Vagabond book reviews

Collected Fictions

by Jorge Luis Borges
translated by translated by Andrew Hurley

Collected Fictions cover

There are not many constants in your life but here is one – people complain about translations. “Grievous action!” they cry. “His style is buried!” I don’t know what Borges would say about this volume. I do know he relished the idea of fiction as a maze, sentences as shifting corridors from which the reader could never fully return. Perhaps we should view translations as yet another passage in that maze. 

I don’t know why I carried on this way about translations; I think I have nothing to say about this book. I first read it in 2000 and am still speechless.

– CL

In the vestibule there is a mirror, which faithfully duplicates appearences. Men often infer from this mirror that the Library is not infinite—if it were, what need would there be for that illusory replication? I prefer to dream that burnished surfaces are a figuration and promise of the infinite…

– from The Library of Babel

Next review: Collected Poems 1920–1954