Ficciones by Jorge Luis Borges

I finally read it! I found it deeply compelling. Borges’ intellectual project in this one is to take every idea he is considering to its logical and even illogical extreme to make points about the idea. He critiques “the death of the author” in “Pierre Menard, the Author of the Quixote,” the ability of falsehoods to become “real” through human belief in “Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius,” the progression of governmental tradition into farce and then authoritarianism in “The Lottery in Babylon,” and even experimental literature in “A Survey of the Works of Herbert Quain.” “The Library of Babel” lives up to its billing as an impressive edifice. Borges is almost polymathic in his references and brilliant in his composition tactics. (His prose does become a little tedious at times, but then he keeps most of his short stories under ten pages to avoid tedium and provide pop.) Those not interested in punchlines at the end of stories need not apply. (Borges loves to tell you what it was really about at the end.) It is the sort of work I want to keep and read over and over; I haven’t felt like that in a long time about a book. Five stars, will absolutely read again.