Reviews elsewhere on the web:
Mantex
Damian Kelleher
guardian.co.uk
Danny Yee

Jorge Borges

The total library

You probably know Jorge Luis Borges best for his short stories such as 'The Library of Babel', but he also wrote plenty of non-fiction. The Total Library: Non-Fiction 1922-1986 is a collection of his essays.

The topics of the essays range widely. There are a few essays on the reaction of Argentinians to the Nazi party and the Second world war, there's a history of the tango and and essay on personality and Buddhism. Most of the essays, though, are literary criticism of one form or another with plenty of book reviews, and a number of essays on Dante's Divine Comedy. Borges other favourite subject is time and eternity - 'I tend to return eternally to the Eternal Return'.

Reading this book, one begins to see the infinite work of the literary scholar - not just analysing literary works, but analysing the analysis of previous scholars. Other writers might try to impress the reader with the depth of their knowledge, but Borges never tries to do this. Rather he searches out the unusual - the things that don't wuite fit - and so manages to produce very readable essays on topics which would otherwise be thought of as difficult and abstruse. Highly recommended.

Amazon.com info
Paperback 576 pages  
ISBN: 0141183020
Salesrank: 204919
Weight:0.79 lbs
Published: 2007 Penguin Publishers,
Amazon price $20.73
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Amazon.co.uk info
Paperback 576 pages  
ISBN: 0141183020
Salesrank: 132071
Weight:0.79 lbs
Published: 2001 Penguin Classics
Amazon price £16.99
Marketplace:New from £10.10:Used from £6.72
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Amazon.ca info
Paperback
ISBN: 0141183020
Salesrank: 3583664
Weight:0.79 lbs
Published: 2007 Penguin Classics
Amazon price CDN$ 18.11
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 18.11:Used from CDN$ 15.89
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Product Description
Though best known in the English speaking world for his short fictions and poems, Borges is revered in Latin America equally as an immensely prolific and beguiling writer of non-fiction prose. In THE TOTAL LIBRARY, more than 150 of Borges' most brilliant pieces are brought together for the first time in one volume - all in superb new translations. More than a hundred of the pieces have never previously been published in English. THE TOTAL LIBRARY presents Borges at once as a deceptively self-effacing guide to the universe and as the inventor of a universe that is an indispensible guide to Borges