Labyrinths: Selected Stories & Other Writings

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New Directions Publishing, 1964 - Literary Collections - 260 pages
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If Jorge Luis Borges had been a computer scientist, he probably would've invented hypertext & the World Wide Web. Instead, being a librarian & one of the world's most widely read people, he became the leading practitioner of a densely layered imaginistic writing style that's been imitated throughout this century, but has no peer (Umberto Eco sometimes comes close). His stories are redolent with an intelligence, wealth of invention & a tight, almost mathematically formal style that challenge with mysteries & paradoxes revealed only after several readings. Highly recommended to anyone who wants their imagination & intellect to be aswarm with philosophical plots, compelling conundrums & a wealth of real & imagined literary references derived from an infinitely imaginary library.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - booktsunami - LibraryThing

Another one of those authors that I felt that I should read. Certainly heard a lot about him ...and somewhere along the line I feel that I've read about the infinite library (though maybe it was ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Collisteru - LibraryThing

A delight. Each piece hovers a different lens across the remarkable erudition of its author. Borges’ deep, dreamlike prose is difficult to read but highly re-readable. Using myriad allusions to ... Read full review


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About the author (1964)

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1899, Jorge Borges was educated by an English governess and later studied in Europe. He returned to Buenos Aires in 1921, where he helped to found several avant-garde literary periodicals. In 1955, after the fall of Juan Peron, whom he vigorously opposed, he was appointed director of the Argentine National Library. With Samuel Beckett he was awarded the $10,000 International Publishers Prize in 1961, which helped to establish him as one of the most prominent writers in the world. Borges regularly taught and lectured throughout the United States and Europe. His ideas have been a profound influence on writers throughout the Western world and on the most recent developments in literary and critical theory. A prolific writer of essays, short stories, and plays, Borges's concerns are perhaps clearest in his stories. He regarded people's endeavors to understand an incomprehensible world as fiction; hence, his fiction is metaphysical and based on what he called an esthetics of the intellect. Some critics have called him a mystic of the intellect. Dreamtigers (1960) is considered a masterpiece. A central image in Borges's work is the labyrinth, a mental and poetic construct, that he considered a universe in miniature, which human beings build and therefore believe they control but which nevertheless traps them. In spite of Borges's belief that people cannot understand the chaotic world, he continually attempted to do so in his writing. Much of his work deals with people's efforts to find the center of the labyrinth, symbolic of achieving understanding of their place in a mysterious universe. In such later works as The Gold of the Tigers, Borges wrote of his lifelong descent into blindness and how it affected his perceptions of the world and himself as a writer. Borges died in Geneva in 1986.

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