Games with time and infinity

Jorge Luis Borges: The Complete Works

Preferring the concise arts of essay, poem, and short story, Borges has never written a novel or composed epic verse, and his collected fiction fits comfortably within a single hardcover. But then, so do Shakespeare’s plays, or Newton’s Principia. Nor is Borges famous for complex characters or gripping plots—one looking for either in a Borges story is sure to be disappointed! The works of Borges are celebrated for their ideas. His stories are frequently compared to gemstones, each a marvel of brilliance and compression, multi-faceted and polished, every glittering sentence a spark from which a whole novel might be struck. Borges says more in three pages than many writers say in a trilogy, dazzling the imagination with speculations about time and space, language and identity, and the elusive relationship between author, reader, and text. His work seamlessly blends oppositions—fact and fiction, science and metaphysics, history and mythology—and is presented in a deadpan style that challenges the reader to untangle irony from sincerity. And most of all, his work is playful, animated by a game sense of humor that cheerfully invites everyone to play along.

The following pages feature commentaries on Borges’ works, with a decided focus on English-language translations. The reader should be aware that the title “Complete Works” is somewhat aspirational, but everything that’s been translated into English is here, and then some. To quote one of Borges’ own favorite philosophers, I intend this section as a “guide for the perplexed.” The field of Borges publication is appropriately labyrinthine, complete with numerous editions, translations, and alternate titles. Consider this “Borges Works” section a friendly ball of twine, offered to help one navigate the maze. If you are new to Borges, I’ll help you get your bearings and pick a place to start. If you’re already familiar with his work, you may find some new twists and turns to explore. And of course, the Borges enthusiast should find plenty to complain about, and is welcome to send me suggestions, recommendations, and corrections!

The Borges Works section is divided into nine parts, as described below.  If you have any question about where a particular volume has been located, check the “Quick Reference Card” after the following links.

Borges Works

Fictions and Artifices – Short stories; the core Borges works.

Nonfiction – Collections of essays and criticism.

Collaborations with Bioy Casares – Fiction and anthologies written or edited with Adolfo Bioy Casares.

Collaborations with Others – Fiction and anthologies written or edited with others.

Poetry Compilations — Selections of Borges’ verse translated into English and published as compilations.

Poetry I — Early post-ultraísmo poetry, 1923 to 1943.

Poetry II — Mid-career collections from 1944 to 1969.

Poetry III — Late poetry books from 1969 to 1985.

Lectures, Conversations, and Interviews – Collections of Borges’ lectures, conversations, and interviews.

Quick Reference Card

Fictions and Artifices
Collected Fictions
A Universal History of Infamy
El jardín de senderos que se bifurcan
El Aleph
El hacedor (Dreamtigers)
Personal Anthology
El informe de Brodie / Doctor Brodie’s Report
The Book of Sand / El libro de arena
The Library of Babel (Illustrated)
Everything and Nothing

Selected Non-Fictions
El tamaño de mi esperanza
El idioma de los argentinos
Evaristo Carriego / Evaristo Carriego: A Book About Old-Time Buenos Aires
Historia de la eternidad / History of Eternity
Otras inquisiciones / Other Inquisitions
Borges y el cine / Borges In/And/On Film
On Argentina
On Mysticism
On Writing

Collaborations with Bioy Casares
The Book of Fantasy
Seis problemas para Don Isidro Parodi / Six Problems for Don Isidro Parodi
Dos fantasías memorables/Un modelo para la muerte
Libro del cielo y del infierno
Chronicles of Bustos Domecq
Extraordinary Tales
Nuevos cuentos de Bustos Domecq

Collaborations with Others
Manual de zoología fantástica / The Book of Imaginary Beings
An Introduction to American Literature

Poetry Compilations
Selected Poems (1999)
Selected Poems, 1923-1967
The Sonnets
Poems of the Night

Poetry I
Fervor de Buenos Aires
Luna de enfrente / The Moon Across the Way
Cuaderno San Martín / Copybook San Martín
Poemas (1922-1943)

Poetry II
El hacedor / Dreamtigers
Obra Poética
Para las seis cuerdas / For the Six Strings
El otro, el mismo / The Self and the Other

Poetry III
Elogio de la sombra / In Praise of Darkness
El oro de los tigres / The Gold of the Tigers
La rosa profunda / The Unending Rose
The Gold of the Tigers: Selected Later Poems
La moneda de hierro / The Iron Coin
Historia de la noche / History of the Night
La cifra / The Limit
Los conjurados

Lectures, Interviews, and Conversations
Professor Borges: A Course on English Literature
This Craft of Verse
Jorge Luis Borges: Conversations
Borges on Writing
Siete noches / Seven Nights
Borges at Eighty
Twenty Four Conversations with Borges: Interviews by Roberto Alifano, 1981-1983
With Borges on an Ordinary Evening in Buenos Aires: A Memoir
En diálogos / Jorge Luis Borges: Conversations, Vols. 1-3 (Interviews with Osvaldo Ferrari)
Jorge Luis Borges: The Last Interview

Additional Information
In 1989, Emecé Editores finalized Obras completas, a collection of Borges’ published books in Spanish. Although it doesn’t contain his collaborations or loose papers, it was a major achievement, and represents Borges’ most recent revisions of his earlier works. You can download the PDFs of Obras completas from the following sites:

Obras completas 1923-1974
This PDF version of Emecé Editors’ “Complete Works 1923-1974” is 1170 pages long, and contains all of Borges’ published books from Fervor de Buenos Aires to El oro de los tigres, including Historia universal de la infamia, Ficciones, Otras inquiciones, and El hacedor.

Obras completas 1975-1985
This PDF version of Emecé Editors’ “Complete Works 1975-1985” is 520 pages long, and contains all of Borges’ published books from El libro de arena to Los conjurados, including La memoria de Shakespeare and Atlas, the latter reproduced without María Kodama’s photographs.

Author: Allen B. Ruch
Last Modified: 1 December 2019
Main Borges Page: The Garden of Forking Paths
Contact: quail(at)shipwrecklibrary(dot)com

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