[Epub] ➠ El libro de arena ➡ Jorge Luis Borges – Writerscompany.co.uk
In this short story, you can find a Scotsman, a discussion on bibliophilism and on a not very famous but known to every reader feeling that some books take over your soul I had books like the book of sand in my life Some I had to stop for a period They took over too much of my imagination and of my life too if I m honest I loved those books and felt sad when I finished it This story is about these feelings You should read it It s so small And so significant, it could only be the seminal work of Jorge Luis Borges He s a gem 5 stars. By The Book of Sand Jorge Luis Borges continues his lifelong trek through the paradoxical land of human mind.In The Other he meets himself in person but his doppelganger is younger and they have a grand intellectual discussion Well, I too meet myself every day in the mirror but so far we have no conversations God forefend I find my sadness over the death of that man who most emphatically was never my friend to be curiously stubborn I know that I am alone I am the world s only custodian of the memory of that geste that was the Congress, a memory I shall never share again I am now its only delegate It is true that all mankind are delegates, that there is not a soul on the planet who is not a delegate, yet I am a member of the Congress in another way I know I am that is what makes me different from all my innumerable colleagues, present and future It is true that on February 7, 1904, we swore by all that s sacred is there anything on earth that is sacred, or anything that s not that we would never reveal the story of the Congress, but it is no less true that the fact that I am now a perjurer is also part of the Congress That statement is unclear, but it may serve to pique my eventual readers curiosity The idea of a world congress presenting the delegations and interests of all humankind turned out to be too absurd because the world congress of this kind can only be the world itself It was a clothbound octavo volume that had clearly passed through many hands I examined it the unusual heft of it surprised me On the spine was printed Holy Writ, and then Bombay I opened it at random The characters were unfamiliar to me The pages, which seemed worn and badly set, were printed in double columns, like a Bible The text was cramped, and composed into versicles.At the upper corner of each page were Arabic numerals I was struck by an odd fact the even numbered page would carry the number 40,514, let us say, while the odd numbered page that followed it would be 999.1 turned the page the next page bore an eight digit number It also bore a small illustration, like those one sees in dictionaries an anchor drawn in pen and ink, as though by the unskilled hand of a child And The Book of Sand the infinite book in an unknown language which never could be read to the end, how about it Well, I open a reader on my computer and every time there is a different book and I will never read them all El Primero De Los Cuentos Reunidos Aqu Retoma El Tema Del Doble Los Protagonistas De El Otro Son Lo Bastante Distintos Para Ser Dos Y Lo Bastante Parecidos Para Ser Uno Ulrica Es La Historia De Un Amor Ef Mero El Congreso Describe Una Empresa Tan Vasta Que Se Confunde Con El Cosmos Y Con La Suma De Los D As Undr Y El Espejo Y La M Scara Son Relatos Sobre Literaturas Seculares Que Constan De Una Sola Palabra, Mientras Que Otras Piezas Imaginan Objetos Inconcebibles Como Un Libro De Infinitas P Ginas Un Volumen Impredecible Y A La Vez Monstruoso El Libro De Arena. It s not the reading that matters, but the rereading So true of all JLB s worksI have the Collected Fictions, but am splitting my review of that into its components, listed in publication order Collected Fictions all reviews The Book of Sand is the eighth, published in 1975 After the generally quite straightforward stories of Brodie s Report, this is a welcome return to mystical, metaphysical tales This review does NOT include the four stories published as Shakespeare s Memory.The Other 6 The encounter was real, but the other man spoke to me in a dream How often have you wondered what you would tell your younger self, if you had the chance Would your younger self take any notice What else would you talk about More importantly, would you give them a glimpse of my past, which is now the future that awaits you , and if you did, would you be constraining that future by doing so So many of JLB s stories have semi fictionalised aspects of himself, or a person meeting another version of themselves this has both See also August 25, 1983 , below, and Borges and I in Dreamtigers But although it is described in pleasant terms, JLB says it was almost horrific while it lasted and mentions elemental fear and the sleepless nights that followed view spoiler They talk about literature, of course and family Young JLB has recently read Dostoyevsky s The Double, which is apt It s awkward, though We were too different, yet too alike We could not deceive each other and that made conversation hard Each of us was almost a caricature of the other JLB realises There was no point in giving advice,,, because the young man s fate was to be the man that I am now He concludes that the meeting was real for him, but merely a dream for his younger self hide spoiler Books are made to be reread, says Borges in one of his short stories I definitely have to reread this oneX maybe in one year, maybe in ten or maybe one short story a month short story is not completely accurate Borges has the power to create whole universes in just a few pages there are so many motives and themes in this book, it is simply overwhelming He talks about love, about alterego, about writing, about infinity, about death, about words, about heresy His erudism is overwhelming, his views about life are so humble and so clear One need to read such books at least once in a lifetime or once in a while to appreciate the real value of literature. So much of how we react to the books we read is determined by circumstance and expectation When I read Borges Fictions at the beginning of this year, I had heard a lot about the author and had very high expectations I did enjoy Fictions, but in all honesty it didn t quite match my expectations, and I didn t appreciate it as much as I should have.Now, reading The Book of Sand and Shakespeare s Memory, the circumstances are different After having consumed so much Beckett, with his abstract intentions and long and rambling paragraphs, this collection of short stories with its direct and simple structure is so welcome and refreshing This time, my expectations have been tempered, and as a result have been vastly exceeded Although The Book of Sand and Shakespeare s Memory is generally considered a lesser work, I enjoyed this much than Fictions which of course I will now need to reread.Borges writes such interesting stories He is not afraid to transport the reader to distant locations in both time and place, and although he frequently distorts reality into fantasy, the stories always feel very grounded and authentic The prose feels light not at all dense and yet he fits so much into so few pages It s interesting that he writes here almost exclusively in the first person, often with himself or someone who shares his name as the protagonist Some of these stories are deeply personal, like The Other, and August 25, 1983 Others are abstract, fantastical and allegorical, like The Mirror and the Mask, and Blue Tigers All are wonderful The Borges who wrote these stories was a man approaching the end of a long and full life It s difficult to ignore this fact when assessing these stories, just as it is easy to overstate its significance There is a sadness to the stories, a sense of something lost or undiscovered, but there is also an expression of reverence and wonder for the great possibilities of the world Maybe the point is that these are not necessarily distinct and opposing perspectives. While I did enjoy a couple of these stories, for the most part I was left feeling quite bored by this collection I don t know if it s because I was reading in French which isn t my first language or because the book is a translation and the magic got lost in translation, either one is entirely possible I am still glad I read it though, it s something I never would have read before and I m enjoying pushing my reading comfort zone a bit Once upon a time once upon a long time when I was in high school we read one of Borhes stories, I don t remember which one but I remember liking it a lot And ever since that day I got it into my head that I would like his other stuff don t ask me why, I just did albeit it took me years to get my hands on something of his and to actually see if that s true.Sadly, I didn t feel much while reading this I liked The Other, A Weary Man s Utopia, The disc and The Book of Sand, but at the same time I wasn t wowed by them there were two or three stories that intrigued me a little I think the reason is that in class we analyzed the story, we tried to understand it, but now it would seem I forgot how to do that, to dissect and look deeper into the story The books I ve been reading didn t need much thinking, maybe that s the reason I have been reading them. This is one of Borges last books, and many of the pieces here are less than his best The Congress, however, is a tale of the microcosm as powerful and effective as The Aleph, and The Book of Sand is also one of Borge s finest stories The Sect of Thirty is an excellent short piece, and the theological implications of this account of heresy are both disturbing and illuminating Don t expect too much, and you will enjoy watching an old master at work. There s something really sensory and textured about JLB s fiction writing Reading his work always invokes the distinct smell of dusty leather bound books, the creaking sounds of flawed wood floors lightly tread upon by anonymous figures in the corridors of giant, empty houses, the odors of burnt coffee and blackened toast, a wind gust through a broken and off kilter porch chime A little stuffy at times, but in that charming, quirky professor sort of way, the one who always wore mod colored tweed, smelled like shoe polish and mothballs, and would incessantly, delicately blow his nose with an actual silk handkerchief This is what I find most immediately appealing about Borges I can not only read and enjoy his stories, but see them, detect their various scents, feel the ambient temperature of the room, hear the distant, inconsequential noises inside them He manages to use a light hand to paint great detail.Unlike the compilation Labyrinths with its pockets of occasionally dense hinting at impenetrable storylines, The Book of Sand finds Borges wholly in his later years, the retired Gentleman, spinning fantastical tales of dreamlike scenarios involving a dozen different manifestations of the aging author, looking back on love, nightmares, hallucinations, goals both met and shamefully forgotten, and literary and spiritual worlds invoked at various points throughout his conscious awareness Of my favorite stories in the collection, the majority were arguably a little bit Lynchian in their not quite placeable eeriness In fact, both There Are More Things with its surreal and terrifyingly barren setting and A Weary Man s Utopia with its spooky ooky wise man frozen in time are downright Black Lodge y in the best of ways.Another gems is The Other which deals with a young Borges coming face to face with the older version of himself, or vice versa, or both, or who is really the conscious one here and is now actually now or some other time , etc You know, Borges stuff Others deal with sacred manuscripts and elusive texts, secret or alien societies, rare artifacts with magical powers, mythologies re embraced and mutated, High Literature, dead languagesyou know, other Borges stuff Ulrikke is a gorgeous ode to both the fleeting nature of passion and the echoing impact people can have on you through even brief entanglements or maybe it s just Borges trying to romanticize one night stands and was probably the most emotionally potent for little old me, personally, as someone who has lost a lot of people over the years in a number of ways I think there is something here for everyone, though, assuming they have even the tiniest bit of imagination and human emotions Book not for robot.A short, visceral, and subconscious strumming collection Even if you don t like the stories, you ll definitely at least be able to smell them, and they may continue to sneak into your head at night for some time afterward.