Jorge Luis Borges: The Book of Sand – Review

I’ve been surprised to read that many people consider this as the ‘lesser Borges’. In fact I’m surprised to see so many reviews from Borges fans rating this as anything other than five stars. I’ve only read Andrew Hurley’s translation but I think what separates The Book of Sand (and Shakespeare’s Memory) from other Borges books is the intimate and personal aspect of the stories. The focus on the weary wisdom brought about by old age is what makes many of these tales so special. Almost all the stories were fascinating in their own way but in particular the ‘The Other’ and ‘August 25, 1983′ really resonated with me.

Maybe it’s because the idea of a young man being confronted with an older apparition of himself (or vice versa) puts our own trivialities into question in a way that only Borges is capable of.

Maybe it’s because the subjectivity of age really raises queries about our own selves.

Or maybe it’s merely because i’m fascinated by dreams…

I’ve loved all the Borges books I’ve read and The Book of Sand definitely stands apart from the others; it is definitely not the ‘lesser Borges’. All I know is I’m looking forward to re-reading this book again 50 years time…

‘When you next dream it, you shall be who I am, and you shall be my dream.’

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