Cover image for Everything and nothing
Title:
Everything and nothing
Author:
Borges, Jorge Luis, 1899-1986.
Publication Information:
New York : New Directions, [1999]

©1999
Physical Description:
x, 108 pages ; 18 cm
Language:
English
Contents:
Nightmares -- Blindness -- Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius -- The garden of forking paths -- Death and the compass -- The wall and the books -- Kafka and his precursors -- Everything & nothing --Borges and I.
ISBN:
9780811214001
Format :
Book

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Central Library X Adult Fiction Central Library
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Central Library X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Summary

Summary

Celebrating the centennial of his birth, Everything and Nothing compiles the most anthologized and widely read fictions by Jorge Luis Borges, "a giant of world literature" (John Updike, The New Yorker). Some of the narrative pieces herein contained are: "Pierre Menard" in which a modern writer reconstructs passages from Don Quixote that are verbally identical but read differently; "The Garden of Forking Paths," an intellectual variation on the detective-story genre; and "Nightmares," a lecture which, as Alastair Reid puts it, "shifts from personal memories to writers, to an examination of other peoples' metaphors, to language itself." Everything and Nothing serves as a perfect introduction to Borges's genius.


Author Notes

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1899, Jorge Borges was educated by an English governess and later studied in Europe. He returned to Buenos Aires in 1921, where he helped to found several avant-garde literary periodicals. In 1955, after the fall of Juan Peron, whom he vigorously opposed, he was appointed director of the Argentine National Library. With Samuel Beckett he was awarded the $10,000 International Publishers Prize in 1961, which helped to establish him as one of the most prominent writers in the world. Borges regularly taught and lectured throughout the United States and Europe. His ideas have been a profound influence on writers throughout the Western world and on the most recent developments in literary and critical theory.

A prolific writer of essays, short stories, and plays, Borges's concerns are perhaps clearest in his stories. He regarded people's endeavors to understand an incomprehensible world as fiction; hence, his fiction is metaphysical and based on what he called an esthetics of the intellect. Some critics have called him a mystic of the intellect. Dreamtigers (1960) is considered a masterpiece.

A central image in Borges's work is the labyrinth, a mental and poetic construct, that he considered a universe in miniature, which human beings build and therefore believe they control but which nevertheless traps them. In spite of Borges's belief that people cannot understand the chaotic world, he continually attempted to do so in his writing. Much of his work deals with people's efforts to find the center of the labyrinth, symbolic of achieving understanding of their place in a mysterious universe. In such later works as The Gold of the Tigers, Borges wrote of his lifelong descent into blindness and how it affected his perceptions of the world and himself as a writer.

Borges died in Geneva in 1986.

(Bowker Author Biography)


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