ePub Ø Ficciones ç

ePub Ficciones

ePub Ø Ficciones ç Ð 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 oNography of eternal return To enter the worlds in Ficciones is to enter the mind of Jorge Luis Borges wherein lies Heaven Hell and everything else in between Part One The Garden of Forking Paths Prologue Tlön Ubar Orbis Tertius 1940 The Approach to Al Mu'tasim 1936 not included in the 1941 edition Pierre Menard Author of the uixote 1939 The Circular Ruins 1940 The Lottery in Babylon 1941 An Examina 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 symmetriesAnother 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 many of the elements I had noticed in the earlier stories which makes it the perfect one to end the volume as well as to use as a launch pad for my thoughts on this first Borges reading experience The South for that is the name of the seventeenth story begins in a typical as I now realise Borges manner with a factual sounding paragraph that could be straight out of an essay or a history book Precise dates and place names and other historical references add weight to this impression and the reader might feel overwhelmed by the amount of detail packed into that first paragraph Which details will be useful ones to remember later I wondered as my mind reeled from the concentration of facts The dates themselves destabilised me because one minute the story seemed to be set in 1871 and the next in 1939 Borges often uses numbers shapes places and compass points in his stories and that numerical spatial geometrical and temporal data combined with uncertainty about whether the 'facts' are historical or fictional made me feel as if the ground was shifting beneath my feet as in the twelfth story Death and the Compass the second crime occurred on the night of the third of Januaryand the letter prophesied that on the third of March there would not be a fourth crimeBut just when I might abandon a story in confusion as you might abandon this review Borges offers an axiom that has the effect of a strong coffee setting me back on solid ground able to pay complete attention and avoid being slapped in the face by any further red herrings destiny can be ruthless at one's slightest distraction This is the stage when the story proper begins or perhaps continues since Borges likes to drop us into the middle of a story from time to time Or indeed the 'story' might not 'begin' at all leaving the narrative to continue in the mode of an essay That's only one of the games Borges likes to play with his readers and when I understood how playful his writing could be I enjoyed his stories much I also learned to look out for the signs that I shouldn't take everything literally as in the story called The Sect of the Phoenix which seems to be about a secret activity known only to an obscure group but instead turns out to be about something we all do instinctively and without which life couldn't go on The story is very funny especially as Borges inserts corks and sealing wax into the scenario However humour is generally not so apparent in Borges's writing and certainly not in the ninth story about Ireneo Funes who is cursed with a phenomenal memory not only of every word he had read but every transient pattern on water or in the sky every scrap of dream he ever had The oddest thing about that odd story is that as I read it I remembered reading it before though I had been certain that this volume of stories was my first experience of reading Borges Unfortunately unlike Ireneo I cannot recollect where or when I read Funes the Memorious just that I did By stressing the weightiness of Borges's stories and the red herrings that distracted me sometimes I may have given the impression that the stories are long The opposite is true The South might well be one of the longest at only eight pages while The End is one of the shortest at a mere four pages and is an example of Borges's ability when he so chooses to make every word count the setting the timing the obliue view of the action are precise and perfectAs I said earlier those two stories are mirror images of each other and what's The South is divided into two halves which are mirror images of themselves Orbis terrarum est speculum Ludi The world is mirror to the game says Borges in the thirteenth story uoting a sixteenth century Latinist Indeed mirrors and symmetry seem to be as much a part of his writing tools as games themselves are And although he is Argentinian it's as if the entire world is his playing field or his chessboard to continue the mirrorgame metaphor As I began each new story I never knew where it was going to be situated south or north west or east And I was pleasantly surprised to find that several stories were set in my native country or at least had characters who came from there They weren't the most heroic of characters perhaps but I have no illusions about my countrymen so I wasn't perturbed In any case the countries Borges described became entirely new territories for me places I have never visited or could never visit He has created his own Orbis Terrarum with its own compass points and as I read I felt like an explorer going where no one has ever gone before I felt I'd discovered the planet Borges

ePub ð · Jorge Luis Borges

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 literal labyrinth of books and the ico 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 every act and its result are mirrored by the opposite act and the opposite result Or maybe the opposite act and the same result lol Here are a few examples of the 17 storiesThe Library of Babel perhaps his best known story combines almost all of the list in the previous paragraph The library is God or the universe Every book is mirrored by one with all the opposite conclusions Tlon Ubar Orbis Tertius is a story that gives us imaginary countries and worlds that get into encyclopedias and take on a life of their own Like imaginary islands “One of the schools of Tlon has reached the point of denying time It reasons that the present is undefined that the future has no other reality than as present hope that the past is no than present memory” This story calls to mind the fake stories that keep resurfacing and periodically go viral on the internet This week for example in Feb 2019 fact checking sites are once again refuting claims that 98 million Americans got cancer from the polio vaccineIn The Garden of Forking Paths a Chinese spy for the Germans against the British can only pass on his secret information by killing someone Meanwhile we hear speculation on the garden is it a true labyrinth or a book about the labyrinth? In The Secret Miracle a man is condemned to the firing suad basically for being an erudite Jew He tries to stop his execution by attempting to foresee all the details of the endless possibilities of the execution number of soldiers firing how far away they stand where it will take place etc knowing that it is impossible to imagine all these details correctly so that if he imagines all possible scenarios his execution can’t happen He prays for a year to finish the book he is working on He is granted that wish to finish the book in his head in the suspension of time between bullets leaving the guns and their impact on his bodyThree Versions of Judas is in effect a religious work arguing that Judas’ betrayal of Christ was superfluous His action wasn’t needed to betray a master who daily preached in the synagogue and performed miracles before gatherings of thousands of people But maybe the betrayal was necessary for God to prove his divinityAnd we have humorA hotel “which most manifestly unites the hateful whiteness of a sanitorium the numbered divisibility of a prison and the general appearance of a bawdy house”“This delay in an execution was due to a desire on the part of the authorities to act slowly and impersonally in the manner of planets or vegetables”“In life he suffered from a sense of unreality as do many Englishmen; dead he is not even the ghostly creature he was then”Why a rating of 4 rather than 5? Perhaps because the stories are starting to show their age They were all written in the 1940’s and 50’s Maybe we need a new translation – the edition I read was translated in 1956 Borges has had so many imitators some are uite good such as the stories by his countryman Julio Cortazar in All Fires the Fire which I reviewed here ’s fun to think how Borges would be writing stories today about the internet and cell phones Illustration of the Library of Babel from americandigestorgPhoto of the Borges Labyrinth in Venice planted on the 25th anniversary of his death 1899 1986 From oddvisercomitaly

Jorge Luis Borges · Ficciones book

FiccionesTion of the Work of Herbert uain 1941 The Library of Babel 1941 The Garden of Forking Paths 1941 Part Two Artifices Prologue Funes the Memorious 1942 The Form of the Sword 1942 Theme of the Traitor and the Hero 1944 Death and the Compass 1942 The Secret Miracle 1943 Three Versions of Judas 1944 The End 1953 2nd edition only The Sect of the Phoenix 1952 2nd edition only The South 1953 2nd edition onl 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 enigmaI owe the discovery of Ubar 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 misleadingly titled The Anglo American Cyclopaedia New York 1917 and is a literal though also laggardly reprint of the 1902 Encyclopœdia Britannica The event took place about five years agoYes use a combination of mirrors labyrinths and books and you too will be capable to live an idyllic fabulous and mysterious life whenever you wish With one uick look you and I perceive three wineglasses on a table; Funes perceived every grape that had been pressed into the wine and all the stalks and tendrils of its vineyard He knew the forms of the clouds in the southern sky on the morning of April 301882 and he could compare them in his memory with the veins in the marbled binding of a book he had seen only once or with the feathers of spray lifted by an oar on the Rio Negro on the eve of the Battle of uebracho Nor were those memories simple—every visual image was linked to muscular sensations thermal sensations and so on He was able to reconstruct every dream every daydream he had ever hadA perfect memory and ability of perfect vision turns into a curse and we understand that our capability to forget is actually a divine giftAnd Death and the Compass is an utmost detective story an utter post noir tale for me I believe that this elaborate maze of misconceptions false steps and deception was a main influence on Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco“There are things in heaven and earth HoratioThan are dreamt of in your philosophy”