Ficciones, by Jorge Luis Borges: last stories and conclusion

Ficciones

Ficciones,
by Jorge Luis Borges,
1944
Magical realism/Short stories
576 pages
Goodreads
Buy the book on my Bookshop

Β  πŸ“š πŸ“š πŸ“š Β 

Click here to see my other posts on this book.

Today, I’ll share my thoughts on the last two stories:

The Sect of the Phoenix

This is about a sect, its origin, its name, and its secret rites. This could possibly refer to sex. But in the background is a reflection on the sad disappearance of mysteries, as sacred mysteries in the world.

The South

In the Prologue to the second part of the book, Borges says this is his favorite story.
A man leaves the sanatorium, on his way to the South, he meets a couple of people, and his death. I guess the main jest of this one escaped me. I rea there could be some autobiographical element, as Borges was very close to death after severe septicemia.

πŸ“š

As a conclusion, I thoroughly enjoyed this book, with its various ways of considering time, history, and the universe, through for instance the images of mirrors and labyrinths. And the use of metafiction (with real and fictional books and authors) as a tool for that as well, through a diversity of possible interpretations.
All this is actually connected with idealism, which I really didn’t talk much about when exploring the stories. With the ideal/idea-l world superior to the material one.
It’s really fun to approach metaphysics through fiction. And only a brilliant brain like Borges’s can do this is a satisfying way.

πŸ“š

To go more in depth, check the Course Hero page on this book.

HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK?
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF IT,
OR OF T
HIS STORY?

Ficciones, by Jorge Luis Borges: The Secret Miracle

Ficciones

Ficciones,
by Jorge Luis Borges,
1944
Magical realism/Short stories
576 pages
Goodreads
Buy the book on my Bookshop

Β  πŸ“š πŸ“š πŸ“š Β 

Click here to see my other posts on this book.

Today, I’ll share my thoughts on three stories:

The Secret Miracle

A Jewish author is arrested by the Nazis. While in prison, he tries to imagine all the different ways he could be executed, with as many details as possible, telling himself that as things never turn out the way you thought they would, he may not be executed at all if he manages to think about all the possibilities!
Then he thinks about one of his works, which focuses on the concept of time and eternity (does history repeats itself? a theme seen in a previous story). Is time a fallacy?

He argues that the number of experiences possible to man is not infinite, and that a single “repetition” suffices to demonstrate that time is a fallacy.

He asks God to give him to finish this story, at least in his mind.
The next morning, he is brought before the firing squad. At the moment of the first shot, universe suddenly stands still. He realizes he has been given that time. And then final shot comes…
But was all this actually just happening in his mind?

…unreality, which is the necessary condition of art.

This was a very good story. I enjoy how Borges focuses on time and reflects on many facets of it throughout this collection.

Three Versions of Judas

This one is about a fictional theologian and his defense of Judas – some of his ideas are based on the real author De Quincey.
Although some of the ideas were over the top, I really enjoyed this story and some of its other options. In my previous life, I did study the issue around Judas (what he really did or not, and why), as presented by some very serious theologians. So it was really neat to see this question in fiction, analyzed here along the ideas of free will and destiny.
There are a lot of real and fictional references, including some lines in French.

The End

A guitarist has lost a contest and looks for vengeance. And a paralyzed shop owner watches the scene.
Apparently this is based on an epic poem well-known in Argentina, The Return of MartΓ­n Fierro.
I don’t think I understood this one.

To go more in depth, check the Course Hero page on this book.
Come back tomorrow for my thoughts on the last stoies.

HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK?
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF IT,
OR OF T
HIS STORY?

Ficciones, by Jorge Luis Borges: The Form of the Sword

Ficciones

Ficciones,
by Jorge Luis Borges,
1944
Magical realism/Short stories
576 pages
Goodreads
Buy the book on my Bookshop

Β  πŸ“š πŸ“š πŸ“š Β 

Click here to see my other posts on this book.

Today, I’ll share my thoughts on three stories:

The Form of the Sword

The narrator remembers meeting a man with a scar on his face, who told him how he was wounded. With a cool twist at the end of the story about the identity of the man with the scar.

The context of this story is unusual in this collection: we are in Ireland in the 1920s, at a time of conflict with England.

This time, the theme of the labyrinth is considered in parallel with possible repetitions in history, and even a circular labyrinth, if history repeats itself endlessly.

Theme of the Traitor and the Hero

Also in Ireland. About an author and the plot he comes up with, and a pattern that one might find in murders in history (cf. Julius Cesar for instance).

In many stories, Borges makes multiple references to real authors, some he seemed to enjoy or criticize a lot. What’s remarkable, is how heΒ  joins together authors that don’t seem to have really anything in common, like here at the beginning of the story Chesterton and Leibniz!

Death and the Compass

This is about a detective trying to stop a serial killer.
I enjoyed how the number 3 comes recurrently throughout the story, one way or another.
It is a fun story, with a parody element of famous detectives in fiction, but also enriched with Gematria, the study of the numerical value of Hebrew letters. And of course a final twist. I really enjoyed this one a lot.

I sensed that the world was a labyrinth, from which it was impossible to flee.

So far, I have shared notes for one or two stories. For the first time, I decided to share on three stories, as I didn’t have much to say about the first two stories today. It’s fun that the third story would be this one. Not planned at all!

To go more in depth, check the Course Hero page on this book.
Come back tomorrow for my thoughts on next story: The Secret Miracle

HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK?
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF IT,
OR OF T
HIS STORY?