May 23, 2010

Good News for Borgoholics

Back in 2008 I read the last stories I had not yet gotten to in Jorge Luis Borges's Collected Fictions, then in 2009 I quickly breezed through his Selected Poems, and this year I'll probably finish reading the Selected Non-Fictions, leaving me only the somewhat unsatisfying Book of Imaginary Beings to appease my Borgoholic tendencies (well, that and rereading stories like "Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius" and "The Library of Babel" over and over again, naturally), or at least so I thought.

It seems the good people of Penguin Books (who were also responsible for the four volumes listed above) are releasing no less than five (!!!) new volumes of writings by Borges this year. Here is the information I've been able to gather thus far:
  • Poems of the Night (released 30 March 2010) - according to Penguin this collection contains "the great literary visionary's poetic meditations on nighttime, darkness, and the crepuscular world of visions and dreams."
  • The Sonnets (released 30 March 2010) - collects all of his sonnets in Spanish with parallel English translation.
  • On Argentina (to be released 29 June 2010) - according to Penguin, "the twenty selections chosen for this collection will flesh out the vision of the young Borges between 1925 and 1930."
  • On Writing (to be released 29 June 2010) - according to Penguin this volume will offer "a comprehensive and balanced account of the evolution of Borges's thinking on the craft of writing."
  • On Mysticism (to be released 29 June 2010) - according to Penguin this volume will contain "a collection of Borges's essays, fiction and poetry that explores the role of the mysterious and spiritual in Borges's life and writing."
I think it's safe to assume that each of these books contains some works that have already been published in the previous volumes, but must also contain some new translations as well. The cynic in me might say they're taking advantage of Borges's followers by spreading out over six volumes new material that could have been included in just one addendum to the earlier collections. Luckily, the Borgoholic in me has picked up volume XLVI of the Anglo-American Cyclopaedia and beaten the cynic in me into a sweet, metaphysical coma.


  1. This is wonderful news! I'll definitely be picking up "On Mysticism." Do you have a favorite piece by Borges? Mine's long been "Funes."

    "The truth is we live by leaving behind."

    And, "ut nihil non iisdem verbis redderetur auditum" (“so that nothing having been heard can be retold in the same words”).

  2. Probably the two I mentioned above, along with "Pierre Menard" and "The Secret Miracle":

    "Like every writer, he measured other men's virtues by what they had accomplished, yet asked that other men measure him by what he planned someday to do."