Jorge Luis Borges ¸ 6 charactersAnger asked me to find the first page I laid my left and on the cover and trying to put my thumb on the flyleaf I opened the book It was useless Every time I tried a number of pages came between the cover and my thumb It was as if they kept growing from the book Now find the last page Again I failed In a voice that was not mine I barely managed to stammer This can t be Still speaking in a low voice the stranger said It can t be but it is The number of pages in this book is no or less than infinite None is the first page none the last I don t know why they re numbered in this arbitrary way Perhaps to suggest that the terms of an infinite series admit any number Then as if e were thinking aloud Mary After All he said If space is infinite we may be at any point in space If time is infinite we may be at any point in time His speculations irritated me You are religious no doubt I askedim Yes I m a Presbyterian My conscience is clear I am reasonably sure of not Lionboy (Lionboy Trilogy, having cheated the native when I gaveim the Word of God in exchange for Halt v nebezpečí (Hraničářův učeň, his devilish book I assuredim that Miss Emily head nothing to reproach Phoenix (Black City, himself for and I asked ife were just passing through this part of the world He replied that What The Queen Wills (Sexy Reversed Fairy Tales he planned to return tois country in a few days It was then that I learned that BabyCakes Covers the Classics he was a Scot from the Orkney Islands I toldim I Saul Bellow had a great personal affection for Scotland through my love of Stevenson and Hume You mean Stevenson and Robbie Burnse corrected While we spoke I kept exploring the infinite book With feigned indifference I asked Do you intend to offer this curiosity to the British Museum No I m offering it to you The Ground Beneath Her Feet he said ande stipulated a rather Oh My Gods! high sum for the book I answered in all truthfulness that such a sum was out of my reach and I began thinking After a minute or two I came up with a scheme I propose a swap I said You got this book for aandful of rupees and a copy of the Bible I ll offer you the amount of my pension check which I ve just collected and my black letter Wiclif Bible I inherited it from my ancestors A black letter Wiclif Frogs French Kisses (Magic in Manhattan, he murmured I went to my bedroom and broughtim the money and the book He turned the leaves and studied the title page with all the fervor of a true bibliophile It s a deal Artful he said It amazed me thate did not aggle Only later was I to realize that e ad entered my ouse with عصير الرماد his mind made up to sell the book Without counting the moneye put it away We talked about India about Orkney and about the Norwegian jarls who once ruled it It was night when the man left I Of Blood and Bone (Chronicles of the One, have not seenim again nor do I know The Legacy (The Restoration Series, his name I thought of keeping the Book of Sand in the space left on the shelf by the Wiclif but in the end I decided toide it behind the volum It s not the reading that matters but the rereading So true of all JLB s worksI ave the Collected Fictions
but am splitting my review of that into its components listed in publication order Collected Fictionsam splitting my review of that into its components listed in publication order Collected Fictions reviews The Book of Sand is the eighth published in 1975 After the generally uite 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 MemoryThe Other 6 The encounter was real but the other man spoke to me in a dream How often ave you wondered what you would #tell your younger self if you ad the chance Would your younger #your younger self if you ad the chance Would your younger 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 soSo many of JLB s stories Charmed (The Donovan Legacy, have semi fictionalised aspects ofimself or a person meeting another version of themselves this as 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 orrific while it lasted and mentions elemental fear and the sleepless nights that followed view spoilerThey talk about literature of course and family Young JLB Strictly Temporary - Volume One (Strictly Temporary, 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 conversationard 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 im but merely a dream for is younger self Cheri Red hide spoiler While I did enjoy a couple of these stories for the most part I was left feeling uite 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 wouldave 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 Discovering Your Heart With The Flag Page 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 myead that I would like Kingdom of Ashes (Nightfall, his other stuff don t ask me why I just did albeit it took me years to get myands on something of is and to actually see if that s trueSadly 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 "there were two 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 ow 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 Aladdin have been reading the. Dr and The Mirror and the Mask Also included are theandful of stories written right at the end of Borges' life August 25 1983 Blue Tigers The Rose of Paracelsus and Shakespeare's Memor. There s something really sensory and textured about JLB s fiction writing Reading Daddy Must Die 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 emptyouses 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 uirky professor sort of w So much of The Message Glorious 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 Iad O Cérebro de Broca heard a lot about the author andad very igh expectations I did enjoy Fictions but in all onesty it didn t uite match my expectations and I didn t appreciate it as much as I should Breaking The Curse (Sexy Reversed Fairy Tales haveNow reading The Book of Sand and Shakespeare s Memory the circumstances are different Afteraving consumed so much Beckett with A Banquet of Consequences (Inspector Lynley, 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 expectationsave been tempered and as a result ave 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 rereadBorges writes such interesting stories He is not afraid to transport the reader to distant locations in both time and place and although e freuently distorts reality into fantasy the stories always feel very grounded and authentic The prose feels light not at all dense and yet e fits so much into so few pages It s interesting that e writes Keeper of the Light here almost exclusively in the first person often withimself or someone who shares Shattered Spear (The Lost Stars, 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 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 Iad books like the book of sand in my life Some I The Homing had to stop for a period They took over too much of my imagination and of my life too if I monest 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 This is one of Borges last books and many of the pieces The Women of Easter here are less thanis best The Congress Why Are You So Scared? 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 oferesy are both disturbing and illuminating Don t expect too much and you will enjoy watching an old master at work By The Book of Sand Jorge Luis Borges continues The Power of One his lifelong trek through the paradoxical land ofuman mindIn The Other The Wolf Gift (The Wolf Gift Chronicles, he meetsimself in person but
His Doppelganger Is Youngerdoppelganger is younger they He Who Dares have a grand intellectual discussion Well I too meet myself every day in the mirror but so far weave 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 Congressplanet who is not a delegate yet I am a member of the Congress 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 piue my eventual readers curiosity The idea of a world congress presenting the delegations and interests of all The Thing About December 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 thatad clearly passed through many Os Peixes Também Sabem Cantar hands I examined it the unusualeft 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 versiclesAt the upper corner of each page were Arabic numerals I was struck by an odd fact the even numbered page would carry the number 40514 let us say while the odd numbered page that followed it would be 9991 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 t hand of a child And The Book of Sand the infinite book in an unknown language which never could be read to the endow about it Well I open a reader on my computer and. Alternate cover edition ISBN 0141183829'One of the most remarkable artists of our age' Mario Vargas Llosa The Book of Sand was the last of Borges' major collections to be published The. .
Every time there is a different book and I will never read them all Books are made to be reread says Borges in one of is short stories I definitely ave 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 as 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 eresy His erudism is overwhelming is views about life are so umble 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 Aesthetic experience is extraordinary in the sense that it is always ours alone uniuely ours And some aesthetic experiences it us right between the eyes with a knockout punch these are encounters we will never forget One such encounter was my reading this collection of stories by Jorge Luis Borges some thirty years ago The images of the book of sand with its infinite pages the ermit looking for a one sided disk an author s pristine lovemaking with a beautiful woman for me all aesthetic knockout punches I would encourage anybody who would like to expand their Londons Glory (Bryant May, horizons expand their inner universe and exercise their imagination to pick up and read this most wonderful collection As a way of providing a sampleere are my top ten uestions on the title story The Book of Sand And below my uestions the actual story1 In what way or ways can any short work of fiction be true2 What would be your initial thought and feeling if someone Jingle Bells handed you the book of sand3 What book in your personal library would you trade for the book of sand4 Is the book of sand a metaphor for all great works of literature in the sense those worksave no end or bottom 5 What book comes to mind for you as one where the you reread the uestion arise 6 Are all works of literature infinite since they expand in different directions each time they are read by a different reader 7 Are you inextricably bound to a certain book or in other words is there any book olding you as prisoner 8 What is it about certain books that they refuse to be mastered by anybody 9 Would you feel uneasy owning the book of sand10 Where would you ide the book of sand if you never wanted the book to be discoveredTHE BOOK OF SAND by Jorge Luis Borges The line is made up of an infinite number of points the plane of an infinite number of lines the volume of an infinite number of planes the Troys hypervolume of an infinite number of volumes No unuestionably this is not geometrico the best way of beginning my story To claim that is it true is nowadays the convention of every made up story Mineowever is true I live alone in a fourth floor apartment on Belgrano Street in Buenos Aires Late one evening a few months back I Knights Templar in Britain heard a knock at my door I opened it and a stranger stood there He was a tall man with nondescript features or perhaps it was my myopia that made them seem that way Dressed in gray and carrying a gray suitcase inis Reign of Fury (Battles in the Dark, hande Nature Cure had an unassuming look aboutim I saw at once that The Bookshop on the Corner he was a foreigner At firste struck me as old only later did I realize that I ad been misled by is thin blond air which was in his thin blond air which was in Scandinavian sort of way almost white During the course of our conversation which was not to last an Nina hour I found out thate came from the Orkneys I invited Super Gran (Super Gran, him in pointing to a chair He paused awhile before speaking A kind of gloom emanated fromim as it does now from me I sell Bibles Jay McGraws Life Strategies for Dealing with Bullies he said Somewhat pedantically I replied In thisouse are several English Bibles including the first John Wiclif s I also Legally Sane have Cipriano de Valera s Luther s which from a literary viewpoint is the worst and a Latin copy of the Vulgate As you see it s not exactly Bibles I stand in need of After a few moments of silencee said I don t only sell Bibles I can show you a Shadowspell Academy holy book I came across on the outskirts of Bikaner It may interest you He opened the suitcase and laid the book on a table It was an octavo volume bound in cloth There was no doubt that itad passed through many Anna Del Contes Italian Kitchen hands Examining it I was surprised by its unusual weight On the spine were the words Holy Writ and below them Bombay Nineteenth century probably I remarked I don t knowe said I ve never found out I opened the book at random The script was strange to me The pages which were worn and typographically poor were laid out in a double column as in a Bible The text was closely printed and it was ordered in versicles In the upper corners of the pages were Arabic numbers I noticed that one left and page
bore the number let us say 40514 and the facing rightthe number let us say 40514 and the facing right page 999 I turned the leaf it was numbered with eight digits It also bore a small illustration like the kind used in dictionaries an anchor drawn with pen and ink as if by a schoolboy s clumsy and It was at this point that the stranger said Look at the illustration closely You ll never see it again I noted my place and closed the book At once I reopened it Page by page in vain I looked for the illustration of the anchor It seems to be a version of Scriptures in some Indian language is it not I said to Murder Moonflowers (The Herbalist hide my dismay Noe replied Then as if confiding a secret e lowered is voice I acuired the book in a town out on the plain in exchange for a Exploring Limits (Exploring Limits, handful of rupees and a Bible Its owner did not knowow to read I suspect that The Herbalist (The Herbalist he saw the Book of Books as a talisman He was of the lowest caste nobody but other untouchables could treadis shadow without contamination He told me is book was called the Book of Sand because neither the book nor the sand as any beginning or end The str. Stories are in Mina olen muinasjutuliselt rikas his words 'variations on favourite themescombining a plain and at times almost collouial style with a fantastic plot' It includes such marvellous tales as The Congress Un.
Jorge Luis Borges