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Labyrinths: Selected Stories and Other Writings (New Directions Paperbook,… (1962)

de Jorge Luis Borges

Altres autors: Mira la secció altres autors.

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5,880741,254 (4.43)206
Forty short stories and essays have been selected as representative of the Argentine writer's metaphysical narratives.
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"You are everything, and everything is you" -The Stylistics
-also, Jorge Luis Borges

infinite recursive labyrinths and god. ( )
  stravinsky | Dec 28, 2020 |
This was an intriguing, but often difficult, read. I will probably use "The Garden of the Forking Paths" and "The Shape of the Sword" as short stories to teach in my fall class, with "The Argentine Writer and Tradition" as an essay example. 3.5 stars. ( )
  DrFuriosa | Dec 4, 2020 |
When you read, you bring something of yourself to the book so that you can interpret what you’re being told according to your previous reading, your life experience and your own philosophies. With Borges, you might as well leave all that at the door.

You leave it at the door because if you think you can simply wade through his prose bearing it all, you’ll soon find yourself drowning in his vertiginous depths. The only way to survive is to float.

Borges can accomplish more characterisation and plot in a two page short story than mystifyingly popular writers like Ben Lerner can accomplish with his entire life’s output.

Imagine sitting down in a 3-Star Michelin restaurant. For dessert, you find placed before you a tiny, immaculate dish that seems to vanish into the centre of an enormous plate. Initially, you feel somewhat let down that you haven’t got more to eat. But as the first spoonful touches your lips, you taste something so intense that you know the portion size is just right.

However, as in the upper echelons of the food industry, there are occasionally dishes that seem more style than substance, more reputation than repast. Such is, dare I say it, the experience of the plebian with Borges. It’s tempting to think that he purposefully read certain obscure texts simply for the purpose of showing the world that he read (and he alone among the living in many cases) read certain obscure texts.

If you can’t give someone a verbal and accurate definition of ‘metaphysics’ before you start reading Borges, make sure you sort that out. You’ll need it.

There’s a lot here that will go over the heads of most of us, and you might want to leave this until later in life unless you’re a very widely-read 20-year-old. There’s a lot here I found difficult, but the benefit of the short story / essay format is that you’re quickly onto the next thing which may well be a delight.

He’s hard, but when he’s good, he’s amazing. ( )
1 vota arukiyomi | Sep 23, 2020 |
Another daunting and dominant collection of stories; the only drawback of Labyrinths is not in the quality of Borges but in the fact that many of the stories reproduced here are already available in the collection known as Fictions (Ficciones). Nevertheless, they – and stories I hadn't read before, such as 'The House of Asterion' – were fantastic and truly memorable.

There's no writer quite like Borges; not only in the originality of his ideas (addressing time, memory, reality and other concepts that in my review of Fictions I summarised as 'quantum occultism'), but in his lucidity and élan. There are some emphatic storytelling constructions and great turns of phrase: for example, "Homer and I separated at the gates of Tangier; I think we did not even say goodbye" (pg. 146). Borges is not just an ideas man.

Labyrinths also contains numerous essays in addition to its short stories (it is part of Borges' feat of verisimilitude that it's hard to tell the difference), and in one of these essays, Borges writes that "our language is so saturated and animated by time that it is quite possible there is not one statement in these pages which in some way does not demand or invoke the idea of time" (pg. 253). Part of the joy of witnessing Borges play with language comes from this; that he is writing about the complexities and paradoxes of time and consciousness by taking our imperfect, mortal language to its tensile limits. The stories here are often difficult to wrap your head around, possessing an intimidating "metaphysical perplexity" (pg. 253), but Borges is bringing us sight rather than shade. "A labyrinth is a structure compounded to confuse men; its architecture, rich in symmetries, is subordinated to that end," he writes on page 141. It is part of this writer's genius that he creates labyrinths, not to confuse us, but so that we can better understand. ( )
  Mike_F | Feb 29, 2020 |
In a labyrinth you set out on a journey and may end up somewhere entirely different; perhaps back at the beginning, or in these works, perhaps in an entirely different plane. Borges explores time, place and philosophical ideas while stretching you into the unexpected.

The first story, "Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius" was to be thrown headlong into Borges with what to me was one of the most challenging stories. The real is combined with the fantastic as Borges describes a people without nouns; who believe nothing is concrete.

I found these short works to be original, absorbing and challenging. I read them all at least twice, letting them sink in and soak.

This is a book I could return to multiple times, gleaning something a bit different with each visit. ( )
  streamsong | Sep 14, 2019 |
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» Afegeix-hi altres autors (11 possibles)

Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Borges, Jorge Luisautor primaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
de Onis, HarrietTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Fein, John M.Traductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Fitts, DudleyTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Irby, James E.Editorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Kerrigan, AnthonyTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Kuhlman, GildaDissenyador de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Maurois, AndréPrefaciautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Murillo, L. A.Traductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Palley, JulianTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Yates, Donald A.Editorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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A book is more than a verbal structure or series of verbal structures; it is the dialogue it establishes with its reader and the intonation it imposes upon his voice and the changing and durable images it leaves in his memory.
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Forty short stories and essays have been selected as representative of the Argentine writer's metaphysical narratives.

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Mitjana: (4.43)
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Edicions: 0141184841, 0143566342

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