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Harry R. Schwartz

Software engineer, nominal scientist, gentleman of the internet. Member, ←Hotline Webring→.

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The Circular Ruins

Published 17 Feb 2009. Tags: books, old-dead-white-guys.

Jorge Luis Borges, for both of my readers who don’t know him, was one of the best Argentine writers of the 20th century. I’m currently working through a collection of his short fictions, and it’s like reading a modern 1001 Nights. His writing is full of gems. It sparkles with wonder.

One of his justly better-known stories is The Circular Ruins. As it turns out, the complete text of that piece is available online for free. You should probably read it; it’s short, I promise, and if you don’t like it you can write negative comments on my blog, though I will delete them.

EDIT: I just finished El Hacedor/The Maker, and found this paragraph in the afterword:

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.