied him the Nobel Prize is as bad as the case of Joyce, Proust, and Kafka." -Mario Vargas Llosa. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0140286802

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