JORGE LUIS BORGES: SELECTED NON-FICTIONS - Scarce Fine Copy of The First Hardcover Edition/First Printing

Borges, Jorge Luis (Translated by Eliot Weinberger)

Published by New York City, NY: Viking, 1999
ISBN 10: 0670849472 / ISBN 13: 9780670849475
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1st Printing. 559 pages. Published in 1999. Posthumous collection of the author's essays. One of the most important literary events of the last decade of the 20th century. Published as part of a landmark trilogy that will be definitive for the 21st. The Uniform Edition Series includes "Collected Fictions" (Volume 1), "Selected Poems" (Volume 2), and the present collection (Volume 3). The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a very small and limited first print run as a hardcover oriignal only. The First Edition is now scarce. Presents Jorge Luis Borges' "Selected Non-Fictions" in a felicitous English translation. Universally acclaimed new translations that are destined for canonical status. "Jorge Luis Borges was our century's greatest miniaturist, perpetually cramming entire universes onto the head of a pin. Yet his splendid economy, along the wafer-thin proportions of such classic volumes as 'Ficciones' and 'Labyrinths', has given readers the impression that Borges was miserly with his prose. In fact, he was something of a verbal spendthrift. His collected stories alone run to nearly 1, 000 pages. And his nonfiction output was even more staggering: The young Borges cranked out hundreds of essays, book notes, cultural polemics, movie reviews, and even after he lost his sight in 1955, he continued to dictate short pieces by the dozens" (James Marcus). A sumptuous intellectual feast. An absolute "must-have" title for Jorge Luis Borges collectors. This title is a great book. This is one of few copies of the First Hardcover Edition/First Printing still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a beauty. A scarce copy thus. Jorge Luis Borges' body of work is regarded by Harold Bloom, George Steiner, and Susan Sontag as among the canonical works of modern literature. One of the greatest writers of the 20th century. A fine copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER JORGE LUIS RBORGES TITLES IN OUR CATALOG) ISBN 0670849472. Bookseller Inventory # 12339

About this title:

Synopsis: The third and final jewel in the crown of Viking's acclaimed three-volume centenary edition of Borges's collected works in English

Though best known in the United States for his short fictions and poems Jorge Luis Borges is just as revered in Latin America as an immensely prolific writer of nonfiction prose. Now, following on the success of the critically acclaimed Fictions, Viking's Selected Non-Fictions brings more than 150 of Borges's most brilliant writings together for the first time in one volume--all in superb new translations. More than a hundred of the pieces have never previously been translated into English.

Even Borges aficionados are sure to be amazed to discover the extent of the master's interests. Like the Aleph in his famous story--the magical point in a certain basement in Buenos Aires from which one can view everything in the world--Borges's unlimited curiosity and almost superhuman erudition become, in his nonfiction, a vortex for seemingly the entire universe. He was equally at home with Schopenhauer and Ellery Queen, King Kong and the Kabbalists, James Joyce or Alfred Hitchcock, Flaubert, the Buddha, and the Dionne Quints!

The first comprehensive selection of this work in any language, the Selected Non-Fictions presents Borges at once as a deceptively self-effacing guide to the universe and the inventor of a universe.

Review: Jorge Luis Borges was our century's greatest miniaturist, perpetually cramming entire universes onto the head of a pin. Yet his splendid economy, along the wafer-thin proportions of such classic volumes as Ficciones and Labyrinths, has given readers the impression that Borges was miserly with his prose. In fact, he was something of a verbal spendthrift. His collected stories alone run to nearly 1,000 pages. And his nonfiction output was even more staggering: the young Borges cranked out hundreds of essays, book notes, cultural polemics, and movie reviews, and even after he lost his sight in 1955, he continued to dictate short pieces by the dozens. Eliot Weinberger has assembled just a fraction of this outpouring in Selected Non-Fictions, and the result is a 559-page Borgesian blowout, in which the Argentinean fabulist takes on being and nothingness, James Joyce and Lana Turner, and (surprisingly) racial hatred and the rise of Nazism. So much for our image of the mandarin bookworm! The very engagé author of this book seems more like a subequatorial Camus, with a dash of Siskel and Ebert on the side.

Selected Non-Fictions demonstrates just how quickly Borges began wrestling with such brainteasers as identity, time, and infinity. Indeed, the very first piece in the collection, "The Nothingness of Personality" (1922), already finds him fiddling with the self: "I, as I write this, am only a certainty that seeks out the words that are most apt to compel your attention. That proposition and a few muscular sensations, and the sight of the limpid branches that the trees place outside my window, constitute my current I." There are many such meditations here, including "A History of Eternity" (in which Borges maps out his own, disarmingly empty version of the eternal, "without a God or even a co-proprietor, and entirely devoid of archetypes"). But it's more fun--and more revelatory--to see the author venturing beyond his metaphysical stomping grounds. Borges on King Kong is a hoot, and a cornball masterpiece such as The Petrified Forest elicits this terrific nugget: "Death works in this film like hypnosis or alcohol: it brings the recesses of the soul into the light of day." His capsule biographies are a delight, his critiques of Nazi propaganda are memorably stringent, and nobody should miss him on the tango. True, the sheer variety and mind-boggling erudition of Selected Non-Fictions can be a little forbidding. But, taken as a whole, the collection surely meets the specifications that Borges laid out in a 1927 essay on literary pleasure: "If only some eternal book existed, primed for our enjoyment and whims, no less inventive in the populous morning as in the secluded night, oriented toward all hours of the world." Oh, but it does. --James Marcus

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Bibliographic Details

Title: JORGE LUIS BORGES: SELECTED NON-FICTIONS - ...
Publisher: New York City, NY: Viking
Publication Date: 1999
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Fine
Dust Jacket Condition: Fine
Signed: no
Edition: 1st Edition.

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Book Description Viking Press, New York, 1999. hardcover. Book Condition: Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: fine. First American edition. Edited by Eliot Weinberger. Translated by Easter Allen, Suzanne Jill Levin, and Eliot Weinberger. 8vo. Quarter white cloth over black boards, with gilt spine titles and decoration. Gilt top stain. Blue end papers. 559 pages, with Notes and Index. No names or marks. Dust-jacket is price clipped. Bookseller Inventory # 1273

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Book Description (New York, New York):, Viking, 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Fine. 1st Edition. First edition, first printing. Fine in a fine dust jacket. Though best known in the United States for his short fiction and poems Jorge Luis Borges is just as revered in Latin America as an immensely prolific writer of nonfiction prose. This volume gathers together more than 150 of Borges's brilliant writings together for the first time in one volume--all in new translations. More than a hundred of the pieces have never previously been translated into English. Bookseller Inventory # 679001105

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