The Book of Sand and Shakespeare's Memory

The Book of Sand and Shakespeare's Memory

by Jorge Luis Borges

The stories are, in his words, 'variations on favourite themes...combining a plain and at times almost colloquial style with a fantastic plot'.

Also included are the handful of stories written right at the end of Borges' life - "August 25, 1983", "Blue Tigers", "The Rose of Paracelsus" and "Shakespeare's Memory".

  • Language: English
  • Category: Short Stories
  • Rating: 4.15
  • Pages: 159
  • Publish Date: April 5th 2001 by Penguin Books Ltd

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The images of the book of sand with its infinite pages, the hermit looking for a one-sided disk, an author's pristine lovemaking with a beautiful woman - for me, all aesthetic knockout punches. As a way of providing a sample, here are my top ten questions on the title story The Book of Sand. 2. What would be your initial thought and feeling if someone handed you the book of sand? 4. Is the book of sand a metaphor for all great works of literature in the sense those works have no end or bottom? 9. Would you feel uneasy owning the book of sand? THE BOOK OF SAND by Jorge Luis Borges The line is made up of an infinite number of points; the plane of an infinite number of lines; the volume of an infinite number of planes; the hypervolume of an infinite number of volumes. I can show you a holy book I came across on the outskirts of Bikaner. It may interest you." He opened the suitcase and laid the book on a table. It was at this point that the stranger said, "Look at the illustration closely. "I acquired the book in a town out on the plain in exchange for a handful of rupees and a Bible. I laid my left hand on the cover and, trying to put my thumb on the flyleaf, I opened the book. Every time I tried, a number of pages came between the cover and my thumb. The number of pages in this book is no more or less than infinite. While we spoke, I kept exploring the infinite book. With feigned indifference, I asked, "Do you intend to offer this curiosity to the British Museum?" "No. I'm offering it to you," he said, and he stipulated a rather high sum for the book. "You got this book for a handful of rupees and a copy of the Bible. I went to my bedroom and brought him the money and the book. Only later was I to realize that he had entered my house with his mind made up to sell the book. I thought of keeping the Book of Sand in the space left on the shelf by the Wiclif, but in the end I decided to hide it behind the volumes of a broken set of The Thousand and One Nights. I got down the impossible book and leafed through its pages. The small illustrations, I verified, came two thousand pages apart. Summer came and went, and I realized that the book was monstrous. What good did it do me to think that I, who looked upon the volume with my eyes, who held it in my hands, was any less monstrous? One day I went there and, slipping past a member of the staff and trying not to notice at what height or distance from the door, I lost the Book of Sand on one of the basement's musty shelves.

A little stuffy at times, but in that charming, quirky professor sort of way, the one who always wore mod-colored tweed, smelled like shoe-polish and mothballs, and would incessantly, delicately blow his nose with an actual silk handkerchief. Of my favorite stories in the collection, the majority were arguably a little bit Lynchian in their not-quite-placeable eeriness. Even if you don't like the stories, you'll definitely at least be able to smell them, and they may continue to sneak into your head at night for some time afterward.

So many of JLBs stories have semi-fictionalised aspects of himself, or a person meeting another version of themselves; this has both. (view spoiler)They talk about literature, of course (and family). Young JLB has recently read Dostoyevskys The Double, which is apt. He concludes that the meeting was real for him, but merely a dream for his younger self.

Metafizik balamda ve iç dünyamza yaplan göndermeleri çok etkileyici buldum.

Este tal vez no sea el mejor de sus libros de cuentos (un 3.5 sería más sincero), pero reúne el suficiente mérito como para no quedar rezagado. El libro de arena es peculiar porque hay cuentos que tienen como protagonista al mismo Borges (recreado, ficcionalizado, repensado) y hay otros que tratan de esconder que el personaje está basado en sí mismo. Algo más para comentar: hay diálogos o pensamientos de los narradores y/o personajes que se quedan atragantados.

Una foglia nel bosco L'incontro fu reale, ma l'altro parlò con me in un sogno e per questo mi ha potuto dimenticare; io parlai con lui durante la veglia e il ricordo mi tormenta ancora.

On his return to Argentina in 1921, Borges began publishing his poems and essays in Surrealist literary journals. Coetzee said of Borges: "He, more than anyone, renovated the language of fiction and thus opened the way to a remarkable generation of Spanish American novelists."