The Rigor of Magic Aug 15, 2007
The blind Argentinian author Jorge Luis Borges' stories are riddles, conundrums, and metafictions, and Borges was recognized as the precursor to the Latin American "Boom." Ficciones is a representative collection of his work. The author revitalized imagination in the literature and liberated fiction from the need to document social reality. In fact, the stories pose an interrogation and challenge to material reality; Borges preferred detective stories and adventure tales, and viewed magic as a rigorous system with its own logic. Kafka comes to mind.
For example, in "Pierre Menard, Author of Don Quixote," the narrator subverts the canonical belief that Miguel Cervantes is the creator of the Spanish classic. In "The Circular Ruins," a stranger comes upon the temple of a syncretic religion to dream a human being into existence.
Carlos Fuentes wrote, "Borges shuffles the genres, rescues all traditions, eliminates the bad habits and creates a new order of rigorousness" to forge a new language for Latin America. His stories will transport the reader into the labyrinth of other worlds.