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Old 12-01-2015   #1
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Borges, A Personal Library

In 1985 Argentine publisher Hyspamérica asked Borges to select one hundred works of great literature, and to write accompanying introductions to each volume. Borges only got through 74 books before dying of liver cancer in 1988. Anyway here is the list. I suspect it might still have a few unrecognized gems.

1. Julio Cortázar, Stories.
2. & 3. The Apocryphal Gospels.
4. Franz Kafka, Amerika; Short Stories.
5. G. K. Chesterton, The Blue Cross and Other Stories.
6. & 7. Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone.
8. Maurice Maeterlink, The Intelligence of Flowers.
9. Dino Buzzati, The Desert of the Tartars.
10. Henrik Ibsen, Peer Gynt; Hedda Gabler.
11. J. M. Eça de Queirós, The Mandarin.
12. Leopoldo Lugones, The Jesuit Empire.
13. André Gide, The Counterfeiters.
14. H. G. Wells, The Time Machine; The Invisible Man.
15. Robert Graves, The Greek Myths.
16. & 17. Fyodor Dostoevsky, Demons.
18. E. Kasner & J. Newman, Mathematics and the Imagination.
19. Eugene O’Neill, The Great God Brown; Strange Interlude; Mourning Becomes Electra.
20. Ariwara no Narihara, Tales of Ise.
21. Herman Melville, Benito Cereno; Billy Budd; Bartleby the Scrivener.
22. Giovanni Papini, The Tragic Everyday; The Blind Pilot; Words and Blood.
23. Arthur Machen, The Three Impostors.
24. Fray Luis de León, tr., The Song of Songs.
25. Fray Luis de León, An Explanation of the Book of Job.
26. Joseph Conrad, The End of the Tether; Heart of Darkness.
27. Edward Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.
28. Oscar Wilde, Essays & Dialogues.
29. Henri Michaux, A Barbarian in Asia.
30. Hermann Hesse, The Glass Bead Game.
31. Arnold Bennett, Buried Alive.
32. Claudius Elianus, On the Nature of Animals.
33. Thorstein Veblen, The Theory of the Leisure Class.
34. Gustave Flaubert, The Temptation of St. Anthony.
35. Marco Polo, Travels.
36. Marcel Schwob, Imaginary Lives.
37. George Bernard Shaw, Caesar and Cleopatra; Major Barbara; Candide.
38. Francisco de Quevedo, Marcus Brutus; The Hour of All.
39. Eden Phillpots, The Red Redmaynes.
40. Søren Kierkegaard, Fear and Trembling.
41. Gustav Meyrink, The Golem.
42. Henry James, The Lesson of the Master; The Figure in the Carpet; The Private Life.
43. & 44. Herodotus, The Nine Books of the History.
45. Juan Rulfo, Pedro Páramo.
46. Rudyard Kipling, Tales.
47. William Beckford, Vathek.
48. Daniel Defoe, Moll Flanders.
49. Jean Cocteau, The Professional Secret and Other Texts.
50. Thomas de Quincey, The Last Days of Emmanuel Kant and Other Stories.
51. Ramón Gómez de la Serna, Prologue to the Work of Silverio Lanza.
52. The Thousand and One Nights.
53. Robert Louis Stevenson, New Arabian Nights; Markheim.
54. Léon Bloy, Salvation of the Jews; The Blood of the Poor; In the Darkness.
55. The Bhagavad-Gita; The Epic of Gilgamesh.
56. Juan José Arreola, Fantastic Stories.
57. David Garnett, Lady into Fox; A Man in the Zoo; The Sailor’s Return.
58. Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels.
59. Paul Groussac, Literary Criticism.
60. Manuel Mujica Láinez, The Idols.
61. Juan Ruíz, The Book of Good Love.
62. William Blake, Complete Poetry.
63. Hugh Walpole, Above the Dark Circus.
64. Ezequiel Martínez Estrada, Poetical Works.
65. Edgar Allan Poe, Tales.
66. Virgil, The Aeneid.
67. Voltaire, Stories.
68. J. W. Dunne, An Experiment with Time.
69. Atilio Momigliano, An Essay on Orlando Furioso.
70. & 71. William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience; The Study of Human Nature.
72. Snorri Sturluson, Egil’s Saga.
73. The Book of the Dead.
74. & 75. J. Alexander Gunn, The Problem of Time.
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Old 12-01-2015   #2
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Re: Borges, A Personal Library

That collection contains some gems indeed.

There's also his Library of Babel collection. The dust jacket images of this set have to be seen to be believed. A sample can be found at John Coulthart's excellent site.

A handful of the introductions to these books and the volumes in A Personal Collection are available in English in Borges' Selected Non-Fictions. I've long hoped for an English translation of both sets. I have the entirety of The Library of Babel in my collection, but of course I can't read a word of it (the set is worth it for the covers alone).

The contents of the books can be found here (scroll down a bit). It's interesting to see what titles Borges chose for some of the collections - an interesting selection of Bloy's Disagreeable Tales was chosen, for instance. His choices for inclusion in the Pu Songling and Chesterton volumes are revealing. I could imagine killing to see a translation of The Book of Dreams (#32).

The titles:
Jack London, The Concentric Deaths
Giovanni Papini, Lo specchio che fugge
Léon Bloy, Histoires désobligeantes
Gustav Meyrink, Der Kardinal Napellus
Arthur Machen, The Shining Pyramid
Jacques Cazotte, The Devil in Love
Herman Melville, Bartleby, the Scrivener
Pedro Antonio de Alarcon, El amigo de la muerte
Franz Kafka, The Vulture
William Beckford, Vathek
Charles Howard Hinton, Scientific Romances
G.K. Chesterton, The Eye of Apollo
Voltaire, Micromegas
Rudyard Kipling, The Wish House
Robert Louis Stevenson, The Isle of Voices
Edgar Allen Poe, The Purloined Leter
Pu Songling, The Tiger Guest
Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Great Stone Face
Jorge Luis Borges, Venticinque agosto 1983 e altri racconti inediti
Henry James, The Friends of the Friends
Leopoldo Lugones, The Pillar of Salt
Saki, The Reticence of Lady Anne
Auguste de Villiers de L'Isle-Adam, Le Convive des dernières fêtes
H.G. Wells, The Door in the Wall
Oscar Wilde, Lord Arthur Savile's Crime
Antoine Galland, The Arabian Nights
Richard Burton, The Arabian Nights
Argentinean Tales
Lord Dunsany, The Country of Yann
Russian Tales
J.L. Borges & A.B. Casares, Nuevos cuentos de Bustos Domecq
The Book of Dreams
Jorge Luis Borges, A/Z
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Old 12-02-2015   #3
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Re: Borges, A Personal Library

Only if you have lots of time:

I knew that someday I was gonna die / And I knew before I died Two things would happen to me / That number one I would regret my entire life / And number two I would want to live my life over again.
Hubert Selby Jr.
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