Thursday, July 3, 2014
Currently Reading: Ficciones
Last night I was wondering if I should write this or if I should start reading a new book for this post. But this book is one of those books that all writers and avid readers should read, according to the praise I've read and I thought that if I put it down now, I may never pick it up again. Plus, writing this post will hold me accountable for finishing the book.
I'm reading Ficciones by Jorge Luis Borges. Borges is a writer that highly influenced fiction writing in Latin America. He was born in Argentina but grew up traveling in Europe and lived in both Switzerland and Spain. His writing in philosophical, surreal, and over my head. In my opinion, Borges takes fiction to a new level. His fiction is about fiction.
Ficciones is a collection of short stories split into two parts; the first titled "The Garden of Forking Paths," and the second is titled "Artifices."These stories are about fictional writers, fictional books, and fictional countries or worlds that have never existed in real life but somehow Borges makes them real. The stories don't feel like stories so much as they feel like accounts of places and times that Borges and only Borges knows. And I think this is why I feel myself struggling to read these stories. I got half way through the first one, had know idea what was going on, and started over from the beginning. It felt like I was reading a new story because I had missed so much! I think this is only because I am not used to the writing style. That being said, he's a brilliant writer and has talents and an imagination that no one else will ever experience.
It may take me a little while to read this one. It's by no means a light or easy read. It requires complete focus, absolutely no distractions, and you really need to digest every single world because every word is necessary and adds to the story. This might mean flipping back a few pages every so often if feeling lost but, since one of the motifs in this book is labyrinths, I think the sensation of getting lost in the stories is intentional.