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El Informe de Brodie El Informe de Brodie supone una evoluci n imprevista en la est tica de Jorge Luis Borges, A diferencia de El Aleph y Ficciones, que abundan en enigmas y en s mbolos, los once cuentos de este volumen, fruto de la lenta madurez del gran escritor, son directos, desnudos y sencillos ➷ [Reading] ➹ Gender in Psychoanalytic Space By Muriel Dimen ➬ – Ralphslaurensoutlet.co.uk A diferencia de El Aleph y Ficciones ❴KINDLE❵ ❆ Insight and Interpretation Author Roy Schafer – Ralphslaurensoutlet.co.uk que abundan en enigmas y en s mbolos ❮Reading❯ ➳ Good People in an Evil Time ➬ Author Svetlana Broz – Ralphslaurensoutlet.co.uk los once cuentos de este volumen [EPUB] ✵ On a Day Like This By Peter Stamm – Ralphslaurensoutlet.co.uk fruto de la lenta madurez del gran escritor ➫ [Ebook] ➦ Heart to Start By Derek Handley ➶ – Ralphslaurensoutlet.co.uk son directos [BOOKS] ⚣ Light without Fire By Scott Korb – Ralphslaurensoutlet.co.uk desnudos y sencillos Brief Tales Composed in a Plain StyleIn the Foreword to this short collection, Borges pays tribute to the latetortured and labyrinthinestories of Rudyard Kipling, which he compares favourably to those of Franz Kafka and Henry James.However, his real interest and inspiration for these stories was Kipling s earlier stories, which Borges describes asa series of brief tales composed in a plain stylethat amount tolaconic masterpieces He speculates that, if ayoung man of geniuscan achi Brief Tales Composed in a Plain StyleIn the Foreword to this short collection, Borges pays tribute to the latetortured and labyrinthinestories of Rudyard Kipling, which he compares favourably to those of Franz Kafka and Henry James.However, his real interest and inspiration for these stories was Kipling s earlier stories, which Borges describes asa series of brief tales composed in a plain stylethat amount tolaconic masterpieces He speculates that, if ayoung man of geniuscan achieve these standards, then perhapsa man such as himself, then aged 70 beginning to get along in years and who knows his craft might, without immodesty, himself attempt Predicating the UniverseBorges claims that his stories are plain tales, though not necessarily simpleThere is not a simple page, a simple word, on earth for all pages, all words, predicate the universe, whose most notorious attribute is its complexityThe Influence of Thousand and One Nights Here, he alludes toThousand and One Nights , which like his own tales,are intended not to persuade readers, but to entertain and touch them He describes his stories asrealistic , forthey abound in the circumstantial details that writers are required to inventDespite his continuing affection for Poe, he claims to haverenounced the shocks of a baroque style as well as those afforded by unforeseen or unexpected endings Of the 11 stories in this collection, most make use of a framing story, in the manner ofThousand and One Nights The manuscript in the titular story is actually found tucked inside a copy of the book Here, however, the substantive story purports to be someone else s tale, that has been brought to Borges for him to retell or record There is almost an expectation that, Borges being a writer of renown, he will embellish the original plain tale, and somehow make itentertaining, memorable or eternal.Borges covenants to tell the storyconscientiously , thoughI can forsee myself yielding to the literary temptation to heighten or insert the occasional small detailAny tale, especially when retold, is re invented, in the voice of the story teller.InUnworthy , the bookseller Santiago Fischbeinconfided to me an episode of his life, and today I can tell it I will change the occasional detail as is only to be expected In the next story, Rosendo Juarez says of Nicolas ParedesThat old man was something I ll tell you the stories he d tellNot so as to fool anyone, of course just to be entertainingHe proceeds to tell Borgesthe truth behind the lies you wroteabout a knife fight in the tough underworld neighbourhood of Palermo in Buenos Aires.The Stuff of MemoryInThe Encounter , the tale teller witnesses another knife fight, and yearns forsomeone to be killed, so that I could tell about it later, and remember itThe story becomes the vehicle for not just entertainment, but recollection and memory, and therefore history.The story is the alternative to silence, to secrecyIn the years that followed, I thoughtthan once about confiding the story to a friend, but I always suspected that I derivedpleasure from keeping the secret than I would from telling itAt the end of the story, he ventures,Things last longer than men,with a hint that perhaps stories last longer than things, that perhaps stories never endWho can say whether the story ends here who can say that they will never meet againPerhaps a story is a station on the line to eternity or even infinity Told and BelievedInJuan Murana , the narrator says,I can t say whether the story was true the important thing at the time was that it had been told and believed This observation can apply equally to fiction in general Verisimilitude becomes not just a skill, but an object of play in the game between writer and reader.Even the detail in the description is designed to convince us, without necessarily pulling the wool over our eyes This is a description of his aunt s houseHer room smelled musty In one corner stood the iron bed, with a rosary hanging on one of the bedposts in another, the wooden wardrobe for her clothes On one of the whitewashed walls there was a lithograph of the Virgen del Carmen A candlestick sat on the nightstandYou believe it, because you can visualise it.You and OblivionThe story is partly the memory of a knife fight, and partly the memory of a room and its occupant Tomorrow, when the memory is gone and the room forgotten, there will be only oblivion, what Borges callsthe common oblivion InThe Duel , Borges concludes thatthe story that moved in darkness ends in darknessDarkness could be the oblivion of forgottenness, which all good stories battle to overcome, even if told in a plain style Like Borges early stories, these stories too are laconic masterpieces.Oma und Opa A Short Tall Tale I never met my paternal grandparents What I know of them, my father and his sisters told me This is all I remember now My grandfather spent his early life in Edinburgh He was interested in philosophy all through school, and in 1930 he travelled to Germany so he could study under Martin Heidegger at the University of Freiburg There he also met my grandmother, the daughter of a Jewish professor of biology Oma was highly intelligent and a keen reader, but was no student, although she was very supportive of Opa s endeavours So much so that, shortly after their marriage, she conceived and gave birth to my father in 1932 Once married, and evenso when my father was born, my grandfather couldn t hide Oma s racial identity from Heidegger, and eventually Opa was expelled from the University at Heidegger s direction, once he became Rektor Oma and Opa caught a boat to Buenos Aires, where Opa gained a position as a private tutor in philosophy Unfortunately, despite the relative comfort in which they lived, Oma caught tuberculosis and died Opa was forced to leave Argentina, from where he went initially to Dunedin on the south island of New Zealand, and then to Melbourne, where his brother and sister in law worked in an architectural firm.They lived together in an apartment building in St Kilda, until Opa was lucky enough to negotiate an appointment as a lecturer in jurisprudence at the University of Melbourne As part of his remuneration package, he was able to live and work as a tutor in a hall of residence on the campus He also acquired a girlfriend who was happy enough to marry him and share the burden of taking care of my father They subsequently had two daughters, my aunts, one of whom became a professor of literature and the other a musician she played the cello, the sound of which still reminds me of Melbourne, even though I was 17 when I left there to study in Canberra, where, incidentally, I listened to much Baroque and early music.SOUNDTRACK view spoiler Robyn Hitchcock You and Oblivion Concerto in D major for Violin, Cello, Trumpet and Strings hide spoiler I do not aspire to be Aesop My stories, like those of the Thousand and One Nights, try to be entertaining or moving but not persuasive Most of the stories reveal in their real themes in spoilers So, won t talk about them specificaly But one thing in common in all of them is that none of them are fantastic Except perhaps, the titular one, in which a priest discovers and tries to convert to Christianitya community that look like and is called by him Yahoos The difference between Doctor BroI do not aspire to be Aesop My stories, like those of the Thousand and One Nights, try to be entertaining or moving but not persuasive Most of the stories reveal in their real themes in spoilers So, won t talk about them specificaly But one thing in common in all of them is that none of them are fantastic Except perhaps, the titular one, in which a priest discovers and tries to convert to Christianitya community that look like and is called by him Yahoos The difference between Doctor Brodie s no relation to Miss Jean Brodie Yahoos and Guliver s Yahoos is that the former aren t primitave rather, narrator speculates on the basis of their language, but rather aadvanced age who forgot how to read and write Given the ever shortening attention span of our generation, it might be happening any time soon to rest of us.About the king of YahoosSo that the physical world may not lead him from the paths of wisdom, he is gelded on the spot, his eyes are burned, and his hands and feet are amputated Thereafter, he lives confined in a cavern called the Castle Qzr , into which only the four witch doctors and the two slave women who attend him and anoint him with dung are permitted entrance Should war arise, the witch doctors remove him from his cavern, display him to the tribe to excite their courage, and bear him, lifted onto their shoulders after the manner of a flag or a talisman, to the thick of the fight In such cases, he dies almost immediately under the hail of stones flung at him by the Ape men On the way they countI shall speak now of the witch doctors I have already recorded that they are four, this number being the largest that their arithmetic spans On their fingers they count thus one, two, three, four, many Infinity begins at the thumb Yahoo can see into future but no longer than 15 minutes which makes Brodie reflectKnowing that past, present, and future already exist, detail upon detail, in God s prophetic memory, in His Eternity, what baffles me is that men, while they can look indefinitely backward, are not allowed to look one whit forward And why did they loose all the civilisation they might have gained in past No idea But I think it might be they started prosecuting freedom of speech and artsAnother of the tribe s customs is the discovery of poets Six or seven words, generally enigmatic, may come to a man s mind He cannot contain himself and shouts them out, standing in the center of a circle formed by the witch doctors and the common people, who are stretched out on the ground If the poem does not stir them, nothing comes to pass, but if the poet s words strike them they all draw away from him, without a sound, under the command of a holy dread Feeling then that the spirit has touched him, nobody, not even his own mother, will either speak to him or cast a glance at him Now he is a man no longer but a god, and anyone has license to kill him Most of the rest of the stories are about rivalries, knives, gangsters etc Often stories though realistic, are such that an alternative interpretation suggested by author becomes possible Sometimes objects seem to have personalities of their own, sometimes the events of a story are suspiciously similar to those that occurred in past though with a decline in settings and people.Even prefaces written by Borges are awesome.From the story about a really old woamanNow all my dreams are of dead people was one of the last things she was heard to say No one had ever thought of her as a fool, but as far as I know she had never enjoyed the pleasures of the mind the last pleasures left her would be those of memory and, later on, of forgetfulness.More quotesI prefer the Platonic idea of the Muse to that of Poe, who reasoned, or feigned to reason, thatthe writing of a poem is an act of the intelligence It never fails to amaze me that the classicshold a romantic theory of poetry, and a romantic poet a classical theory Maybe their poor and monotonous lives held nothing else for them than their hatred, and that was why they nursed it In the long run, without suspecting it, each of the two became a slave tothe other Cardoso drew the Red s official cutthroat, a man from Corrientes well along in years, who, to comfort a condemned man, would pat him on the shoulder and tell him, Take heart, friend Women go through far worse when they give birth In tough neighborhoods a man never admits to anyone not even to himself that a woman matters beyond lust and possession, but the two brothers were in love This, in some way, made them feel ashamed I felt in the words of the poet Lugones the fear of what is suddenly too late I do not know how long it lasted there are events that fall outside the common measure of time I often considered revealing the story to some friend, but always I felt that there was a greater pleasure in being the keeper of a secret than in telling it Certain devices of a literary nature and one or two longish sentences led me to suspect thatthis was not the first time he had told the storySleeping, as we all know, is the most secret of our acts We devote a third of our lives to it,and yet do not understand it Two men met face to face at Guayaquil if one of them was master, it was because of his stronger will, not because of the weight of arguments Words, words, words Shakespeare, insuperable master of words, held them in scorn I can t say whether the story was true the important thing was that it had been told and believed I have the Collected Fictions with copious translator s notes , but am splitting my review of that into its components, listed in publication order Collected Fictions all reviews This is the seventh, published in 1970 The Encounter is a crucial story, describing a seminal episode in JLB s childhood, suggesting the roots of so many of his recurring themes.ForewordThis prepares the chronolog I can t say whether the story was true the important thing was that it had been told and believed I have the Collected Fictions with copious translator s notes , but am splitting my review of that into its components, listed in publication order Collected Fictions all reviews This is the seventh, published in 1970 The Encounter is a crucial story, describing a seminal episode in JLB s childhood, suggesting the roots of so many of his recurring themes.ForewordThis prepares the chronological reader for a significant change of style these are plain tales that avoid unexpected endings, in the mould of Kipling JLB asserts that he JLB is not a fabulist or spinner of parables and that his tales are intended not to persuade readers, but to entertain and touch them Most have an introductory section, explaining the allegedly true roots of the story, while conceding he may yield to the literary temptation to heighten or insert the occasional small detail For many years I believed that it would be my fortune to achieve literature through variations and novelties now that I am seventy years old I think I have found my own voice I confess I was slightly disappointed this led me to expect something closer to A Universal History of Iniquity than theextraordinary pieces in between that and this But I was heartened by the fact they are set at some distance in both time and space and that although they are realistic two of the stories can be opened with the same fantastic key I am decidedly monotonous Having finished this collection, they are deeper andmysterious than those in A Universal History, butstraightforward than those in between.For all that these are plain , two stories suggest the importance of imagination In The Other Duel, it s the familiarity of killing animals and the lack of imagination that makes killing people so easy, and in Brodie s Report, the Yahoos lack of imagination makes them cruel.He makes no mention here or in the stories themselves of his blindness unlike In Praise of Darkness, reviewed as part of Dreamtigers I suppose he was long used to it by then.The InterloperThis concerns knife fighters in harsh neighbourhoods Familiar territory, but not really my thing I assumed incorrectly that this would set the tone for all those that followed.Fortunately, this was deeper andcomplex than it seemed at first sight Unfortunately, it was pretty grim Brothers who might be deemed white trash in the US are very close falling out with one of them was to earn yourself two enemies The eponymous interloper is a woman, who cleaves them in both senses to from each other view spoiler One marries herfor service than a relationship , but the other loves her too though I would dispute the word love They agree to share her If you want her, use her There is no mention of her opinion, but she does what s demanded with beast like submissiveness When jealousy becomes too much, they sell her to a brothel, but both sneak out to visit her there, so they buy her back More jealousy So they kill her Now they were linked by yet another bond the woman grievously sacrificed, and the obligation to forget her hide spoiler They are dreadful men, who treat women appallingly There s no suggestion JLB approves, but it still left a nasty taste The notes mention a queer interpretation of this and some of his others , which makes one see it in a whole new light However, other sources say it s based on a true story of friends by switching the protagonists to be brothers, JLB seems to be ruling out a sexual triangle UnworthyClass, friendship, betrayal, and reformation about a Jewish boy, but with Biblical echoes.A respectable bookshop owner was an unlikely gang member in his teens He was shy, red headed, Jewish, and wanted to fit in he changed his first name to somethingCatholic When his mother and aunt were insulted, gangster Ferrari stepped in Young Fischbein was impressed the women wereequivocal a gentleman that demands respect for ladies or a ruffian who won t allow competition , and is taken under the wing of Ferrari.Which of them is unworthy of the other At first, Fischbein denies his friendship with Ferrari for fear it would be bragging Then things take adefinite turn, for unspecified reasons view spoiler He tips off the police about a planned robbery, and Ferrari is killed He doesn t even seem to feel much guilt, despite the fact that at the time he saw Ferrrari as a god, and with hindsight as a poor kid, misguided and betrayed hide spoiler The Story from Rosendo JuarezThis is another version of Man on Pink Corner, from A Universal History of Iniquity Both include the line Rosendo, I think you re needing this as a woman hands him his own knife, from up his sleeve.A rough kid learns to fight, kills a man, is arrested, but turned into a gorilla for the party and now sees himself as a reasonable man, fully reformed The Encounter 6 Young JLB unknowingly sowing the seeds for much of his adult work labyrinth, knives, storytelling, and a mysterious twist and a tacit lesson of being careful what you wish for Aged about ten, he went to stay with a cousin, but being a boy among men , he was lonely, so slipped out to explore the large and unfamiliar house A big house that one has never been in before meansto a boy than an unexplored country to a traveller He gets lost, but is found by the owner, who shows him an extensive knife collection.Some of the men, playing cards, fight JLB was not drunk from wine but I was drunk from adventure I yearned for someone to be killed, so that I could tell about it later The honest and plausible thoughts of a ten year old, but nevertheless shocking view spoiler With detachment, he watches the fight as though it were a game of chess He sees stabbings and death Everyone leaves and vows secrecy What I had longed to see had happened, and I was devastated Many years later, JLB mentions this incident to a police officer who recognises the knives from his description They were mystical knives that had belonged to sworn enemies It was the weapons, not the men, that fought They had lain sleeping, side by side, in a cabinet, until hands awoke them In the blades of those knives there slept, and lurked, a human grudge hide spoiler I always suspected I derivedpleasure from keeping the secret than I would from telling it JLB doesn t state if that remains true Juan MuranaA reclusive widow confuses her man, her tiger, with that cruel object he has bequeathed to her, the weapon of his bloody deeds view spoiler Her landlord is killed in a vain attempt to stave off eviction She insists it was the ghost of her husband that did it Is she deluded or scheming hide spoiler The Elderly LadyAn aged widow remembers little of the minor hero who was her father, so the celebrations pass her by The historical notes are almost as long as the story Too many characters and generations and too much Argentine context for me to get much from.The DuelA knife free duel And female protagonists Paintbrushes at the ready An ambassador s widow decided to become an abstract artist So begins a tacit battle with a friend, who is also an artist In the course of that private duel they acted with perfect loyalty to one another There were no defeats or victories, nor even so much as an open clash , so what was the point view spoiler But when one dies, the other stops painting hide spoiler Back to duality a favourite Borgesian them view spoiler Each needed the other hide spoiler The Other DuelA simmering feud between two men Duality and futility again not that the story is futile Perhaps their only passion was their hatred, and therefore they saved it and stored it up Without suspecting, each of the two became the other s slave view spoiler They pass each other every day, but the fight comes at the end and even then, it s not at their behest They have to race after their throats have been cut The winner didn t know he d won What was there to win anyway hide spoiler GuayaquilThe title is a city in Ecuador that was important in Argentina s battle for independence The story is about rival interpretations of Bolivar s role in that, and hence about truth in general.Can you trust historical documents Of course not Even if they were written by Bolivar himself that does not mean they contain the whole truth The Gospel According to Mark, 5 In his foreword to the Brodie s Report collection, JLB describes this as the best story of the volume.The protagonist is a medical student and a man of contradictions His name is Espinosa, meaning thorny , which has echoes of the crown of thorns.He spends the summer at his cousin s ranch, but the cousin goes away to deal with floods Espinosa is left as de facto master of the house, with a family of illiterate staff He finds an old Bible, with the Gutres family s genealogy at the back They were originally Scottish, but English and literacy has died out in the 100 years since their forebears arrived Evolution does not always go forwards see Brodie s Report, below, and The Immortal in The Aleph Throughout history, humankind has told two stories the story of a lost ship sailing the Mediterranean seas in quest of a beloved isle, and the story of a god who allows himself to be crucified on Golgotha Which will this be Both, perhaps.The student decides to read aloud from this Bible, after supper, and he picks Mark s gospel The family are transfixed, even though they don t understand it He does this each evening There s a similar scene in The Congress in The Book of Sand view spoiler One night, the girl age unspecified, but she was a virgin comes to his room a familiar Kafka trope, though with him it s a young woman She is naked, and climbs into his bed The next day, the family crucify him But only after they have interrogated him about forgiveness, and ascertained those that drove the nails will also be saved If he had said not, would they have spared him And if so, then what Our sins will surely find us out hide spoiler Brodie s Report 5 Gulliver s Travels is a clear inspiration it even features a primitive tribe called the Yahoos A Borgesian aspect is that it purports to be the incomplete notes of a Scottish missionary in Brazil, found in the pages of a copy of 1001 Nights Is the story of its finding true What about the contents The comic and sometimes grisly implausibility suggest not the latter But it could be a fake document, genuinely found, as Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius claims to be.There s no particular narrative, just a string of provocative descriptions, ending with an indirect and unanswered question.The Yahoo diet is strange, fruits, tubers, and reptiles Reptiles, but not mammals They catch fish with their hands fair enough but also drink cat s and bat s milk Every newborn boy is examined for a specific but secret pattern of stigmata If he has them, he is immediately king and therefore he is gelded, blinded with a fiery stick, and his hands and feet are cut off, so that the world will not distract him from wisdom , though given how primitive they are, and the fact they smear his body with dung , I doubt such kings will survive long enough to develop much wisdom.Their counting system is 1, 2, 3, 4, many and the Yahoos have no memory , so if someone mentions a leopard attack, no one knows if it happened to them, their parents, or in a dream Philosophically speaking, memory is no less marvellous than prophesying the future as witch doctors can do Does that require the assumption of one past and only one future If we believe in multiple possible outcomes as JLB suggests in other stories , this claim doesn t make much sense.The lack of conversion to Christianity is original The phrase Our Father disturbed them, since they lack any concept of paternity They do not understand that an act performed nine months ago may somehow be related to the birth of a child and all women engage in carnal commerce, though not all are mothers Their language is strange and simultaneously simple and complex The intellectual power of abstraction demanded by such a language suggests to me that the Yahoos are not a primitive people but a degenerate one Indecipherable runes nearby seem to confirm that Like the Gutres family in The Gospel According to Mark, above, and the immortals in the story of that name in The Aleph Would you die for art In this culture, spontaneous poetry is revered but in a perverse way If the poem does not excite the tribe, nothing happens, but if the words of the poet surprise or astound the listeners he is no longer a man, but a god, and anyone may kill him Brodie finally lists the Yahoos redeeming qualities, upholds an obligation to save them from the occasional attacks by Ape men, or from colonialism and Christianisation and says I hope Her Majesty s government will not turn a deaf ear to the remedy this report has the temerity to suggest What does it suggest We will never know.Quotes Literature is naught but guided dreaming We all come to resemble the image others have of us The newspapers made him the hero that perhaps he never was, but that I had dreamed of Friendship is as mysterious as love the only thing that holds no mystery is happiness because it is its own justification Time cannot be measured in days the way money is measured in pesos and centavos, because all pesos are equal, while very day, perhaps every hour, is different Newspapers told loyal untruths Sleeping is the most secret thing we do Wearing a bow tie and a well trimmed, military style moustache during the course of our conversation he lighted a cigar, and at that, I felt there were too many things on that face Trop meuble, I said to myself I like to imagine that the afterlife is actually a giant labyrinthian library and that you get to spend eternity just exploring it and it s many wonderful infinite depths This desire is partially a way of placating my eternal oh the books I ll never get to read ing and partially because I d like to think that that s where Borges got to go when he died. I am so wrapped up in the several worlds of Jorge Luis Borges that I am sometimes taken aback by the reactions of other readers Doctor Brodie s Report is late Borges, and not at all in the same metaphysical vein as the stories in, say, Ficciones, Labyrinths, or The Aleph It was written, in fact, after a long spell of writing virtually no fiction at all the poetry, however, continued unabated.Doctor Brodie s Report harks back to early Borges, to the works of the 1920s and 1930s he has not onl I am so wrapped up in the several worlds of Jorge Luis Borges that I am sometimes taken aback by the reactions of other readers Doctor Brodie s Report is late Borges, and not at all in the same metaphysical vein as the stories in, say, Ficciones, Labyrinths, or The Aleph It was written, in fact, after a long spell of writing virtually no fiction at all the poetry, however, continued unabated.Doctor Brodie s Report harks back to early Borges, to the works of the 1920s and 1930s he has not only disparaged but tried to actively suppress I refer to his early stories and essays about what he calls the suburbs of Buenos Aires, when one story dwellings stretched out to where the pampas began, and slaughterhouses and knife wielding toughs abounded to process the beef that was exported to Europe While no gangster himself, Borges was fascinated by the men who lived on the outskirts of the city men like Juan Murana and Evaristo Carriego These noir heroes perhaps represented what Borges would have liked to be in a different reality.After all, he is the descendent of military heroes, and one of his antecedents, Manuel Isidoro Suarez, was instrumental in winning the Battle of Junin 1824 during the Peruvian war of independence But both he and his father were bookish sorts, and during the First World War, he was educated in Switzerland The Argentina he returned to fascinated him, and it took him many years before he found his stride with the volumes I have mentioned above.Still, I like all of the man s work, even his fascination with knife wielding hooligans who had their own inarticulate code of bravery These stories are not quite so popular as The Library of Babel or The Garden of the Forking Paths or Death and the Compass But they are pure Borges nonetheless and well worth reading.Would I recommend this as the first work by the author one reads By no means I would pick one of thefamous collections Only when the Argentinean has firmly taken root in the reader s heart do I recommend the minor works, of which this is one Knives, knives, knivesI had forgotten how important they were In fact, I ve faced life until now without one whether it has been a life at all might be the most poignant question.Borges is a master of realism The clarity of his prose strikes deeper within me than most of what I have read recently I happily lose myself in his short stories, expectant of the next word I ll read and, despite the themes common across the entire collection knives and the linearity of his accounts, he manage Knives, knives, knivesI had forgotten how important they were In fact, I ve faced life until now without one whether it has been a life at all might be the most poignant question.Borges is a master of realism The clarity of his prose strikes deeper within me than most of what I have read recently I happily lose myself in his short stories, expectant of the next word I ll read and, despite the themes common across the entire collection knives and the linearity of his accounts, he manages to end each with a breathtaking bang I can honestly state that El Evangelio Seg n Marcos read the trans here changed my perspective on life no work has ever sneaked up on me like this one and then quite physically transformed my conscious being What I felt must be what people would like to refer to when they say they were blown away by something I had to stop, breathe, let my mind travel and enjoy the most sublime encounter with art I ve had in years.I should mention the stories, although they stand by themselves quite well, are all interrelated, and I wouldn t be surprised if upon another reading of this exquisite volume I d be able to dissect the threads running through them all They re about Argentina, Argentinianess and Borges s interpretation and construction of the context that surrounded him, but that goes without saying They re about those moments of immensity when, wide eyed and tachycardic, one is able to say I am , knowing the next moment will determine who one, from then on, will be somewhere between always and never, blood letting and eternal.Read this in spanish if you can I don t know how these are in english, but is seems to me this prose would lend itself well for translation , the writing is elegant through its educated simplicity By the time this volume was published it was late in Borges s career By then, he seems to have mastered his miniaturist style, evoking poetry in his strokes, and was entirely comfortable with his stature as a writer Borges himself is written in most of the stories, well aware of his being Borges, many times telling something someone might have told Borges and going into the layers of memory, history and identity that this narrative framework allows It s all quite surreal and magical in its straightforward realism, meaning it s not gritty but somewhat romantic and sparked by fantasy, like the knife fights oft depicted in his stories.Quite honestly, I can t wait to read pretty much all this man wrote Borges mentions that the inspiration for these stories was from Kipling s laconic masterpieces hope to read them, someday He stays true to his words The stories here explore a wide range of themes from religion, culture, time and memory Unlike his meta fiction or labyrinthine works, this focuses mainly on a simple story with a twist at the end The short stories included in this version are 1 The Gospel According to Mark Religion 5 Stars 2 The Unworthy Friend Gaucho Western 4 Stars 3 Th Borges mentions that the inspiration for these stories was from Kipling s laconic masterpieces hope to read them, someday He stays true to his words The stories here explore a wide range of themes from religion, culture, time and memory Unlike his meta fiction or labyrinthine works, this focuses mainly on a simple story with a twist at the end The short stories included in this version are 1 The Gospel According to Mark Religion 5 Stars 2 The Unworthy Friend Gaucho Western 4 Stars 3 The Duel Duel with Paint Brushes 3.5 Stars 4 The End of the Duel Gaucho Western 4.5 Stars 5 Rosendo s Tale Crime 4 Stars 6 The Intruder Crime 4 Stars 7 The Meeting Crime 4 Stars 8 Juan Murana Gaucho Psychological Thriller 4.5 Stars 9 The Elder Lady Victim of time 5 Stars 10 Guayaquil Will to Life 5 Stars 11 Doctor Brodie s Report Culture 5 Stars Deceptively simple yet intricately structured I m sure, these stories will still surprise me when I revisit them in the future.Regards,Vinay In his old age, Borges using Kipling s Plain Tales from the Hills as his model crafted these deceptively straightforward narratives in a new laconic style Argentinian history, the half savage Pampas, the criminals of the Buenos Aires slums, and duels both actual and metaphorical are the subjects of these tales They are all worthwhile, and three of them The Interloper, The Encounter, and the Gospel According to Mark are as good as anything he ever wrote. In the forward JLB says he set out to write minimalist stories like Robert Louis Stevenson I can t say if he is Stevensian or not, but I can tell you that these stories are minimalist masterpieces How can he possibly pack so much in four to six pages And he isn t cramming in a thousand modifiers into every paragraph either instead there is a languid, almost doggedly mundane quality to a lot of the sentences, and yet still by the end it as if we have read an entire novel There are plenty of In the forward JLB says he set out to write minimalist stories like Robert Louis Stevenson I can t say if he is Stevensian or not, but I can tell you that these stories are minimalist masterpieces How can he possibly pack so much in four to six pages And he isn t cramming in a thousand modifiers into every paragraph either instead there is a languid, almost doggedly mundane quality to a lot of the sentences, and yet still by the end it as if we have read an entire novel There are plenty of novels numbering in the hundreds of pages where much less happens Borges, in his old age, seemed to tire of writing fabulist tales and wanted some good old fashioned realism Well, if realism can be like this then I say fuck fantasy Can we take a moment too and ask what is his bloody obsession with gingers He has this image in his mind of the redheaded Latino cowboy, all dressed in black, knife in hand that is indelible in this volume Where did that image come from We suspect a real life situation, but he never tells us In any event the ginger gauchos of Brodie s Report engage in duels and have their souls trapped in their street instruments, and it s all still realism How many writers can do that The sad part is Borges relation to all this he watches the fights and the Red Men in Black all from a distance he can never cross we feel the sorrowful resignation of JLB that he will always be a lonesome reader, and never a lunfardo speaking badass Luckily for us, JLB s disappointment is our enduring gain


About the Author: Jorge Luis Borges

Jorge Francisco Isidoro Luis Borges Acevedo, usually referred to as Jorge Luis Borges Spanish pronunciation xo xe lwis bo xes , was an Argentine writer and poet born in Buenos Aires In 1914, his family moved to Switzerland where he attended school and traveled to Spain On his return to Argentina in 1921, Borges began publishing his poems and essays in Surrealist literary journals He also worked as a librarian and public lecturer Borges was fluent in several languages He was a target of political persecution during the Peron regime, and supported the military juntas that overthrew it.Due to a hereditary condition, Borges became blind in his late fifties In 1955, he was appointed director of the National Public Library Biblioteca Nacional and professor of Literature at the University of Buenos Aires In 1961, he came to international attention when he received the first International Publishers Prize Prix Formentor His work was translated and published widely in the United States and in Europe He died in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1986.J M Coetzee said of Borges He,than anyone, renovated the language of fiction and thus opened the way to a remarkable generation of Spanish American novelists.


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