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There is a great deal of cleverness in his inventions, but it is the presentation that makes these stories true marvels.
Often cloaked in some sort of scholarship, the stories are nevertheless accessible even if none of the references are familiar. Borges also writes a number of stories that are more realistic or are at least less intellectual in their foundations. The South , in which a man goes to meet his fate, is among his strongest. There is a staggering wealth of material here, with a considerable number of stories that could have a place in any anthology of the best stories written in the twentieth century. Borges is a fascinating writer, and familiarity with his work is essential.
A master of his craft, almost all of his work is worth reading. Presented all in one heap, as here, one may tire of some of his tricks -- but this is a volume to carefully dip into, savouring the individual pieces. This collection -- like any and all collections of Borges' writings -- is highly recommended. This collection is, of course, of particular interest, because it is the first English one where one translator has had a go at all of Borges' fiction at least all of it where he claimed sole authorship.
Andrew Hurley counts at least seventeen previous translators into English of individual fictions, and even the early Ficciones see our review is the work of a number of translators. There's a lot to be said for a single translating voice, and Hurley has done a solid job. His work can hold its own against that of previous translators, and the advantage of having all the fictions collected here outweighs what linguistic weaknesses there are to his efforts.
Unfortunately, the notes to the text are relatively weak, and often more irritating that informative. In presenting what is meant to be a "reader's edition" Hurley chooses only to "supply information that a Latin American and especially Argentine or Uruguayan reader would have". As to the rest: I have presumed the reader to possess more or less the range of general or world history or culture that JLB makes constant reference to, or to have access to such reference books and other sources as would supply any need there.
Brave assumptions in ignorant times! Understandably, Hurley did not want to get bogged down in annotating Borges -- though we think it would have been splendid if he had done so.
Collected Fictions Summary & Study Guide
Unfortunately, much of Borges' work refers to people, places, and books that are far beyond the ken of the holdings of even decent local libraries. Most of these fictions can be appreciated without this knowledge, but it would have been a fine service to provide it. Annotation is minimal: 18 explanatory notes for poems. Perhaps he felt that his poetry--elegies, odes, intellectual meditations--could not compete with that of Pablo Neruda, whom he admired, or Federico Garcia Lorca, whom he despised.
His great-grandfather led a cavalry charge in the battle of Junin that helped Simon Bolivar defeat the Spaniards. Both are intensely engaged with their respective cultures, which they analyze and define; both are outsiders and are treated as such by their enemies.
These articles would have required a rich subsoil of footnotes to produce a meager interest. The exact opposite is true. These three volumes constitute a paradox.
They are either too much or too little. If they thought that by keeping annotation to a minimum they would avoid cumbersome pedantry, they are again mistaken: We cannot read Borges without notes.
Viking has transformed Borges into his own nightmare, the all-inclusive chaos of the library of Babel. Fue director de la Biblioteca Nacional en Argentina por dieciocho aNos y, en el Interin, fue nombrado doctor honoris causa por la Universidad de Columbia y la Universidad de Oxford, entre otras.
Collected Fictions Summary & Study Guide
Borges fue galardonado con numerosos premios literarios en el transcurso de su carrera, entre los cuales se encuentra el Premio Internacional de Literatura que compartiO con Samuel Beckett, otorgado por el Congreso Internacional de Editores en Formentor, Mallorca. Collected fictions. Jorge Luis Borges , Andrew Hurley.
Jorge Luis Borges has been called the greatest Spanish- language writer of the century. Now, for the first time in English, all of Borges's dazzling fictions are gathered into a single volume--from his debut with The Universal History of Iniquity, through his immensely influential collections Ficciones and The Aleph, the enigmatic prose-poems of The Maker, up to his final, and never-before-translated, work from the '80s, Shakespeare's Memory.