Posted tagged ‘pierre menard’

Bookworm Wednesday: Jorge Luis Borges

29 October 2008

Who? Jorge Luis Borges

What? Short stories that challenge your mind

Must read? I’m reading it right now, but the stories “Pierre Menard, Author of The Quichote” and “Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius” are astonishingly good.

Actually I can’t tell that much about Borges. I know that he turned sort of blind during his life, and that he wrote very symbolic stories, with lots of metaphores and surrealism. I’ve only recently got to know him (i bought an anthology), and read the stories ‘Pierre Menard, Author of the Quichote” and the other one only this week.  But they really were so amazing, that i can’t stop writing about it now, hoping that you all run to the online bookstore and order one of his books.

Pierre Menard is the story of a French writer who rewrites the Don Quichote by Cervantes. It’s an essay about the way Menard wrote a better Don Quichote than the original, but – without revealing the plot – that seems a weird thing to say. (just read it). It’s a story about translation and interpretation of texts. Really, really good.

But well, i’ve studied languages, so maybe you’re more into history, and especially history of the big conspiracies? Read the Tlön-story then, a story in which a guy discovers a country that doesn’t exist. Also just read it.

The thing is that Borges – at least in those two stories – in a very dry style can create a surreal world. While reading it, it feels as a paradox. All the time you’re thinking: “oh this is just an essay about something”, and then in the end you find out it’s all just fiction.

There was this other story, that was more symbolic about a guy who wanted to have the ability to dream a person with all the details, which he manages to do. very metaphorical story, very nice ending as well.

I can’t wait to read more, and so should you.