Let's read: Ficciones by Jorge Luis Borges

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Spoonary
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Let's read: Ficciones by Jorge Luis Borges

Postby Spoonary » Thu Mar 01, 2018 10:12 pm

Good evening everyone! It's time for another communal read-along.

This time, we're reading Ficciones by Jorge Luis Borges.
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Se reúnen en FICCIONES dos libros de Jorge Luis Borges fechados en 1941 y 1944. «El jardín de senderos que se bifurcan» incluye ocho relatos, entre los que cabe destacar dos breves narraciones de excepcional calidad: «Pierre Menard, autor del Quijote» y «La Biblioteca de Babel». «Artificios» lo forman nueve cuentos, entre ellos «La muerte y la brújula» (historia de una tortuosa venganza), «Funes el memorioso» (una larga metáfora del insomnio) y «El Sur» («acaso mi mejor cuento» en palabras del autor).

For those who are unfamiliar with Borges, he is an Argentinian writer and poet who is best known (I would say) for writing magical realism. His work is a must-read for any Spanish learner, and indeed, this text has been on my reading list since I was studying Spanish at university, so it was only a matter of time before we read it together here. :D

Again, I have created this thread in the multilingual room - as I feel that's the best place for it - so please feel free to discuss the book in either English or Spanish.

There are no rules or regulations to follow, but please mark any spoilers clearly and don't spoil the reading experience for anyone.

¿A qué esperamos? ¡Vamos allá! Buena lectura a todos :)
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Re: Let's read: Ficciones by Jorge Luis Borges

Postby tastyonions » Thu Mar 01, 2018 10:15 pm

Gracias por crear el hilo.
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Re: Let's read: Ficciones by Jorge Luis Borges

Postby tastyonions » Thu Mar 01, 2018 10:30 pm

Desvarío laborioso y empobrecedor el de componer vastos libros; el de explayar en quinientas páginas una idea cuya perfecta exposición oral cabe en pocos minutos. Mejor procedimiento es simular que esos libros ya existen y ofrecer un resumen, un comentario. Así procedió Carlyle en Sartor Resartus; así Butler en The Fair Haven; obras que tienen la imperfección de ser libros también, no menos tautológicos que los otros. Más razonable, más inepto, más haragán, he preferido la escritura de notas sobre libros imaginarios.
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Re: Let's read: Ficciones by Jorge Luis Borges

Postby Stelle » Fri Mar 02, 2018 12:37 pm

There’s only one copy at the library, and it’s currently in use. I’ve put a hold on it, but it will probably be a few weeks before it arrives. I’ll join in when I can!
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Re: Let's read: Ficciones by Jorge Luis Borges

Postby lavengro » Sat Mar 03, 2018 12:45 am

Stelle wrote:There’s only one copy at the library, and it’s currently in use. I’ve put a hold on it, but it will probably be a few weeks before it arrives. I’ll join in when I can!

If it of interest, there appear to be several copies of at least a few of the stories from the Ficciones collection available for free on line, both in the original Spanish and in one or more of the English translations. Google has a bunch of links that do not look dodgy or piratey, so I suspect the original Spanish text is no longer under copyright.

To get you started while waiting for an available hard copy, one might consider starting with the online version of the enigmatic first story in the collection: "Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius". There are also available on youtube Spanish audio narrations of this endlessly-fascinating story.

Before starting in on this story, it may help for context to first read the article on "Uqbar" in the 46th volume of the Anglo-American Cyclopaedia, if you can find it....
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Re: Let's read: Ficciones by Jorge Luis Borges

Postby Spoonary » Thu Mar 08, 2018 9:11 pm

Buenas :) Sí, soy yo y tengo que admitir que aún no he empezado a leer Ficciones. :oops:

No sé qué me pasa pero me siento como que no puedo ponerme a leerlo sin estar 100% concentrada, algo que, después de un día en la oficina, no ocurre muy a menudo. Además, hasta que lo terminé ayer, también estaba leyendo un libro en inglés que, sinceramente, me apetecía leer más que Borges.

Escribí este mensaje en español para hacerme sentir mejor y espero que me disculpéis. O hoy o mañana comenzaré la lectura y volveré con mis opiniones.

¿Y vosotros, cómo lo lleváis? Mejor que yo, espero. :P
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Re: Let's read: Ficciones by Jorge Luis Borges

Postby Spoonary » Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:21 pm

Guess not? :lol:

I started to read the first story/piece/text last night and got completely confused. I have read about half of Uqbar and to be perfectly honest with you all, I thought it was a bit pretentious and actually pretty boring. I didn't expect to be reading pseudo non-fiction when I picked up my kindle :roll: I think I'll have to start again when I'm not so tired, in order to give it justice, but let's just say I'm less than enthusiastic.

I wasn't sure whether to write this post, as most people hold Borges' work in high regard, but the idea is to discuss our reading experience, and mine hasn't gotten off to the best of starts :?
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Re: Let's read: Ficciones by Jorge Luis Borges

Postby coldrainwater » Tue Mar 13, 2018 3:00 am

Ficciones es tanto un cambio de juego como un gusto adquirido. El mundo de Borges oscila entre un paseo por la tierra de nunca jamás y un vals por la sala de estudio. Las palabras se escurren entre los dedos pero los recuerdos se quedan para siempre. Para mí, la soledad de una biblioteca sin nadie que me distraiga es imprescindible. Me plantaré ante un jardín de libros y veamos como salen las cosas. Aunque falle, no me arrepentiré. Vamos adelante y hacia arriba.
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Re: Let's read: Ficciones by Jorge Luis Borges

Postby David27 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 4:23 pm

Leí Ficciones hace unos años, y me tomó un año de leerlo. Lo dejé y reempece una docena de veces porque me aburrió bastante. Mi experiencia fue similar con lo de Spoon; pensé que sería cuentas de ficción y en realidad la mayoría son escritos como ensayos o artículos nonficcion de un mundo de fantasía.

También leí Cien Años de Solidad de García Márquez y lo prefiero a Ficciones, pero en general no me gusta tanto el estilo realismo mágico (a cada uno su gusto). Si ustedes son como yo, y quieren leer literatura latinoamericana pero no les gusta realismo mágico, sugiero Mario Vargas Llosa.
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Re: Let's read: Ficciones by Jorge Luis Borges

Postby lavengro » Tue Mar 13, 2018 4:33 pm

Spoonary wrote:I started to read the first story/piece/text last night and got completely confused. I have read about half of Uqbar and to be perfectly honest with you all, I thought it was a bit pretentious and actually pretty boring. I didn't expect to be reading pseudo non-fiction when I picked up my kindle :roll: I think I'll have to start again when I'm not so tired, in order to give it justice, but let's just say I'm less than enthusiastic.

The first story in the collection is definitely the most challenging in my opinion, even absenting the language issue (I've only read it in English), and may not be to everyone's taste.

For myself, I recall being hooked immediately by the "mirrors are abominable because they multiple the number of men" line and the quirky description of a Tlön school of metaphysical thought: "Otra, que la historia del universo -y en ellas nuestras vidas y el más tenue detalle de nuestras vidas- es la escritura que produce un dios subalterno para entenderse con un demonio."
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