Does anyone here like the literature of J.L. Borges?


Oct 15, 2003
The Dream
It is a very different kind of narrative than the expressionist ones i was mostly fond of in the past. The main element arguably is the use of passages in the story as the actual later focus of the same story, creating layers of doubt about what exactly the story is supposed to be written as (and also what the narrator seems to be).

A good example of the above is the brief piece in the Aleph collection, titled 'The house of Asterion', where the narrative has no less than 3 different focal points, with one of them appearing in the very end. It therefore makes it highly probable that this is not a narrative and then a cricital edition of it, but something very different, and possibly a fussion of the three people dealing with the narration. (won't type more so as to not spoil it, of course :) ).

Another of his stories, 'The South', which appeared in the second edition of the collection 'Fictiones', is a far clearer case of unreliable narrative as to what is going on and what is imagined as going on.

His first short story, The route to Al-Mutashim, was argued by Borges himself to have been in a way a miniature version of the rest of his works. I find it to be one of his most elegant pieces.


While Borges did produce a number of excellent short stories in my view, he also had some notable issues as a writer. After Aleph, and with maybe a couple exceptions, the rest of his 3 decades of writing is often argued to have been clearly inferior to what preceded them. Of course it did not help that his lost his eyesight due to hereditory reasons, but his biographies present an image of a highly reclusive and socially-paraplegic human being.
While his sentences can get to a high level of refinement, he also had the habbit of including rather openly nasty lines, particularly of sexual nature and echoes of his traumatic views on the subject.

I would like to ask if people here have read some of his works, if you have a favorite, and if you feel like discussing about this very great author :)



Way past lunacy
Jan 31, 2012
Sure, I liked Borges. I can't say I remember what I've read well enough to meaningfully discuss it with you, though. I generally just read for enjoyment.

He's got some interesting ideas. Like a one-sided coin, a book of sand, and changing past events.

I think, however, of the two most famous South American writers (that I know of), I prefer Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
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