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The Book Of Imaginary Beings
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The incomparable imagination of Jorge Luis Borges runs wild in this kaleidoscopic miscellany of fantastical creatures.

About the Author

Jorge Luis Borges was born in Buenos Aires in 1899 and was educated in Europe. One of the most widely acclaimed writers of our time, he published many collections of poems, essays and short stories before his death in Geneva in 1986. He was director of the Argentine National Library from 1955 until 1973. Mario Vargas Llosa, in a tribute to Borges, has written- 'His is a world of clear, pure, and at the same time unusual ideas expressed in words of great directness and restraint. He was a superb storyteller. One reads most of Borges' tales with the hypnotic interest usually reserved for reading detective fiction...'

Reviews

The master, writing with sometime collaborator Guerrero, compiled 82 one- and two-page descriptions of everything from "The Borametz" (a Chinese "plant shaped like a lamb, covered with golden fleece") to "The Simurgh" ("an immortal bird that makes its nest in the tree of science") and "The Zaratan" (a particularly cunning whale) in An Anthology of Fantastic Zoology in 1954. He added 34 more (and illustrations) for a 1967 edition, giving it the present title, and it was published in English in 1969. This edition, with fresh translations from Borges's Collected Fictions translator Hurley, and new illustrations from Caldecott-winner S!s, gives the beings new life. They prove the perfect foils for classic Borgesian musings on everything from biblical etymology to the underworld, giving the creatures particularly (and, via S!s, whimsically) vivid and perfectly scaled shape. "We do not know what the dragon means, just as we do not know the meaning of the universe," Borges (1899-1986) and Guerrero write in a preface, and the genius of this book is that it seems to easily contain the latter within it. (On sale Nov. 7) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

"It's a book I look forward to as research, but even more as a kid-at-heart fan of the unnatural, the impossible, the feared" -- Andrew Pyper "He is one of the giants of twentieth-century literature who has vastly enriched the textures of vocabulary of our fantasies and speculation. Only Borges could dream the world with such intellectual rigour" Ian McEwan "Borges is a genius of the first order" -- Martin Amis "One of Borges's great creations... The Book of Imaginary Beings tosses stone after stone into the subterranean caverns of the reader's mind. It takes us along passageways and turns corners to reveal strange shapes and images, some of which may precede and outlast anything conceived by man" Guardian "Jorge Luis Borges, the century's most flagrant, ingenious and industrious compiler of manuscripts that fall short of reality" New York Times

A new translation of Borges's compendium of fantastical creatures familiar from Homer, Shakespeare, Kafka-and Harry Potter. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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