Borges, The Maker
I decided to dedicate this category of my blog to one of my literary loves: Jorge Luis Borges. I shall publish some of the stories I loved the most from his works, hoping that they might fascinate other readers as they have fascinated me.
I will start with some stories from a collection I recently finished reading, published by Penguin in England under the title The Maker. It is a poetry and prose volume originally published in Spanish as El Hacedor.
Here is what Borges himself says about The Maker:
God grant that the essential monotony of this miscellany (which time has compiled, not I, and into which have been bundled long-ago pieces that I’ve not had the courage to revise, for I wrote them out of a different concept of literature) be less obvious than the geographical and historical diversity of its subjects. Of all the books I have sent to press, none, I think, is as personal as this motley, disorganized anthology, precisely because it abounds in reflections and interpolations. Few things have happened to me, though many things I have read. Or rather, few things have happened to me more worthy of remembering than the philosophy of Schopenhauer or England’s verbal music.
A man sets out to draw the world. As the years go by, he peoples a space with images of provinces, kingdoms, mountains, bays, ships, islands, fishes, rooms, instruments, stars, horses, and individuals. A short time before he dies, he discovers that that patient labyrinth of lines traces the lineaments of his own face.
October 31, 1960
Andrew Hurley is the author of the beautiful translation of both The Aleph and The Maker.