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Labyrinths (1962)

by Jorge Luis Borges

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,221791,300 (4.43)219
Forty short stories and essays have been selected as representative of the Argentine writer's metaphysical narratives.
  1. 61
    Collected Fictions by Jorge Luis Borges (BGP)
  2. 40
    The Trial by Franz Kafka (johnxlibris)
  3. 10
    Blow Up by Julio Cortázar (S_Meyerson)
  4. 00
    North Station by Suah Bae (emydid)
  5. 11
    The Logogryph: A Bibliography Of Imaginary Books by Thomas Wharton (deepthi)
  6. 00
    The Collected Poems of Octavio Paz, 1957–1987 by Octavio Paz (S_Meyerson)
  7. 02
    Sword & Citadel: The Second Half of The Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe (LamontCranston)
    LamontCranston: "The composition of a novel in the first person, whose narrator would omit or disfigure the facts and indulge in various contradictions which would permit a few readers - very few readers - to perceive an atrocious or banal reality."
  8. 02
    Shadow & Claw: The First Half of The Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe (LamontCranston)
    LamontCranston: "The composition of a novel in the first person, whose narrator would omit or disfigure the facts and indulge in various contradictions which would permit a few readers - very few readers - to perceive an atrocious or banal reality."

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» See also 219 mentions

English (78)  Danish (1)  All languages (79)
Showing 1-5 of 78 (next | show all)
Metaphysics meets fantasy in a breathtaking series of stories and essays. Challenging but rewarding. ( )
  Estragon1958 | May 23, 2022 |
Ah, Borges! What literate person doesn't love him? What person who has read him doesn't appreciate the subtlety & recursiveness? Well, maybe the Argentinian dictators - but he seems to've survived that horrible period so, who knows? I don't. [I've since learned that he apparently survived quite well during the Dirty Wars, either oblivious to the sufferings of the disappeared or downright hostile to the subcultures they came from. He wasn't removed from his prestigious librarian's office until AFTER the dictators had fallen.] ( )
  tENTATIVELY | Apr 3, 2022 |
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 mentioned in "the name of the rose" by Umberto Eco). What is it about short story writers that they have to be mysterious or have surprise endings. I have no idea. I guess if it doesn't have these elements it's classified as an essay. Anyway, I just found (by teaching for this book in my library) that I already have seven books with the key word labyrinths in their title. So I guess I'm somewhat intrigued by the idea of mystery, or complexity ...or maybe by the idea of finding keys to the way out etc. And one of the dreaded features of searching under the name Borges in my collections revels the fact that I DO have another book by him called "Tales of Fantasy" ....but also, somewhat embarrassingly, I already have an identical copy of this current book...unread. Ah, I should check before I buy!!
He seems to be effortlessly erudite; has read everything, speaks and reads in multiple languages and has a mind like a honeycomb......endless linked cells filled with nuggets of wisdom ..and sticky so that every bit of new information sticks to it and is absorbed. Is this knowledge/wisdom, natural? Is it forced? is it the work of multiple, patient re-workings to make the material more complex and intriguing? He does seem to have a touch of James Joyce about him in the sense that he's added so many hints and links and riddles within the work that the professors could keep speculating about its meaning for centuries. Is it worth the effort to try and mentally unravel these. I think not. Probably the most famous story her is about the hexagonal library (or composed of hexagonal cells with the complete set of books that could be written ....with every permutation possible with the letters that we have (or 25 symbols in this case). The problem is that most of it is clearly nonsense....such as the complete book composed of MCV's. It does remind me a bit of sequences of amino acids making up the code for DNA...and the long strings of "nonsense code" ....which more recently has been shown, in many cases, to actually encode for things like stopping the production of a protein etc. In other words, not being nonsense. So same sort thing might apply to MCV repeated multiple times.
This collection of writings is not all tricky short stories but has some serious scholarship considering whether there is such a thing as "Argentinian writing" ..and the relationship to tradition. He seems to be sceptical.....but I learned something interesting along the way: apparently there is no mention of camels in the Koran. (Always useful to know!).
Overall, I liked the book. I'm impressed by Borge's imagination and erudition. I just don't want to spend too much time trying to "interpret" it. But happy to give it four and a half stars ( )
  booktsunami | Apr 2, 2022 |
Borges is one of the absolute masters of 20th century writing. ( )
  schumacherrr | Feb 21, 2022 |
A few years ago I came across Borges' short story "The House of Asterion" and was completely captivated. It was brilliant, heartbreaking and unforgettable, and I thought I'd like to read more of his work. This year the Read Harder challenge included the category "Read a book by a disabled author," and I finally had an excuse to bump this collection of short stories to the top of my TBR.

Friends, I cannot convey the depths of my disappointment. It was a slog. Nay, it was torture. Reading for pleasure should not be this arduous. Was it the translation? Were the concepts beyond my intellectual capacity or too abstract for this woefully left-brained reader? I was resolved at one point to abandon the book, but since I was already 1/3 in I decided to forge ahead. Nearly every story was much heavier on philosophy than on plot/action, and there were far more religious references than I was expecting. Borges is clearly highly intellectual and a polymath, well-versed in philosophy, theology, mathematics, languages, and more. He also appears to have distinct fascination with Don Quixote, which I found amusing. Besides Asterion, "The Secret Miracle" was the one other story which I found entertaining, but not enough to bring my total enjoyment beyond a single star. Do seek out "The House of Asterion" — it's pretty awesome. ( )
  ryner | Feb 2, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 78 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Borges, Jorge Luisprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
de Onis, HarrietTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fein, John M.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fitts, DudleyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Irby, James E.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kerrigan, AnthonyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kuhlman, GildaCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Maurois, AndréPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Murillo, L. A.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Palley, JulianTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Yates, Donald A.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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I owe the discovery of Uqbar to the conjunction of a mirror and an encyclopedia.
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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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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Average: (4.43)
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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141184841, 0143566342


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