Jorge Luis Borges

Easton Press Jorge Luis Borges books

Ficciones - 1999

Franklin Library Jorge Luis Borges books

Ficciones - 20th Century's Greatest Books - 1980
Ficciones - Collected Stories of the World's Greatest Writers - 1985


Who is Jorge Luis Borges?

Jorge Francisco Isidoro Luis Borges, born on August 24, 1899, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, was an Argentine writer, poet, essayist, and one of the most influential figures in 20th-century world literature. His life and literary career were marked by a profound exploration of metaphysical and philosophical themes, as well as a distinctive approach to storytelling that blurred the boundaries between reality and fiction. Borges was born into a family of Spanish, Portuguese, and British ancestry, and he grew up immersed in a multilingual and multicultural environment. At a young age, he was introduced to literature by his father, a professor and writer, and he quickly developed a passion for reading and writing. In his early adulthood, Borges traveled to Europe, where he encountered literary and philosophical movements that would profoundly influence his work. He lived in Spain, Switzerland, and France, and his exposure to European literature, particularly the works of surrealists and existentialists, played a crucial role in shaping his unique literary style.

Borges's literary output is characterized by his fascination with labyrinths, mirrors, infinite realities, and the convergence of the fantastical and the philosophical. His short stories, often gathered in collections like Ficciones (1944) and The Aleph (1949), are celebrated for their intellectual depth, intricate structures, and exploration of the nature of reality. In addition to his short stories, Borges wrote essays and poems, contributing to a wide range of literary genres. His essay collection Other Inquisitions (1937-1952) delves into his reflections on literature, language, and the nature of knowledge.

El Sur by Jorge Luis Borges

El Sur was first published in 1953 as part of Borges' collection Ficciones. The title El Sur translates to The South in English. The story follows the protagonist, Juan Dahlmann, a librarian, and traces his experiences after a near-fatal encounter. Dahlmann becomes engrossed in a vision of the South, a place associated with his family's past. As he recuperates, Dahlmann contemplates the duality of existence and reality, weaving elements of memory, literature, and identity into the narrative. El Sur is celebrated for its exploration of themes such as the passage of time, the interplay between reality and imagination, and the influence of literature on individual lives. Borges' writing style, characterized by intricate and philosophical narratives, is on full display in this story. The story is often analyzed for its symbolic depth and the intertextual references that enrich the narrative.

Jorge Luis Borges poems

In addition to his renowned short stories and essays, Borges wrote poetry that is celebrated for its intellectual depth, intricate language, and philosophical themes. Examples include Instantes (Instants) A short poem that reflects on the fleeting nature of time and the importance of savoring each moment. Funes, el memorioso (Funes the Memorious) Inspired by one of Borges' short stories, this poem explores the idea of a person with an infinite memory.El Golem (The Golem) A poem that delves into the concept of the legendary creature, the Golem, exploring themes of creation and identity. A un gato (To a Cat) Borges expresses his admiration for cats, exploring their enigmatic and independent nature. Los dones (The Gifts) This poem reflects on the idea of gifts and the impact they have on one's life. Poema conjetural (Conjectural Poem) An exploration of the speculative and subjective nature of poetry. Ajedrez (Chess) Borges often used chess as a metaphor in his works, and this poem is no exception, delving into the philosophical aspects of the game.

Borges' poetry often intertwines with his philosophical and metaphysical musings, and his exploration of complex ideas is a hallmark of his literary style. Many of his poems are contained in collections such as Fervor de Buenos Aires, El Aleph, and Ficciones. Reading Borges' poetry can offer insights into his unique worldview and literary mastery.

Despite his literary acclaim, Borges faced challenges in his personal life. In 1938, he was appointed as the director of the National Public Library in Buenos Aires, a position he held for nearly two decades. However, political turmoil in Argentina during the mid-20th century led to his removal from the position. Jorge Luis Borges's vision of literature and reality continued to evolve throughout his life, and he garnered international recognition for his contributions to the literary avant-garde. He received numerous awards, including the Cervantes Prize, and his influence extended beyond the literary world, shaping the perspectives of writers, philosophers, and scholars.

Jorge Luis Borges passed away on June 14, 1986, leaving behind a literary legacy that continues to captivate readers and scholars alike. His works invite readers into intricate intellectual landscapes, challenging perceptions of reality and language, and cementing his place as a literary giant in the annals of world literature.



The seventeen pieces in Ficciones demonstrate the whirlwind of Borges's genius and mirror the precision and potency of his intellect and inventiveness, his piercing irony, his skepticism, and his obsession with fantasy. Borges sends us on a journey into a compelling, bizarre, and profoundly resonant realm; we enter the fearful sphere of Pascal's abyss, the surreal and literal labyrinth of books, and the iconography of eternal return. To enter the worlds in Ficciones is to enter the mind of Jorge Luis Borges, wherein lies Heaven, Hell, and everything else in between.

The Garden of Forking Paths (Part One)

Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius (1940)
The Approach to Al-Mu'tasim (1936, not included in the 1941 edition)
Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote (1939)
The Circular Ruins (1940)
The Lottery in Babylon (1941)
An Examination of the Work of Herbert Quain (1941)
The Library of Babel (1941)
The Garden of Forking Paths (1941)

Artifices (Part Two)

Funes the Memorious (1942)
The Form of the Sword (1942)
Theme of the Traitor and the Hero (1944)
Death and the Compass (1942)
The Secret Miracle (1943)
Three Versions of Judas (1944)
The End (1953, 2nd edition only)
The Sect of the Phoenix (1952, 2nd edition only)
The South (1953, 2nd edition only)

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