July 29, 2013

Ficciones by Jorge Luis Borges (Review)

Title: Ficciones
Author: Jorge Luis Borges
First published: 1944
Add it: Goodreads, The Book Depository
Rating: ★★★★★

I wasn't expecting to like this book, because I was aware that it is metaphysical and surreal, and I'm not a big fan of stuff that needs a lot of interpretation to start making sense. However, it ended up being one of my favourite books in The Fiction of Relationship course.

It is very difficult to describe what Ficciones is about, but I'll try. The book is a collection of short stories and is divided into two parts: The Garden of Forking Paths and Artifices, which were once separate collections. The themes vary from literary analysis of the works that never existed, to memory phenomena, to Bible interpretation, to the origins of chance in our fortunes. Borges is a great admirer of books and labyrinths, and nearly in all of the stories one or both of these play the key role, be it an endless library which is a labyrinth, or a labyrinth which is a book. The stories are very bizarre, and sometimes it's hard to make sense of them, but re-reading them or looking at them in the light of other stories usually helps. It's for those who enjoy riddles.

The whole collection have an indescribable collective effect on the reader's consciousness: it's as if Borges opens your cranium, takes your brain out, mixes it thoroughly, paints it with some markers and returns it back to front to its place. After most of the stories I found myself staring at the ceiling for some time completely bewildered while trying to digest what I have just read. An unforgettable experience!

In my book:
Ficciones is a must-read for everyone who enjoys mind games and surrealistic writings. This short story collection was the brightest reading experience of this summer, as well as one of the most dynamic ones. It is one of the few books I intend to re-read, and I'm certainly picking up more of Borges!

Oh my God, look at this edition! $1,985 only ;)


  1. I read a few of the short stories for uni, and I loved them because anything that makes me think equals love (most of the time). I'm yet to read all of the stories - they beg to be discussed (which is why I haven't really read the others because I don't have a sounding board) - but I do intend to read more Borges sometime.

    I do like your description of what Borges does to the mind.

    Also, that first edition looks delicious. As does that lit course.

    1. We need to make a Borges book club and discuss the stories :) Because you are very right that they need to be discussed.

  2. This is what a review should say... It sparks my interest, gives me a glimpse of how the book effected you personally and it is crisp and concisely written! (expressing your opinions in few words). I WILL put this book on my reading list!

    1. Thanks! Good books do inspire me to write better reviews :)


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