The Aleph and Other Stories PDF/EPUB ✓ and Other

The Aleph and Other Stories PDF/EPUB ✓ and Other


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  • Paperback
  • 210 pages
  • The Aleph and Other Stories
  • Jorge Luis Borges
  • English
  • 17 April 2017
  • 0142437883

10 thoughts on “The Aleph and Other Stories

  1. Glenn Russell Glenn Russell says:

    THE IMMORTALWe have all experienced different dimensions in our life, to name just three waking, deep sleep and dreaming Yet when it comes to describing or imagining the afterlife, I ve read very few accounts postulating how awareness could shift between various levels rather, life or lack of life after death tends to be portrayed as an uninterrupted hum all at one frequency, the three major frequencies 1 awareness within a specific form, like a light body 2 formless awareness, that is, THE IMMORTALWe have all experienced different dimensions in our life, to name just three waking, deep sleep and dreaming Yet when it comes to describing or imagining the afterlife, I ve read very few accounts postulating how awareness could shift between various levels rather, life or lack of life after death tends to be portrayed as an uninterrupted hum all at one frequency, the three major frequencies 1 awareness within a specific form, like a light body 2 formless awareness, that is, our consciousness merging with undifferentiated oneness, an ocean of universal conscious 3 complete obliteration without a trace of conscious awareness Why is this Why can t we think in terms of an alternating between various frequencies or modes of awareness, perhaps even with an occasional shift into oblivion And these questions are compounded if we also think of our bodily existence on planet earth continuing forever, if we became part of the race of the immortals Questions such as these pop up, at least for me, after reading this Jorge Luis Borges tale.Vintage Borges The Borges like narrator discloses a verbatim transcription of a document a French princess purchased in an old London bookshop after a conversation she had with the grubby old bookdealer in various languages French, English, Spanish, Portuguese she subsequently walked out of the shop with Alexander Pope s rendering of Homer s Iliad in six volumes and later found this document in the last volume You have to love how our Borges like narrator isn t claiming to invent the story quite the contrary, he is simply reporting on someone else s factual account of their extraordinary experience The Manuscript The document s narrator provides us with his back story in brief he is an officer in the Roman army in Egypt, the Roman legions that have recently defeated Egyptian forces however, since he himself didn t participate in any of the bloody combat, he was propelled to embark on an adventure through the deserts in quest of the secret City of the Immortals You also have to love how the narrator, an adventurous soldier, hale, hearty, bold leader of men and lover of the god Mars, functions as an alter ego to the frail, bookish, solitary Borges The Spark One day a stranger, exhausted, covered in blood, rides into camp and, prior to dropping dead that very evening, informs the tribune how he is searching for the river that purifies men of death and, he goes on to say, on the other side of that river lies the City of the Immortals, a city filled with bulwarks, amphitheaters and temples With the inclusion of amphitheaters as part of his description of the immortal city, we are given a direct signal that what is contained within its walls shares a common culture with the Greco Roman world Anyway, the stranger s words fire his spirit and imagination, thus primed for an astonishing discovery, off they go, the tribune and two hundred soldiers under his command provided complements of a high ranking military commander Going Solo As the tribune informs us, the first part of the journey proved harrowing, grueling and strenuous beyond endurance most of his men were either driven mad or died, while others, attempting desertion, faced torture or crucifixion Also in this initial phase, the seekers crossed lands and deserts of fantastic tribes, including the Troglodytes who devour serpents and lack all verbal commerce Events reach such a pitch he is told by a soldier loyal to his cause that the remaining men desire to avenge a crucifixion of one of their comrades and plan to kill him He subsequently flees camp with several soldiers but disaster hits in the fury of blinding desert whirlwinds he quickly gets separated from now on, he is on his own Turning Point Our tribune wanders for days in the desert, forever scorched by the sun and parched by thirst until his living nightmare shifts and somehow he finds himself bound hands behind his back and lying in a stone niche the size of a grave on the slope of a mountain There s a stream running at the foot of this mountain and beyond the stream he beholds the dazzling structures of the City of the Immortals Marcus Flaminius Rufus at this point the tribune lets us know his name can also see numerous holes riddling the mountain and valley and from those holes emerge grey skinned naked men with scraggly beards, men he recognizes as belonging to the race of Troglodytes My sense is these Troglodytes represent a mode of being at the extreme opposite end of the spectrum from that of a refined aesthete and man of letters like Borges I suspect Borges perceived and perhaps dreamed many of his fellow humans inhabiting a Troglodyte like existence Exploration, One After many days and having finally freed himself from his bonds, Marcus enters the City of the Immortals Soon after he explores the periphery, we read, The force of the day drove me to seek refuge in a cavern toward the rear there was a pit, and out of the pit, out of the gloom below, rose a ladder I descended the ladder and made my way through a chaos of squalid galleries to a vast, indistinct circular chamber Nine doors opened into that cellar like place eight led to a maze that returned deceitfully, to the same chamber the ninth led through another maze to a second circular chamber identical to the first Anybody familiar with Jorge Luis Borges will recognized a number of recurrent themes mazes, caverns, ladders, doors, chaos, circular chambers Exploration, Two Having spent what appears an eternity underground, Marcus spots a series of metal rungs on a wall leading to a circle of sky He climbs the ladder, sobbing with tears of joy, until he emerges into a type of small plaza within the brilliant City Marcus senses the city s antiquity and wanders along staircases and inlaid floors of a labyrinthine palace thinking how all what he sees is the work of the gods or,accurately, gods who have died or, even, perhaps, since much of the architecture appears to lack any trace of practical purpose, gods who were mad Then, we read, I had made my way through a dark maze, but it was the bright City of the Immortals that terrified and repelled me And this is only the beginning as Marcus further discovers, there are revelations evenastonishing, including the shocking true identity of one of those Troglodytes Universal Questions The second half of the tale takes a decidedly philosophical turn and, in the spirit of this Borges classic, I will conclude with a series of question posed either directly or indirectly by the narrator How does memory relate to immortality Is the erasure of our memory the first step in achieving immortality Likewise, how does time relate to immortality and is the erasure of time a critical step in experiencing immortality If we were to experience a state free of memory and time in this life, through powerful hallucinogens, deep meditation or otherwise, have we achieved a kind of immortality, at least for a time What part does ecstasy and bliss play in the state or experience of immortality How far does the consequences of our action extend To a subsequent rebirth or afterlife in another state How much weight should we give to history or a specific epoch of history To our own personal history How much of history is so much smoke and mirrors What role does transformation on any level, physical, mental, artistic, spiritual, play in our life When I read the work of Jorge Luis Borges I feel like my universe is expanding a thousand fold And for good reason my universe is, in fact, expanding a thousand fold This is especially true as I read The Aleph and Other Stories Such sheer imaginative power Fantastic There are nearly fifty stories and brief tales collected here and every tale worth reading multiple times.For the purposes of continuing this review, I will focus on 4 stories, the first 3 being no longer than 2 pages 4,3,2moving down to the infinity of the Borges 0, which happens to be the shape of the Aleph Sorry, I am getting too carried away.THE TWO KINGS AND THE TWO LABYRINTHSThe king of Babylonia builds a labyrinthso confused and so subtle that the most prudent men would not venture to enter it, and those who did would lose their way Although the king of Babylonia tricked the king of the Arabs into entering his diabolical labyrinth, the king, with the help of God, manages to find the secret exit After claiming victory in a bloody war, the king of the Arabs leads the king of Babylonia, in turn, into a different kind of labyrinth, and says,the Powerful One has seen fit to allow me to show thee mine, which has no stairways to climb, nor doors to force, not wearying galleries to wander through, nor walls to impede thy passage Then, the king of the Arabs abandoned the king of Babylonia in the middle of the desert These two images of a labyrinth, one intricate, convoluted, infinitely confusing and the other an endless desert, have remained with me since I first read this tale some thirty years ago and will remain with me as long as there is a me with a memory.THE CAPTIVEA tale of identity where a young boy with sky blue eyes is kidnapped in an Indian raid The parents recover their son who is now a man and bring him back to their home The man remembers exactly where he hid a knife Not long thereafter, the man, now an Indian in spirit, returns to the wilderness The story ends with a question, I would like to know what he felt in that moment of vertigo when past and present intermingled I would like to know whether the lost son was reborn and died in that ecstatic moment, and he ever managed to recognize, even as a baby or a dog might, his parents and the house For Borges, memory and identity are ongoing themes After reading Borges, I can assure you, memory and identity have become ongoing themes for me also.THE PLOTHow many volumes have been written pondering and philosophizing over fate and free will In two short paragraphs Borges gives us a tale where we are told, Fate is partial to repetitions, variations, symmetries How exactly Let s just say life is always bigger than human made notions of life.THE ALEPHAround the universe in fifteen pages There is a little something here for anybody who cherishes literature a dearly departed lover named Beatriz, a madman and poet named Carlos Argentino Daneri, who tells the first person narrator, a man by the name of Borges, about seeing the Aleph, and, of course, the Aleph What will this Borges undergo to see the Aleph himself We read, I followed his ridiculous instructions he finally left He carefully let down the trap door in spite of a chink of light that I began to make out later, the darkness seemed total Suddenly I realized the danger I was in I had allowed myself to be locked underground by a madman, after first drinking down a snifter of poison Rather than saying anything further about the Aleph, let me simply note that through the magic of literature we as readers are also given a chance to see what Borges sees I dare anybody who has an aesthetic or metaphysical bone in their body to read this story and not make the Aleph a permanent part of their imagination.Go ahead Take the risk Be fascinated and enlarged Have the universe and all its details spinning in your head Read this book


  2. Bill Kerwin Bill Kerwin says:

    This is a masterful collection by a writer of genius I believe The Aleph is just as good as Fictions, and Fictions is as good as any book of short pieces produced in the 20th Century If you like paradoxes, puzzles, doppelgangers and labyrinths used as metaphors for the relation of microcosm to macrocosm and the fluid nature of personal identity, then this is the book for you These stories are profound, but they are written in such an entertaining traditional narrative style that they might o This is a masterful collection by a writer of genius I believe The Aleph is just as good as Fictions, and Fictions is as good as any book of short pieces produced in the 20th Century If you like paradoxes, puzzles, doppelgangers and labyrinths used as metaphors for the relation of microcosm to macrocosm and the fluid nature of personal identity, then this is the book for you These stories are profound, but they are written in such an entertaining traditional narrative style that they might often be mistaken for pulp fiction if they weren t so astonishingly elegant


  3. Ahmad Sharabiani Ahmad Sharabiani says:

    EL aleph The Aleph and Other Stories, Jorge Luis BorgesThe Aleph and Other Stories is a book of short stories by Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges The title work, The Aleph , describes a point in space that contains all other spaces at once The work also presents the idea of infinite time Borges writes in the original afterword, dated May 3, 1949 Buenos Aires , that most of the stories belong to the genre of fantasy, mentioning themes such as identity and immortality Borges added four n EL aleph The Aleph and Other Stories, Jorge Luis BorgesThe Aleph and Other Stories is a book of short stories by Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges The title work, The Aleph , describes a point in space that contains all other spaces at once The work also presents the idea of infinite time Borges writes in the original afterword, dated May 3, 1949 Buenos Aires , that most of the stories belong to the genre of fantasy, mentioning themes such as identity and immortality Borges added four new stories to the collection in the 1952 edition, for which he provided a brief postscript to the afterword.Contents The Immortal El inmortal The Dead Man El Muerto The Theologians Los te logos Story of the Warrior and the Captive Historia del guerrero y la cautiva A Biography of Tadeo Isidoro Cruz 1829 1874 Biograf a de Tadeo Isidoro Cruz 1829 1874 Emma Zunz The House of Asterion La casa de Asteri n The Other Death La otra muerte Deutsches Requiem Deutsches r quiem Averroes s Search La busca de Averroes The Zahir El zahir The Writing of the God La escritura del Dios Ibn Hakam al Bokhari, Murdered in His Labyrinth Abenjac n el Bojar , muerto en su laberinto The Two Kings and the Two Labyrinths Una leyenda ar biga Historia de los dos reyes y los dos laberintos, como nota de Burton The Wait La espera The Man on the Threshold El hombre en el umbral The Aleph El Aleph 2008 171387 245 9789644483288 1387 254 241 245 20


  4. BlackOxford BlackOxford says:

    Down and Out in Lovecroft and BorgesAt some point but not today I intend to do a review of Borges and Lovecroft together Not to say anything important but merely to understand how they depend on one another I think it is clear that Borges borrowed from Lovecroft And I think it is just as clear that we read Lovecroft in light of what Borges did with the genre of fantasy horror At least a half dozen stories have been identified by readers as cross overs as it were from Lovecroft to Borges Down and Out in Lovecroft and BorgesAt some point but not today I intend to do a review of Borges and Lovecroft together Not to say anything important but merely to understand how they depend on one another I think it is clear that Borges borrowed from Lovecroft And I think it is just as clear that we read Lovecroft in light of what Borges did with the genre of fantasy horror At least a half dozen stories have been identified by readers as cross overs as it were from Lovecroft to Borges And it is difficult to conceive of an interpretation of the genre that doesn t presume the philosophical challenges put by Borges But I think the influences may be muchwidely seen in the detail of the stories One obvious connection is the way both authors use the Arabic world, and Islam especially, as a focus for spiritual mystery Borges admitted to trying to write in the Arabic tradition during a seminar in the 1970 s Lovecroft flirted with Islam in his young adulthood and clearly is familiar with Islamic, particularly Sufi, mythology Another connection between the two authors is their use of space in a story to represent spiritual awakening, often in an inverted form Lovecroft tends downward, inward into the earth and to the South when he enters the realm of the soul, hell, and fear Perhaps this reflects his New England upbringing and the remnants of Puritan myth Borges also goes downward but then typically rises upwards and puts his most primitive worlds in the North Could the swamps and relative wildness of Uruguay and the Ibera Wetlands be a sort of gnostic symbol of earthly chaos directly opposed to Protestant certainties Who knows, maybe in my twilight years something will emerge


  5. Cecily Cecily says:

    Anything can drive a person insane if that person cannot manage to put it out of their mind even a map of Hungary Obsession is the unifying theme of virtually all these stories, which is apt, because I m beginning to be a trifle obsessed myself It is perhaps most central to The Zahir.I have the Collected Fictions with copious translator s notes , but am splitting my review of that into its components, listed in publication order Collected Fictions all reviews This is the fourth, pu Anything can drive a person insane if that person cannot manage to put it out of their mind even a map of Hungary Obsession is the unifying theme of virtually all these stories, which is apt, because I m beginning to be a trifle obsessed myself It is perhaps most central to The Zahir.I have the Collected Fictions with copious translator s notes , but am splitting my review of that into its components, listed in publication order Collected Fictions all reviews This is the fourth, published in 1949 The now familiar Borgesian tropes are also here in abundance too time, reality and dreams, immortality, infinity, mirrors and opposites, labyrinths, recursion and circularity, memory.At this stage of working though Borge s Collected Fictions, I feel deeply connected There is still a beguiling, mysterious layer, but it s not impenetrable by any means, even though I m very aware that I m nowhere near as erudite as Borges, so although I know many of the great literary names he drops, I m not necessarily intimately familiar with their works.The Immortal 6 What price immortality And what an opening premise a story by a rare book dealer, found by a princess, in a copy of The Ilyad The story itself is about a mysterious, obsessive quest to find the secret City of the Immortals.The journey includes Roman soldiers escape loneliness fear of otherness extraordinary architecture finding a way through a labyrinth of caves, ladders, doors and multiple rooms sinister troglodytes, references to The Odyssey, and much musing on life, death, mortality, and the nature of time It sounds like a checklist of clich s, but in the hands of this master storyteller, it is fresh, beautiful, profound and unsettling The city is found abandoned and part ruined It is beautiful and impressive, but somehow sinister not an easy combination to describe This place is the work of the gods The gods that built this place have died The gods that built this place were mad The impression of great antiquity was joined by others the impression of endlessness, the sensation of oppressiveness and horror, the sensation of complex irrationality A maze is a house built purposely to confuse men the architecture had no purpose Its very existence pollutes the past and the future and somehow compromises the stars view spoiler The barely communicative, primitive troglodytes turn out to be the immortals, who have left their city to live in the labyrinth instead The one the traveller befriends, and names Argos after the dog in the Odyssey, turns out to be Homer himself This sort of evolutionary regression is explored in two stories in Brodie s Report The Gospel According to Mark and the eponymous report of Brodie hide spoiler The philosophical aspects mainly concern the essence of opposites, and hence, ways and forms of immortality the Wheel, which has neither end not beginning, each life is the effect of the previous life and engenderer of the next Over an infinitely long span of time, all things happen to all men heads and tails tend to even out Viewed in that way, all our acts are just, though also unimportant Worse, the notion of the world as an exact system of compensation made them immune to pity For mortals, it s different Death makes men precious and pathetic any act they perform may be their last Everything in the world of mortals has the value of the irrecoverable and contingent The Dead ManThe story is summarised in the opening sentence a low life urban hoodlum becomes a horseman and the leader of a band smugglers His obsession is gaining power.This isthan 1 3 through the Collected Fictions, and I think this has the first female character who meritsthan a sentence though it s not a very enviable role Of course, it s really about death If you re almost dead anyway, does it matter what happens just before The TheologiansA rather dry piece that perks up towards the end It concerns two sects, each of which thinks the other heretical, compounded by a pair of believers in a doctrine, and one protagonist is obsessed with gaining the intellectual upper hand Are they allies the same or opponents opposites If every man is two men, and the real one is the other one, the one in heaven our acts cast an inverted reflection so by doing bad things on earth, good things can happen in heaven I m not sure that would stand up in court view spoiler The final revelation is one that recurs in Borges the two men are one and the same man hide spoiler Story of the Warrior and the Captive MaidenIs going native a choice or a necessity Are contrasting stories essentially two sides of the same story This is only three pages long, and the story starts halfway through This has echoes of The Captive and The Ethnographer reviewed in Dreamtigers.A Biography of Tadeo Isidoro Cruz Any life actually consists of a single moment the moment when a man knows foreverwho he is There is lots of historical background in the translator s notes and the conclusion echoes that of The Theologians view spoiler He realized that the other man was himself hide spoiler.Emma Zunz 6 A woman at last , with clear inspiration from Kafka although Borges says in the afterword that the plot was given to him by a woman without indicating whether it s meant to be fact or fiction It s a compelling, twisted, and tragic story of bereavement and obsessive revenge, leading to thoughts of justice and truth.Like the tree falling in the deserted forest, if the condemned man doesn t know or understand what he s guilty of, does it matter is the sentence valid See Kafka s The Penal Colony for another approach to the same question There s a similar idea in Borges The Secret Miracle , which is in ArtificesThen what An unbelievable story may convince everyone if the substance is true Her shame was real, her hatred was real all that was false were the circumstances, the time, and one or two proper names Plot summary view spoiler Emma blames her employer for disgracing her father, leading him to commit suicide She is young, virginal, with an almost pathological fear of men , which makes her plan especially painful for her She picks up a man He was an instrument for Emma as she was for him but she was used for pleasure, while he was used for revenge , then goes to her boss, shoots him, and claims it was self defence because he d just raped her She tells him why she s doing it, but probably too late for him to hear and understand Her story is believed, and the fact of revenge absolves her guilt hide spoiler The House of Asterion 6 The son of a queen lives a strange and solitary life in an empty house like no other , with many doors and corridors.The oddness and sadness only increase when Asterion confides, A certain generous impatience has prevented me from learning to read He runs joyously to greet rare visitors, in part because he can free them from evil Then you realise how, why and who view spoiler Asterion is the Minotaur hide spoiler There are at least two sides to every story.The Other DeathDoes each choice or change create a new path through time Grim but dull memories of a bloody civil war followed by interesting diversions into truth versus memory and the omnipotence of god, encapsulated in the question of whether a hero and a coward with the same name are two people, or two facets of one.Deutsches RequiemA brave and controversial piece on the eve of his execution, the subdirector of a Nazi concentration camp sets down his thoughts, so he can be understood he has no desire to be pardoned, for I feel no guilt.He sees Nazism as intrinsically moral in part, because compassion on the part of the superior man is Zarathustra s ultimate sin That justifies murdering Jews, even a poet he admired I destroyed him to destroy my own compassion Chilling.He engenders no sympathy, but I did, reluctantly, feel the desire to be understood had been partially achieved.Averroes Search A look at failure and defeat, despite great striving An Arab physician in Al Andalus is writing interpretations of Aristotle, but is stumped by the terms comedy and tragedy.The Zahir 6 Head spinning time Idealist doctrine has it that the verbs to live and to dream are at every point synonymous for me, thousands upon thousands of appearances will pass into one a complex dream will pass into a simple one Others will dream that I am mad, while I dream of the Zahir This opens by listing the many meanings of the word, zahir, in different languages and cultures The one that matters here is an object that can inspire obsession to the extent that the victim loses touch with reality Perhaps that is why, at the outset, Borges writes I am still, albeit only partially, Borges.All sorts of things have been zahirs in mythology, but this one is an innocent looking coin that Borges is given in a bar, when drowning his sorrows about a lost, dead love a woman with an obsession of her own glamour and perfection It has the letters N and T scratched on it There is nothing less material than money, since any coin is a panoply of all possible futures , a symbol of free will, perhaps Money is abstract Money is future time After sleepless nights, confusion, consultation with a psychiatrist and scouring books, Borges learnsabout zahirs and resolves to rid himself of the coin in another anonymous bar and to write a fantasy about it In Deutsches Requiem, a couple of stories earlier, the idea of being driven to madness by being fixated on a single thing even a map of Hungary is mentioned, and that idea is extended here He tells of a magic tiger that was a zahir, and a fakir who painted an infinite tiger composed of many tigers in the most dizzying of ways In fact, it contained almost everything like an Aleph the final story in this collection Tennyson said that if we could but understand a single flower we might know who we are and what the world is because everything has elements of everything else Another obsession inducing object is The Book of Sand, in the collection of the same name Perhaps behind the coin is God The Writing of the God Wakened not out of sleep, but into a prior dream, and that dream lies within another, and so on, to infinity A priest of the god lower case, no possessive is in prison, with a tiger jaguar the other side of a piece of glass Following on from The Zahir, his growing obsession with this tiger is no surprise.The priest believes the god created a secret magical phrase that is hidden in creation and can ward off evil He may have seen it many times, without realizing it, or without understanding it He trawls his memories of the world and starts to see god and a message in everything but especially the creature s markings The obsession drives him to the brink of insanity.He has a final revelation, but it was unique to him and it dies with him In the language of a god every word would speak that infinite concatenation of events A god must speak but a single word, and in that word there must be absolute plenitude Ibn Hakam al Bokhari, Murdered in his Labyrinth 5 Cornwall, 1914 quite a shock, compared with the vague andexotic locations of most of the other stories , and two men explore a ruined labyrinthine house, while one tells the other its story, involving a north African prince, a slave, a lion, and a prophesy of a murderous dead man.Walking around They felt they were being suffocated by the house through the knotted darkness the invisible wall, cumbered with ruggedness and angles, passed endlessly under his hand When it was built, the local vicar had condemned it from the pulpit, declaring it intolerable that a house should be composed of a single room, yet league upon league of hallways No Christian ever built such a house He also told a story which is the one after this The Two Kings and the Two Labyrinths.Like a detective, the listener is intrigued but unconvinced the facts were true but told the way you told them, they were clearly humbug He unpicks the less plausible aspects of the story, turns it round, and suggests an alternative.The Two Kings and the Two Labyrinths This is the short tale quoted by the vicar in the previous story It is the prerogative of God, not man, to strike confusion and inspire wonder The Wait It is easier to endure a terrifying event that to imagine it, wait for it endlessly According to the afterword, this was suggested by a true police story A man arrives in a new town, wanting to be inconspicuous, using a false name that of his enemy even though he was not seduced by the literary error of imagining that adopting the name of his enemy would be an astute thing to do He keeps to himself, goes out rarely and cautiously, tries to live in the present, and scours the news to discover if the other man has died view spoiler Instead, his enemy comes to him hide spoiler The Man on the Threshold One house is like another what matters is knowing whether it is built in heaven or hell A man sent to quell riots in an Indian city vanished a few years later the narrator is trying to find him In the afterword, Borges says he set it in India so that its improbabilities might be bearable though it seems no less probable than most of the others.In the opaque city that had magically swallowed up a man I felt the infinite presence of a spell cast to hide Glencairn s whereabouts Everyone claimed either to have never heard of, let alone seen him, or to have seen him moments ago.Finally, a very old man seems to know something, though what he knows is obscure and its relevance unclear, especially because he seems to be talking about events many years ago.The Aleph 6 This has similarities with The Zahir, earlier in this collection a man obsessed with a dead woman, and a mysterious object that inspires obsession and seems to contain everything.Borges visits the house of his love each year, on the anniversary of her death, staying a little longer each time, until he ends up a dinner guest Her cousin is an obsessive poet, who planned to versify the entire planet and delights in reading his epic doggerel to Borges He lavishly praises his own work, but won t publish for fear he might create an army of implacable and powerful enemies Borges realized that the poet s work had lain not in the poetry but in the invention of reasons for accounting the poetry admirable which it wasn t, a poem that seemed to draw out to infinity the possibilities of cacophony and chaos The poet s house comes under threat of demolition, and he is distraught because in his cellar is the Aleph, which he shows to Borges An Aleph is one of the points in space that contains all points , in this case, a disc about three centimetres in diameter This provides a dizzying effect, wonderfully described and also explains the poet s attempt to write about everywhere in the world In that unbound moment, I saw millions of delightful and horrible acts all occupying the same point, without superposition and without transparency Each thing was infinite things because I could clearly see it from every point in the cosmos Those stream of consciousness passages are wonderful, but the ending is unexpectedly flat view spoiler Borges the one in the story questions the authenticity and uniqueness of the Aleph and implies he couldn t see it, thereby suggesting the poet might be mad The house is demolished, but rather than be broken by Borges implication, the poet, liberated from his obsession, publishes his poetry and wins prizes for it hide spoiler.Quotes The black shadow bristling with idolatrous shapes upon the yellow sand of the City s wall I imagined a world without memory, without time and a language that had no nouns, a language of impersonal verbs or indeclinable adjectives All creatures are immortal for they know nothing of death Argos and I lived our lives in separate universes our perceptions were different, but that Argos combined them differently than I Like all those who possess libraries, Aurelian felt a nagging sense of guilt at not being acquainted with every volume in his The heresies we ought to fear are those that can be confused with orthodoxy Her eyes were that half hearted blue that the English call grey The most solemn of events are outside time the immediate past is severed from the future because the elements that compose those events seem not to be consecutive Tearing up money is an act of impiety, like throwing away bread To change the past is not to change a mere single event it is to annul all its consequences, which tend to infinity There is nocunning consolation than the thought that we have chosen our own misfortunes It s hard to follow fashion in war, so A foreign man she had always had her doubts about was allowed to take advantage of her good will by sending her hats These ridiculous shapes had never been worn in Paris and were not hats, but arbitrary and unauthorized caprices The predictable ranks of one and two story houses had taken on that abstract air they often have at night, when they are simplified by darkness and silence A man comes to resemble the shape of his destiny Weary of a world that lacked the dignity of danger, the friends prized the solitude of that corner of Cornwall The past is the stuff that time is made of The notion that there might be parallels between art and life never occurred to him Unlike people who had read novels, he never saw himself as a character in a book A very old man His many years had reduced and polished him the way water smooths and polishes a stone or generations of men polish a proverb This ancient little man for whom the present was scarcelythan an indefinite rumor Our minds are permeable to forgetfulness which sounds rather back to front


  6. Owlseyes Owlseyes says:

    Stevenson, Wells, Twain, Verne, the Arabian Nights, were some of the references for Borges very early on, back in Argentina At his father s library he read a lot Then he went to Europe Borges American, old and a blind poet he realized once, later in life Afterwards he had to live up to it and face old age as a time of happiness the animal being dead man and soul go on Borges a shy man who longed for oblivion siempre t mido , as he said of himself But not shy stories Stevenson, Wells, Twain, Verne, the Arabian Nights, were some of the references for Borges very early on, back in Argentina At his father s library he read a lot Then he went to Europe Borges American, old and a blind poet he realized once, later in life Afterwards he had to live up to it and face old age as a time of happiness the animal being dead man and soul go on Borges a shy man who longed for oblivion siempre t mido , as he said of himself But not shy stories, he wrote Stories venturing into strange worlds of past times and mythologies and religious beliefs by Borges Of his infancy he recalls the horror of mirrors that reflection an enemy of me For some time, before complete blindness, he s seen vague whitish shapes He s seen the black and the red Then the silver color left blue and yellow blended Yellow was the last color to be seen Blindness came very quietly He knew about family blindness Some family members had died blind by Borges Now blind, books have no letters friends are faceless And yet he pursues the search for his secret centermy Algebra, my mirror, my key soon I shall know who I am Borges in search for himself Time has been my Democritus The first story is about the writing of God about a magician Tzinacan, imprisoned He finds a way out.but decides to stay Imprisoned The second story is about the Zahir, the coin, first gotten as money change from a drink aguardente It all starts with the death of actress Teodelina Villar According to the author, she committed the solipsism of dying right on the bairro der sur She wasinterested in perfection rather than beauty It s a story full of reflections on currency money is abstract unpredictable it may be coffee, Brahms music On the 16th of July the narrator bought 1 sterling pound, and studied it under the magnifying glass In August, due to insomnia, he had to consult with a psychiatrist He could not get rid of a fixed idea The narrator has had a dream I was the coin, a Griffin watched Plus, reflections on Sufi wisdom the repetition of names for 99 times maybe behind it is God Ah, the zahir, the coin The narrator got rid of it In a drink The zahir is the shadow of the rose, and the parting of the veil now I use both Mostly, stories to ponder To enjoy their full color Maybe to get perplexed To start searching for meaning Identity too Stories to be read not once But 9 times Or 99 times Over 9 years Preferably over 99 years If you ve got the time.UPDATENice interviewhttps borgestodoelanio.blogspot.com


  7. Jason Jason says:

    You re avoiding a single star, Borges, simply because I try my best not to dish them out There s little value in reading if one is going to try consider ways to dislike doing it I love your ideas, but not your executions Reading through the contents list, I can easily choose five or six stories whose very conception alone excite me The Immortal, The Zahir, The Writing of The God, The House of Asterion , but you continually bashed me over the head with names, places, dates, literary and histor You re avoiding a single star, Borges, simply because I try my best not to dish them out There s little value in reading if one is going to try consider ways to dislike doing it I love your ideas, but not your executions Reading through the contents list, I can easily choose five or six stories whose very conception alone excite me The Immortal, The Zahir, The Writing of The God, The House of Asterion , but you continually bashed me over the head with names, places, dates, literary and historical allusions all of which I recognise as necessary to legitimise a story s authenticity , but I simply wanted a story, not a reference manual It would have been fine had the stories been chunkier, but when I have five orconsecutive lines of undiluted information being dunked into me, I mthan likely going to have to return to the beginning of the sentence to remind myself what it was originally about To my mind it seems the reason you didn t get that award from the guys in Sweden was because you simply tried much too hard to get it But I ll give you the respect you clearly deserve by putting you back in my bookshelf where you sat before, instead of throwing you with the scrapheap in the corner


  8. Florencia Florencia says:

    I know why I didn t write a review I wrote several reviews about Borges books and I got tired of saying how amazing this writer was Is Will always be This is one of the greatest short stories collections I ve ever read There are ordinary situations combined with magical events, sometimes very subtle, sometimes not But it s there And they re all beautifully written Stories like El Inmortal , Emma Zunz , La casa de Asteri n or Los te logos are outstanding pieces of literary work tha I know why I didn t write a review I wrote several reviews about Borges books and I got tired of saying how amazing this writer was Is Will always be This is one of the greatest short stories collections I ve ever read There are ordinary situations combined with magical events, sometimes very subtle, sometimes not But it s there And they re all beautifully written Stories like El Inmortal , Emma Zunz , La casa de Asteri n or Los te logos are outstanding pieces of literary work that nobody should miss This guy created an amazing universe that will surely captivate you, if you give it a chance I think about it and dsadsafsafs Breathtaking


  9. Théodore Théodore says:

    Borges s book had the gift of revealing an idea to me, which, after all, I already had, somewhere in the corners of my mind Literature repeats endlessly the same few themes, the only thing that changes is the time of writing and reading The main themes used by Homer are found in contemporary works too Though, the perspective is different Borges is fascinated by this idea of the text that is written endlessly, that only by getting lost in this re reading of the text will we come to understa Borges s book had the gift of revealing an idea to me, which, after all, I already had, somewhere in the corners of my mind Literature repeats endlessly the same few themes, the only thing that changes is the time of writing and reading The main themes used by Homer are found in contemporary works too Though, the perspective is different Borges is fascinated by this idea of the text that is written endlessly, that only by getting lost in this re reading of the text will we come to understand the supreme text These 17 fantastic stories contained in Aleph folow this obsession of finding the symbol that most accurately depicts the divinity His prose has a fantastic air, and this fantastic is the means by which Borges invites us to know the divinity Of course, this knowledge cannot be rational, because the human mind is limited, it is rather one of trust, of acceptance of the existence of the state of miracle And Borges s miracle is manifested in purely holistic images What has his prose in addition to the mystical texts is precisely the astonishment that encompasses the one who saw the unseen The author finds a very strong connection between dream and revelation The symbol of the labyrinth is perhaps the most present in the book, along with that of the double Borges s God has as many faces as there are religions, he is the Text that brings together the texts of the whole world, from all times, he is a God who changes from reading to reading, always keeping the same features, but with a different face Although difficult to decipher, Borges s prose is fascinanting, the only problem with this writer is that once you read it, you are left with the desire to re read it, endlessly


  10. poncho poncho says:

    After reading Borges my brain usually feels fried, so excuse all the nonsense in this review My intention was never to write anything about it, to let it flow, to carry on with my life But trust me, after reading this magnificent writer, and specially such writings as the ones collected in El Aleph, life s never the same My brain may be fried, but my soul feels somewhat soothed.Reading him is like facing the Zahir something that seeds in one s soul a never ending obsession in life s groundle After reading Borges my brain usually feels fried, so excuse all the nonsense in this review My intention was never to write anything about it, to let it flow, to carry on with my life But trust me, after reading this magnificent writer, and specially such writings as the ones collected in El Aleph, life s never the same My brain may be fried, but my soul feels somewhat soothed.Reading him is like facing the Zahir something that seeds in one s soul a never ending obsession in life s groundless soil Reading him is like finding a two hundred paged Aleph in a shelf, wherein I found infinite selves, like Abraham s seed, multiplied as the stars of Heaven Genesis 26 4 , living infinite scenarios that I saw forking in time and space I read philosophical and theological theories I read Plato and Dante reborn as an Argentinian writer living in the 20th century, who seemed to have forgotten about his authorship of The Divine Comedy, and now has to conform merely with fondness Just like the letter is interpreted as a man pointing simultaneously towards the Earth and the Heavens, representing the former as a mirror of the latter, just like that, Borges s imagination is a mirror element he seems to love as well as tigers that reflects what is not but could have been If life s formula were written in the patterns of a tiger s fur, then Borges s writings would be the alter ego of that tiger I read all the books in the world condensed in a few pages, but none of them reflected how I feel about this book in particular I saw myself, never visiting my aunt and never finding her Kabbalah study texts and never getting interested in such theories, and ergo, in Borges neither I saw myself at a noisy party, drinking cheap booze with friends and such, instead of staying at home, feeling the weight of solitude, trying to find a meaning to cling to and reading how Buddhism influenced Borges The past was changed and therefore the cause was changed but the effectBorges as an awful writer was not Reading him may not be like reading the writing of God, but I m sure it is an accurate translation of it


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The Aleph and Other Stories[Ebook] ➩ The Aleph and Other Stories Author Jorge Luis Borges – Capitalsoftworks.co.uk Full of philosophical puzzles and supernatural surprises, these stories contain some of Borges s most fully realized human characters With uncanny insight, he takes us inside the minds of an unrepenta Full of and Other MOBI ï philosophical puzzles and supernatural surprises, these stories contain some of Borges s most fully realized human characters With uncanny insight, he takes us inside the minds of an unrepentant Nazi, an imprisoned Mayan priest, fanatical Christian theologians, a woman plotting vengeance on her father s killer, and a man awaiting his assassin in a Buenos Aires The Aleph eBook Ë guest house This volume also contains the hauntingly brief vignettes about literary imagination and personal identity collected in The Maker, which Borges wrote as failing eyesight and public fame began to undermine his sense of selfFor than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English speaking world With than , titles, Penguin Classics Aleph and Other eBook ☆ represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up to date translations by award winning translators.


About the Author: Jorge Luis Borges

Jorge Francisco and Other MOBI ï Isidoro Luis Borges Acevedo, usually referred to as Jorge Luis Borges Spanish pronunciation xo xe lwis bo xes , was an Argentine writer and poet born in Buenos Aires In , his family moved to Switzerland where he attended school and traveled to Spain On his return to Argentina in , Borges began publishing his poems The Aleph eBook Ë and essays in Surrealist literary journals He also worked as a librarian and public lecturer Borges was fluent in several languages He was a target of political persecution during the Peron regime, and supported the military juntas that overthrew itDue to a hereditary condition, Borges became blind in his late fifties In , he was appointed director of the Aleph and Other eBook ☆ National Public Library Biblioteca Nacional and professor of Literature at the University of Buenos Aires In , he came to international attention when he received the first International Publishers Prize Prix Formentor His work was translated and published widely in the United States and in Europe He died in Geneva, Switzerland, in J M Coetzee said of Borges He,than anyone, renovated the language of fiction and thus opened the way to a remarkable generation of Spanish American novelists.


10 thoughts on “The Aleph and Other Stories

  1. Glenn Russell Glenn Russell says:

    THE IMMORTALWe have all experienced different dimensions in our life, to name just three waking, deep sleep and dreaming Yet when it comes to describing or imagining the afterlife, I ve read very few accounts postulating how awareness could shift between various levels rather, life or lack of life after death tends to be portrayed as an uninterrupted hum all at one frequency, the three major frequencies 1 awareness within a specific form, like a light body 2 formless awareness, that is, THE IMMORTALWe have all experienced different dimensions in our life, to name just three waking, deep sleep and dreaming Yet when it comes to describing or imagining the afterlife, I ve read very few accounts postulating how awareness could shift between various levels rather, life or lack of life after death tends to be portrayed as an uninterrupted hum all at one frequency, the three major frequencies 1 awareness within a specific form, like a light body 2 formless awareness, that is, our consciousness merging with undifferentiated oneness, an ocean of universal conscious 3 complete obliteration without a trace of conscious awareness Why is this Why can t we think in terms of an alternating between various frequencies or modes of awareness, perhaps even with an occasional shift into oblivion And these questions are compounded if we also think of our bodily existence on planet earth continuing forever, if we became part of the race of the immortals Questions such as these pop up, at least for me, after reading this Jorge Luis Borges tale.Vintage Borges The Borges like narrator discloses a verbatim transcription of a document a French princess purchased in an old London bookshop after a conversation she had with the grubby old bookdealer in various languages French, English, Spanish, Portuguese she subsequently walked out of the shop with Alexander Pope s rendering of Homer s Iliad in six volumes and later found this document in the last volume You have to love how our Borges like narrator isn t claiming to invent the story quite the contrary, he is simply reporting on someone else s factual account of their extraordinary experience The Manuscript The document s narrator provides us with his back story in brief he is an officer in the Roman army in Egypt, the Roman legions that have recently defeated Egyptian forces however, since he himself didn t participate in any of the bloody combat, he was propelled to embark on an adventure through the deserts in quest of the secret City of the Immortals You also have to love how the narrator, an adventurous soldier, hale, hearty, bold leader of men and lover of the god Mars, functions as an alter ego to the frail, bookish, solitary Borges The Spark One day a stranger, exhausted, covered in blood, rides into camp and, prior to dropping dead that very evening, informs the tribune how he is searching for the river that purifies men of death and, he goes on to say, on the other side of that river lies the City of the Immortals, a city filled with bulwarks, amphitheaters and temples With the inclusion of amphitheaters as part of his description of the immortal city, we are given a direct signal that what is contained within its walls shares a common culture with the Greco Roman world Anyway, the stranger s words fire his spirit and imagination, thus primed for an astonishing discovery, off they go, the tribune and two hundred soldiers under his command provided complements of a high ranking military commander Going Solo As the tribune informs us, the first part of the journey proved harrowing, grueling and strenuous beyond endurance most of his men were either driven mad or died, while others, attempting desertion, faced torture or crucifixion Also in this initial phase, the seekers crossed lands and deserts of fantastic tribes, including the Troglodytes who devour serpents and lack all verbal commerce Events reach such a pitch he is told by a soldier loyal to his cause that the remaining men desire to avenge a crucifixion of one of their comrades and plan to kill him He subsequently flees camp with several soldiers but disaster hits in the fury of blinding desert whirlwinds he quickly gets separated from now on, he is on his own Turning Point Our tribune wanders for days in the desert, forever scorched by the sun and parched by thirst until his living nightmare shifts and somehow he finds himself bound hands behind his back and lying in a stone niche the size of a grave on the slope of a mountain There s a stream running at the foot of this mountain and beyond the stream he beholds the dazzling structures of the City of the Immortals Marcus Flaminius Rufus at this point the tribune lets us know his name can also see numerous holes riddling the mountain and valley and from those holes emerge grey skinned naked men with scraggly beards, men he recognizes as belonging to the race of Troglodytes My sense is these Troglodytes represent a mode of being at the extreme opposite end of the spectrum from that of a refined aesthete and man of letters like Borges I suspect Borges perceived and perhaps dreamed many of his fellow humans inhabiting a Troglodyte like existence Exploration, One After many days and having finally freed himself from his bonds, Marcus enters the City of the Immortals Soon after he explores the periphery, we read, The force of the day drove me to seek refuge in a cavern toward the rear there was a pit, and out of the pit, out of the gloom below, rose a ladder I descended the ladder and made my way through a chaos of squalid galleries to a vast, indistinct circular chamber Nine doors opened into that cellar like place eight led to a maze that returned deceitfully, to the same chamber the ninth led through another maze to a second circular chamber identical to the first Anybody familiar with Jorge Luis Borges will recognized a number of recurrent themes mazes, caverns, ladders, doors, chaos, circular chambers Exploration, Two Having spent what appears an eternity underground, Marcus spots a series of metal rungs on a wall leading to a circle of sky He climbs the ladder, sobbing with tears of joy, until he emerges into a type of small plaza within the brilliant City Marcus senses the city s antiquity and wanders along staircases and inlaid floors of a labyrinthine palace thinking how all what he sees is the work of the gods or,accurately, gods who have died or, even, perhaps, since much of the architecture appears to lack any trace of practical purpose, gods who were mad Then, we read, I had made my way through a dark maze, but it was the bright City of the Immortals that terrified and repelled me And this is only the beginning as Marcus further discovers, there are revelations evenastonishing, including the shocking true identity of one of those Troglodytes Universal Questions The second half of the tale takes a decidedly philosophical turn and, in the spirit of this Borges classic, I will conclude with a series of question posed either directly or indirectly by the narrator How does memory relate to immortality Is the erasure of our memory the first step in achieving immortality Likewise, how does time relate to immortality and is the erasure of time a critical step in experiencing immortality If we were to experience a state free of memory and time in this life, through powerful hallucinogens, deep meditation or otherwise, have we achieved a kind of immortality, at least for a time What part does ecstasy and bliss play in the state or experience of immortality How far does the consequences of our action extend To a subsequent rebirth or afterlife in another state How much weight should we give to history or a specific epoch of history To our own personal history How much of history is so much smoke and mirrors What role does transformation on any level, physical, mental, artistic, spiritual, play in our life When I read the work of Jorge Luis Borges I feel like my universe is expanding a thousand fold And for good reason my universe is, in fact, expanding a thousand fold This is especially true as I read The Aleph and Other Stories Such sheer imaginative power Fantastic There are nearly fifty stories and brief tales collected here and every tale worth reading multiple times.For the purposes of continuing this review, I will focus on 4 stories, the first 3 being no longer than 2 pages 4,3,2moving down to the infinity of the Borges 0, which happens to be the shape of the Aleph Sorry, I am getting too carried away.THE TWO KINGS AND THE TWO LABYRINTHSThe king of Babylonia builds a labyrinthso confused and so subtle that the most prudent men would not venture to enter it, and those who did would lose their way Although the king of Babylonia tricked the king of the Arabs into entering his diabolical labyrinth, the king, with the help of God, manages to find the secret exit After claiming victory in a bloody war, the king of the Arabs leads the king of Babylonia, in turn, into a different kind of labyrinth, and says,the Powerful One has seen fit to allow me to show thee mine, which has no stairways to climb, nor doors to force, not wearying galleries to wander through, nor walls to impede thy passage Then, the king of the Arabs abandoned the king of Babylonia in the middle of the desert These two images of a labyrinth, one intricate, convoluted, infinitely confusing and the other an endless desert, have remained with me since I first read this tale some thirty years ago and will remain with me as long as there is a me with a memory.THE CAPTIVEA tale of identity where a young boy with sky blue eyes is kidnapped in an Indian raid The parents recover their son who is now a man and bring him back to their home The man remembers exactly where he hid a knife Not long thereafter, the man, now an Indian in spirit, returns to the wilderness The story ends with a question, I would like to know what he felt in that moment of vertigo when past and present intermingled I would like to know whether the lost son was reborn and died in that ecstatic moment, and he ever managed to recognize, even as a baby or a dog might, his parents and the house For Borges, memory and identity are ongoing themes After reading Borges, I can assure you, memory and identity have become ongoing themes for me also.THE PLOTHow many volumes have been written pondering and philosophizing over fate and free will In two short paragraphs Borges gives us a tale where we are told, Fate is partial to repetitions, variations, symmetries How exactly Let s just say life is always bigger than human made notions of life.THE ALEPHAround the universe in fifteen pages There is a little something here for anybody who cherishes literature a dearly departed lover named Beatriz, a madman and poet named Carlos Argentino Daneri, who tells the first person narrator, a man by the name of Borges, about seeing the Aleph, and, of course, the Aleph What will this Borges undergo to see the Aleph himself We read, I followed his ridiculous instructions he finally left He carefully let down the trap door in spite of a chink of light that I began to make out later, the darkness seemed total Suddenly I realized the danger I was in I had allowed myself to be locked underground by a madman, after first drinking down a snifter of poison Rather than saying anything further about the Aleph, let me simply note that through the magic of literature we as readers are also given a chance to see what Borges sees I dare anybody who has an aesthetic or metaphysical bone in their body to read this story and not make the Aleph a permanent part of their imagination.Go ahead Take the risk Be fascinated and enlarged Have the universe and all its details spinning in your head Read this book

  2. Bill Kerwin Bill Kerwin says:

    This is a masterful collection by a writer of genius I believe The Aleph is just as good as Fictions, and Fictions is as good as any book of short pieces produced in the 20th Century If you like paradoxes, puzzles, doppelgangers and labyrinths used as metaphors for the relation of microcosm to macrocosm and the fluid nature of personal identity, then this is the book for you These stories are profound, but they are written in such an entertaining traditional narrative style that they might o This is a masterful collection by a writer of genius I believe The Aleph is just as good as Fictions, and Fictions is as good as any book of short pieces produced in the 20th Century If you like paradoxes, puzzles, doppelgangers and labyrinths used as metaphors for the relation of microcosm to macrocosm and the fluid nature of personal identity, then this is the book for you These stories are profound, but they are written in such an entertaining traditional narrative style that they might often be mistaken for pulp fiction if they weren t so astonishingly elegant

  3. Ahmad Sharabiani Ahmad Sharabiani says:

    EL aleph The Aleph and Other Stories, Jorge Luis BorgesThe Aleph and Other Stories is a book of short stories by Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges The title work, The Aleph , describes a point in space that contains all other spaces at once The work also presents the idea of infinite time Borges writes in the original afterword, dated May 3, 1949 Buenos Aires , that most of the stories belong to the genre of fantasy, mentioning themes such as identity and immortality Borges added four n EL aleph The Aleph and Other Stories, Jorge Luis BorgesThe Aleph and Other Stories is a book of short stories by Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges The title work, The Aleph , describes a point in space that contains all other spaces at once The work also presents the idea of infinite time Borges writes in the original afterword, dated May 3, 1949 Buenos Aires , that most of the stories belong to the genre of fantasy, mentioning themes such as identity and immortality Borges added four new stories to the collection in the 1952 edition, for which he provided a brief postscript to the afterword.Contents The Immortal El inmortal The Dead Man El Muerto The Theologians Los te logos Story of the Warrior and the Captive Historia del guerrero y la cautiva A Biography of Tadeo Isidoro Cruz 1829 1874 Biograf a de Tadeo Isidoro Cruz 1829 1874 Emma Zunz The House of Asterion La casa de Asteri n The Other Death La otra muerte Deutsches Requiem Deutsches r quiem Averroes s Search La busca de Averroes The Zahir El zahir The Writing of the God La escritura del Dios Ibn Hakam al Bokhari, Murdered in His Labyrinth Abenjac n el Bojar , muerto en su laberinto The Two Kings and the Two Labyrinths Una leyenda ar biga Historia de los dos reyes y los dos laberintos, como nota de Burton The Wait La espera The Man on the Threshold El hombre en el umbral The Aleph El Aleph 2008 171387 245 9789644483288 1387 254 241 245 20

  4. BlackOxford BlackOxford says:

    Down and Out in Lovecroft and BorgesAt some point but not today I intend to do a review of Borges and Lovecroft together Not to say anything important but merely to understand how they depend on one another I think it is clear that Borges borrowed from Lovecroft And I think it is just as clear that we read Lovecroft in light of what Borges did with the genre of fantasy horror At least a half dozen stories have been identified by readers as cross overs as it were from Lovecroft to Borges Down and Out in Lovecroft and BorgesAt some point but not today I intend to do a review of Borges and Lovecroft together Not to say anything important but merely to understand how they depend on one another I think it is clear that Borges borrowed from Lovecroft And I think it is just as clear that we read Lovecroft in light of what Borges did with the genre of fantasy horror At least a half dozen stories have been identified by readers as cross overs as it were from Lovecroft to Borges And it is difficult to conceive of an interpretation of the genre that doesn t presume the philosophical challenges put by Borges But I think the influences may be muchwidely seen in the detail of the stories One obvious connection is the way both authors use the Arabic world, and Islam especially, as a focus for spiritual mystery Borges admitted to trying to write in the Arabic tradition during a seminar in the 1970 s Lovecroft flirted with Islam in his young adulthood and clearly is familiar with Islamic, particularly Sufi, mythology Another connection between the two authors is their use of space in a story to represent spiritual awakening, often in an inverted form Lovecroft tends downward, inward into the earth and to the South when he enters the realm of the soul, hell, and fear Perhaps this reflects his New England upbringing and the remnants of Puritan myth Borges also goes downward but then typically rises upwards and puts his most primitive worlds in the North Could the swamps and relative wildness of Uruguay and the Ibera Wetlands be a sort of gnostic symbol of earthly chaos directly opposed to Protestant certainties Who knows, maybe in my twilight years something will emerge

  5. Cecily Cecily says:

    Anything can drive a person insane if that person cannot manage to put it out of their mind even a map of Hungary Obsession is the unifying theme of virtually all these stories, which is apt, because I m beginning to be a trifle obsessed myself It is perhaps most central to The Zahir.I have the Collected Fictions with copious translator s notes , but am splitting my review of that into its components, listed in publication order Collected Fictions all reviews This is the fourth, pu Anything can drive a person insane if that person cannot manage to put it out of their mind even a map of Hungary Obsession is the unifying theme of virtually all these stories, which is apt, because I m beginning to be a trifle obsessed myself It is perhaps most central to The Zahir.I have the Collected Fictions with copious translator s notes , but am splitting my review of that into its components, listed in publication order Collected Fictions all reviews This is the fourth, published in 1949 The now familiar Borgesian tropes are also here in abundance too time, reality and dreams, immortality, infinity, mirrors and opposites, labyrinths, recursion and circularity, memory.At this stage of working though Borge s Collected Fictions, I feel deeply connected There is still a beguiling, mysterious layer, but it s not impenetrable by any means, even though I m very aware that I m nowhere near as erudite as Borges, so although I know many of the great literary names he drops, I m not necessarily intimately familiar with their works.The Immortal 6 What price immortality And what an opening premise a story by a rare book dealer, found by a princess, in a copy of The Ilyad The story itself is about a mysterious, obsessive quest to find the secret City of the Immortals.The journey includes Roman soldiers escape loneliness fear of otherness extraordinary architecture finding a way through a labyrinth of caves, ladders, doors and multiple rooms sinister troglodytes, references to The Odyssey, and much musing on life, death, mortality, and the nature of time It sounds like a checklist of clich s, but in the hands of this master storyteller, it is fresh, beautiful, profound and unsettling The city is found abandoned and part ruined It is beautiful and impressive, but somehow sinister not an easy combination to describe This place is the work of the gods The gods that built this place have died The gods that built this place were mad The impression of great antiquity was joined by others the impression of endlessness, the sensation of oppressiveness and horror, the sensation of complex irrationality A maze is a house built purposely to confuse men the architecture had no purpose Its very existence pollutes the past and the future and somehow compromises the stars view spoiler The barely communicative, primitive troglodytes turn out to be the immortals, who have left their city to live in the labyrinth instead The one the traveller befriends, and names Argos after the dog in the Odyssey, turns out to be Homer himself This sort of evolutionary regression is explored in two stories in Brodie s Report The Gospel According to Mark and the eponymous report of Brodie hide spoiler The philosophical aspects mainly concern the essence of opposites, and hence, ways and forms of immortality the Wheel, which has neither end not beginning, each life is the effect of the previous life and engenderer of the next Over an infinitely long span of time, all things happen to all men heads and tails tend to even out Viewed in that way, all our acts are just, though also unimportant Worse, the notion of the world as an exact system of compensation made them immune to pity For mortals, it s different Death makes men precious and pathetic any act they perform may be their last Everything in the world of mortals has the value of the irrecoverable and contingent The Dead ManThe story is summarised in the opening sentence a low life urban hoodlum becomes a horseman and the leader of a band smugglers His obsession is gaining power.This isthan 1 3 through the Collected Fictions, and I think this has the first female character who meritsthan a sentence though it s not a very enviable role Of course, it s really about death If you re almost dead anyway, does it matter what happens just before The TheologiansA rather dry piece that perks up towards the end It concerns two sects, each of which thinks the other heretical, compounded by a pair of believers in a doctrine, and one protagonist is obsessed with gaining the intellectual upper hand Are they allies the same or opponents opposites If every man is two men, and the real one is the other one, the one in heaven our acts cast an inverted reflection so by doing bad things on earth, good things can happen in heaven I m not sure that would stand up in court view spoiler The final revelation is one that recurs in Borges the two men are one and the same man hide spoiler Story of the Warrior and the Captive MaidenIs going native a choice or a necessity Are contrasting stories essentially two sides of the same story This is only three pages long, and the story starts halfway through This has echoes of The Captive and The Ethnographer reviewed in Dreamtigers.A Biography of Tadeo Isidoro Cruz Any life actually consists of a single moment the moment when a man knows foreverwho he is There is lots of historical background in the translator s notes and the conclusion echoes that of The Theologians view spoiler He realized that the other man was himself hide spoiler.Emma Zunz 6 A woman at last , with clear inspiration from Kafka although Borges says in the afterword that the plot was given to him by a woman without indicating whether it s meant to be fact or fiction It s a compelling, twisted, and tragic story of bereavement and obsessive revenge, leading to thoughts of justice and truth.Like the tree falling in the deserted forest, if the condemned man doesn t know or understand what he s guilty of, does it matter is the sentence valid See Kafka s The Penal Colony for another approach to the same question There s a similar idea in Borges The Secret Miracle , which is in ArtificesThen what An unbelievable story may convince everyone if the substance is true Her shame was real, her hatred was real all that was false were the circumstances, the time, and one or two proper names Plot summary view spoiler Emma blames her employer for disgracing her father, leading him to commit suicide She is young, virginal, with an almost pathological fear of men , which makes her plan especially painful for her She picks up a man He was an instrument for Emma as she was for him but she was used for pleasure, while he was used for revenge , then goes to her boss, shoots him, and claims it was self defence because he d just raped her She tells him why she s doing it, but probably too late for him to hear and understand Her story is believed, and the fact of revenge absolves her guilt hide spoiler The House of Asterion 6 The son of a queen lives a strange and solitary life in an empty house like no other , with many doors and corridors.The oddness and sadness only increase when Asterion confides, A certain generous impatience has prevented me from learning to read He runs joyously to greet rare visitors, in part because he can free them from evil Then you realise how, why and who view spoiler Asterion is the Minotaur hide spoiler There are at least two sides to every story.The Other DeathDoes each choice or change create a new path through time Grim but dull memories of a bloody civil war followed by interesting diversions into truth versus memory and the omnipotence of god, encapsulated in the question of whether a hero and a coward with the same name are two people, or two facets of one.Deutsches RequiemA brave and controversial piece on the eve of his execution, the subdirector of a Nazi concentration camp sets down his thoughts, so he can be understood he has no desire to be pardoned, for I feel no guilt.He sees Nazism as intrinsically moral in part, because compassion on the part of the superior man is Zarathustra s ultimate sin That justifies murdering Jews, even a poet he admired I destroyed him to destroy my own compassion Chilling.He engenders no sympathy, but I did, reluctantly, feel the desire to be understood had been partially achieved.Averroes Search A look at failure and defeat, despite great striving An Arab physician in Al Andalus is writing interpretations of Aristotle, but is stumped by the terms comedy and tragedy.The Zahir 6 Head spinning time Idealist doctrine has it that the verbs to live and to dream are at every point synonymous for me, thousands upon thousands of appearances will pass into one a complex dream will pass into a simple one Others will dream that I am mad, while I dream of the Zahir This opens by listing the many meanings of the word, zahir, in different languages and cultures The one that matters here is an object that can inspire obsession to the extent that the victim loses touch with reality Perhaps that is why, at the outset, Borges writes I am still, albeit only partially, Borges.All sorts of things have been zahirs in mythology, but this one is an innocent looking coin that Borges is given in a bar, when drowning his sorrows about a lost, dead love a woman with an obsession of her own glamour and perfection It has the letters N and T scratched on it There is nothing less material than money, since any coin is a panoply of all possible futures , a symbol of free will, perhaps Money is abstract Money is future time After sleepless nights, confusion, consultation with a psychiatrist and scouring books, Borges learnsabout zahirs and resolves to rid himself of the coin in another anonymous bar and to write a fantasy about it In Deutsches Requiem, a couple of stories earlier, the idea of being driven to madness by being fixated on a single thing even a map of Hungary is mentioned, and that idea is extended here He tells of a magic tiger that was a zahir, and a fakir who painted an infinite tiger composed of many tigers in the most dizzying of ways In fact, it contained almost everything like an Aleph the final story in this collection Tennyson said that if we could but understand a single flower we might know who we are and what the world is because everything has elements of everything else Another obsession inducing object is The Book of Sand, in the collection of the same name Perhaps behind the coin is God The Writing of the God Wakened not out of sleep, but into a prior dream, and that dream lies within another, and so on, to infinity A priest of the god lower case, no possessive is in prison, with a tiger jaguar the other side of a piece of glass Following on from The Zahir, his growing obsession with this tiger is no surprise.The priest believes the god created a secret magical phrase that is hidden in creation and can ward off evil He may have seen it many times, without realizing it, or without understanding it He trawls his memories of the world and starts to see god and a message in everything but especially the creature s markings The obsession drives him to the brink of insanity.He has a final revelation, but it was unique to him and it dies with him In the language of a god every word would speak that infinite concatenation of events A god must speak but a single word, and in that word there must be absolute plenitude Ibn Hakam al Bokhari, Murdered in his Labyrinth 5 Cornwall, 1914 quite a shock, compared with the vague andexotic locations of most of the other stories , and two men explore a ruined labyrinthine house, while one tells the other its story, involving a north African prince, a slave, a lion, and a prophesy of a murderous dead man.Walking around They felt they were being suffocated by the house through the knotted darkness the invisible wall, cumbered with ruggedness and angles, passed endlessly under his hand When it was built, the local vicar had condemned it from the pulpit, declaring it intolerable that a house should be composed of a single room, yet league upon league of hallways No Christian ever built such a house He also told a story which is the one after this The Two Kings and the Two Labyrinths.Like a detective, the listener is intrigued but unconvinced the facts were true but told the way you told them, they were clearly humbug He unpicks the less plausible aspects of the story, turns it round, and suggests an alternative.The Two Kings and the Two Labyrinths This is the short tale quoted by the vicar in the previous story It is the prerogative of God, not man, to strike confusion and inspire wonder The Wait It is easier to endure a terrifying event that to imagine it, wait for it endlessly According to the afterword, this was suggested by a true police story A man arrives in a new town, wanting to be inconspicuous, using a false name that of his enemy even though he was not seduced by the literary error of imagining that adopting the name of his enemy would be an astute thing to do He keeps to himself, goes out rarely and cautiously, tries to live in the present, and scours the news to discover if the other man has died view spoiler Instead, his enemy comes to him hide spoiler The Man on the Threshold One house is like another what matters is knowing whether it is built in heaven or hell A man sent to quell riots in an Indian city vanished a few years later the narrator is trying to find him In the afterword, Borges says he set it in India so that its improbabilities might be bearable though it seems no less probable than most of the others.In the opaque city that had magically swallowed up a man I felt the infinite presence of a spell cast to hide Glencairn s whereabouts Everyone claimed either to have never heard of, let alone seen him, or to have seen him moments ago.Finally, a very old man seems to know something, though what he knows is obscure and its relevance unclear, especially because he seems to be talking about events many years ago.The Aleph 6 This has similarities with The Zahir, earlier in this collection a man obsessed with a dead woman, and a mysterious object that inspires obsession and seems to contain everything.Borges visits the house of his love each year, on the anniversary of her death, staying a little longer each time, until he ends up a dinner guest Her cousin is an obsessive poet, who planned to versify the entire planet and delights in reading his epic doggerel to Borges He lavishly praises his own work, but won t publish for fear he might create an army of implacable and powerful enemies Borges realized that the poet s work had lain not in the poetry but in the invention of reasons for accounting the poetry admirable which it wasn t, a poem that seemed to draw out to infinity the possibilities of cacophony and chaos The poet s house comes under threat of demolition, and he is distraught because in his cellar is the Aleph, which he shows to Borges An Aleph is one of the points in space that contains all points , in this case, a disc about three centimetres in diameter This provides a dizzying effect, wonderfully described and also explains the poet s attempt to write about everywhere in the world In that unbound moment, I saw millions of delightful and horrible acts all occupying the same point, without superposition and without transparency Each thing was infinite things because I could clearly see it from every point in the cosmos Those stream of consciousness passages are wonderful, but the ending is unexpectedly flat view spoiler Borges the one in the story questions the authenticity and uniqueness of the Aleph and implies he couldn t see it, thereby suggesting the poet might be mad The house is demolished, but rather than be broken by Borges implication, the poet, liberated from his obsession, publishes his poetry and wins prizes for it hide spoiler.Quotes The black shadow bristling with idolatrous shapes upon the yellow sand of the City s wall I imagined a world without memory, without time and a language that had no nouns, a language of impersonal verbs or indeclinable adjectives All creatures are immortal for they know nothing of death Argos and I lived our lives in separate universes our perceptions were different, but that Argos combined them differently than I Like all those who possess libraries, Aurelian felt a nagging sense of guilt at not being acquainted with every volume in his The heresies we ought to fear are those that can be confused with orthodoxy Her eyes were that half hearted blue that the English call grey The most solemn of events are outside time the immediate past is severed from the future because the elements that compose those events seem not to be consecutive Tearing up money is an act of impiety, like throwing away bread To change the past is not to change a mere single event it is to annul all its consequences, which tend to infinity There is nocunning consolation than the thought that we have chosen our own misfortunes It s hard to follow fashion in war, so A foreign man she had always had her doubts about was allowed to take advantage of her good will by sending her hats These ridiculous shapes had never been worn in Paris and were not hats, but arbitrary and unauthorized caprices The predictable ranks of one and two story houses had taken on that abstract air they often have at night, when they are simplified by darkness and silence A man comes to resemble the shape of his destiny Weary of a world that lacked the dignity of danger, the friends prized the solitude of that corner of Cornwall The past is the stuff that time is made of The notion that there might be parallels between art and life never occurred to him Unlike people who had read novels, he never saw himself as a character in a book A very old man His many years had reduced and polished him the way water smooths and polishes a stone or generations of men polish a proverb This ancient little man for whom the present was scarcelythan an indefinite rumor Our minds are permeable to forgetfulness which sounds rather back to front

  6. Owlseyes Owlseyes says:

    Stevenson, Wells, Twain, Verne, the Arabian Nights, were some of the references for Borges very early on, back in Argentina At his father s library he read a lot Then he went to Europe Borges American, old and a blind poet he realized once, later in life Afterwards he had to live up to it and face old age as a time of happiness the animal being dead man and soul go on Borges a shy man who longed for oblivion siempre t mido , as he said of himself But not shy stories Stevenson, Wells, Twain, Verne, the Arabian Nights, were some of the references for Borges very early on, back in Argentina At his father s library he read a lot Then he went to Europe Borges American, old and a blind poet he realized once, later in life Afterwards he had to live up to it and face old age as a time of happiness the animal being dead man and soul go on Borges a shy man who longed for oblivion siempre t mido , as he said of himself But not shy stories, he wrote Stories venturing into strange worlds of past times and mythologies and religious beliefs by Borges Of his infancy he recalls the horror of mirrors that reflection an enemy of me For some time, before complete blindness, he s seen vague whitish shapes He s seen the black and the red Then the silver color left blue and yellow blended Yellow was the last color to be seen Blindness came very quietly He knew about family blindness Some family members had died blind by Borges Now blind, books have no letters friends are faceless And yet he pursues the search for his secret centermy Algebra, my mirror, my key soon I shall know who I am Borges in search for himself Time has been my Democritus The first story is about the writing of God about a magician Tzinacan, imprisoned He finds a way out.but decides to stay Imprisoned The second story is about the Zahir, the coin, first gotten as money change from a drink aguardente It all starts with the death of actress Teodelina Villar According to the author, she committed the solipsism of dying right on the bairro der sur She wasinterested in perfection rather than beauty It s a story full of reflections on currency money is abstract unpredictable it may be coffee, Brahms music On the 16th of July the narrator bought 1 sterling pound, and studied it under the magnifying glass In August, due to insomnia, he had to consult with a psychiatrist He could not get rid of a fixed idea The narrator has had a dream I was the coin, a Griffin watched Plus, reflections on Sufi wisdom the repetition of names for 99 times maybe behind it is God Ah, the zahir, the coin The narrator got rid of it In a drink The zahir is the shadow of the rose, and the parting of the veil now I use both Mostly, stories to ponder To enjoy their full color Maybe to get perplexed To start searching for meaning Identity too Stories to be read not once But 9 times Or 99 times Over 9 years Preferably over 99 years If you ve got the time.UPDATENice interviewhttps borgestodoelanio.blogspot.com

  7. Jason Jason says:

    You re avoiding a single star, Borges, simply because I try my best not to dish them out There s little value in reading if one is going to try consider ways to dislike doing it I love your ideas, but not your executions Reading through the contents list, I can easily choose five or six stories whose very conception alone excite me The Immortal, The Zahir, The Writing of The God, The House of Asterion , but you continually bashed me over the head with names, places, dates, literary and histor You re avoiding a single star, Borges, simply because I try my best not to dish them out There s little value in reading if one is going to try consider ways to dislike doing it I love your ideas, but not your executions Reading through the contents list, I can easily choose five or six stories whose very conception alone excite me The Immortal, The Zahir, The Writing of The God, The House of Asterion , but you continually bashed me over the head with names, places, dates, literary and historical allusions all of which I recognise as necessary to legitimise a story s authenticity , but I simply wanted a story, not a reference manual It would have been fine had the stories been chunkier, but when I have five orconsecutive lines of undiluted information being dunked into me, I mthan likely going to have to return to the beginning of the sentence to remind myself what it was originally about To my mind it seems the reason you didn t get that award from the guys in Sweden was because you simply tried much too hard to get it But I ll give you the respect you clearly deserve by putting you back in my bookshelf where you sat before, instead of throwing you with the scrapheap in the corner

  8. Florencia Florencia says:

    I know why I didn t write a review I wrote several reviews about Borges books and I got tired of saying how amazing this writer was Is Will always be This is one of the greatest short stories collections I ve ever read There are ordinary situations combined with magical events, sometimes very subtle, sometimes not But it s there And they re all beautifully written Stories like El Inmortal , Emma Zunz , La casa de Asteri n or Los te logos are outstanding pieces of literary work tha I know why I didn t write a review I wrote several reviews about Borges books and I got tired of saying how amazing this writer was Is Will always be This is one of the greatest short stories collections I ve ever read There are ordinary situations combined with magical events, sometimes very subtle, sometimes not But it s there And they re all beautifully written Stories like El Inmortal , Emma Zunz , La casa de Asteri n or Los te logos are outstanding pieces of literary work that nobody should miss This guy created an amazing universe that will surely captivate you, if you give it a chance I think about it and dsadsafsafs Breathtaking

  9. Théodore Théodore says:

    Borges s book had the gift of revealing an idea to me, which, after all, I already had, somewhere in the corners of my mind Literature repeats endlessly the same few themes, the only thing that changes is the time of writing and reading The main themes used by Homer are found in contemporary works too Though, the perspective is different Borges is fascinated by this idea of the text that is written endlessly, that only by getting lost in this re reading of the text will we come to understa Borges s book had the gift of revealing an idea to me, which, after all, I already had, somewhere in the corners of my mind Literature repeats endlessly the same few themes, the only thing that changes is the time of writing and reading The main themes used by Homer are found in contemporary works too Though, the perspective is different Borges is fascinated by this idea of the text that is written endlessly, that only by getting lost in this re reading of the text will we come to understand the supreme text These 17 fantastic stories contained in Aleph folow this obsession of finding the symbol that most accurately depicts the divinity His prose has a fantastic air, and this fantastic is the means by which Borges invites us to know the divinity Of course, this knowledge cannot be rational, because the human mind is limited, it is rather one of trust, of acceptance of the existence of the state of miracle And Borges s miracle is manifested in purely holistic images What has his prose in addition to the mystical texts is precisely the astonishment that encompasses the one who saw the unseen The author finds a very strong connection between dream and revelation The symbol of the labyrinth is perhaps the most present in the book, along with that of the double Borges s God has as many faces as there are religions, he is the Text that brings together the texts of the whole world, from all times, he is a God who changes from reading to reading, always keeping the same features, but with a different face Although difficult to decipher, Borges s prose is fascinanting, the only problem with this writer is that once you read it, you are left with the desire to re read it, endlessly

  10. poncho poncho says:

    After reading Borges my brain usually feels fried, so excuse all the nonsense in this review My intention was never to write anything about it, to let it flow, to carry on with my life But trust me, after reading this magnificent writer, and specially such writings as the ones collected in El Aleph, life s never the same My brain may be fried, but my soul feels somewhat soothed.Reading him is like facing the Zahir something that seeds in one s soul a never ending obsession in life s groundle After reading Borges my brain usually feels fried, so excuse all the nonsense in this review My intention was never to write anything about it, to let it flow, to carry on with my life But trust me, after reading this magnificent writer, and specially such writings as the ones collected in El Aleph, life s never the same My brain may be fried, but my soul feels somewhat soothed.Reading him is like facing the Zahir something that seeds in one s soul a never ending obsession in life s groundless soil Reading him is like finding a two hundred paged Aleph in a shelf, wherein I found infinite selves, like Abraham s seed, multiplied as the stars of Heaven Genesis 26 4 , living infinite scenarios that I saw forking in time and space I read philosophical and theological theories I read Plato and Dante reborn as an Argentinian writer living in the 20th century, who seemed to have forgotten about his authorship of The Divine Comedy, and now has to conform merely with fondness Just like the letter is interpreted as a man pointing simultaneously towards the Earth and the Heavens, representing the former as a mirror of the latter, just like that, Borges s imagination is a mirror element he seems to love as well as tigers that reflects what is not but could have been If life s formula were written in the patterns of a tiger s fur, then Borges s writings would be the alter ego of that tiger I read all the books in the world condensed in a few pages, but none of them reflected how I feel about this book in particular I saw myself, never visiting my aunt and never finding her Kabbalah study texts and never getting interested in such theories, and ergo, in Borges neither I saw myself at a noisy party, drinking cheap booze with friends and such, instead of staying at home, feeling the weight of solitude, trying to find a meaning to cling to and reading how Buddhism influenced Borges The past was changed and therefore the cause was changed but the effectBorges as an awful writer was not Reading him may not be like reading the writing of God, but I m sure it is an accurate translation of it

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