Synopses & Reviews
It will come as a surprise to some readers that the greater part of Jorge Luis Borges's extraordinary writing was not in the genres of fiction or poetry, but in the various forms of non-fiction prose. His thousands of pages of essays, reviews, prologues, lectures, and notes on politics and culturethough revered in Latin America and Europe as among his finest workhave scarcely been translated into English.
Selected Non-Fictions presents a Borges almost entirely unknown to American readers. Here is the dazzling metaphysician speculating on the nature of time and reality and the inventions of heaven and hell, and the almost superhumanly erudite reader of the world's literatures, from Homer to Ray Bradbury, James Joyce to Lady Murasaki. Here, too, the political Borges, taking courageous stands against fascism, anti-Semitism, and the Peron dictatorship; Borges the moive critic, on King Kong and Citizen Kane and the Borgesian art of dubbing; and Borges the regular columnist for the Argentine equivalent of the Ladies' Home Journal, writing hilarious book reviews and capsule biographies of modern writers.
The first comprehensive selection of this work in any language, Selected Non-Fiction presents over 160 of these astonishing writings, from his youthful manifestos to his last meditations on his favorite books. More than a hundred of these pieces have never before appeared in English, and all have been rendered in brilliant new translations by Esther Allen, Suzanne Jill Levine, and Eliot Weinberger. This unique selection, the third and final volume in Penguin's centenary edition of the Collected Work in English, presents Borges as at once a deceptively self-effacing guide to the universe and the inventor of a universe that is an idispensable guide to Borges.
"Dizzying in scope and dazzling in execution
Should throw even the most dedicated Borges fan for a loop."
The New Yorker
"Intelligently selected and magically translated
Borges's uniqueness in 20th-century letters is rooted in an almost monstrous combination: encyclopedic knowledge, razorlike critical judgment and a ravishing appreciation for the magical and pagan dimension in every situation."
Richard Bernstein, The New York Times
"A remarkable achievement, offering the general reader and Borges aficianados alike a rapturous glimpse into one of literature's most fertile and original minds."
Andrew Roe, San Francisco Sunday Examiner and Chronicle
witty and elaborate, in turn intimate and magisterial
his is the literature of eternity."
Peter Ackroyd, The (London) Times
"A cornucopia of wit, wisdom and critical insights."
George Steiner, Times Literary Supplement
This unique volume presents a Borges almost entirely unknown to American readers: his extraordinary non-fiction prose. Borges' unlimited curiosity and almost superhuman erudition become, in his essays, reviews, lectures, and political and cultural notes.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -547) and index.
About the Author
One of the twentieth century's greatest writers, Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986) published numerous collections of poems, essays, and fiction, Director of the National Library of Buenos Aires from 1955 to 1973, Borges was awarded the degree of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, from both Columbia and Oxford. He received various literary awards over the course of his career, including the International Publisher's Prize (which he shared with Samuel Beckett in 1961), the Jerusalem Prize, and the Alfonso Reyes Prize.