A Universal History of Iniquity, Jorge Luis Borges

This book has been sitting in my house for a very long time. I bought it on an online shopping whim about 6 years ago and then proceeded to ignore it. Perhaps I just wasn’t ready for its contents.

Its contents: A collection of short stories written for a sensationalized Buenos Aires newspaper. Jorge Luis Borges admits that the majority of these are based off of other people’s stories of real events, but perhaps out of boredom, or literary exercise, or both, he embellishes them MORE, for fun. These are not meant to be taken as serious history. There are stories of pirates, Billy the Kid, gang of New York, samurai etc, all of which land you on a final short story, all his own: Man on Pink Corner.

I suppose this could be an exercise out of writer’s block, if you don’t have the patience to come up with characters, plot, or setting. Just pick someone else’s story and fill in the holes with sprinkles (blood & guts), frosting (malice) and your own bits of artistic flair. It is interesting to see the different techniques & exercises artists use to get their brain juices flowing. Jorge Luis Borges just happens to have his literary exercises published.

Books Read: 10



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