Borges attributed his aversion to writing novels to laziness, and yet his nine anthologies can take on many forms. After all, when the world itself becomes a library and books multiply and absorb past and future publications, life itself becomes a continuous narrative, and time branches into infinite and various overlapping epochs. From Borges’ point of view, life is but a series of fictional narratives that escape the narrow boundaries of time and yearns to become a fantasy that traps the ever-elusive immortality.
A man with a passion for labyrinths, Borges concluded early on that this book-encased world is but a thing of dreams, and said in 1931, “Schopenhauer has already written that life and dreams are leaves of the same book: reading them in order is living; skimming through them is dreaming. Paintings within paintings and books within books enable us to sense this unity.”
“Fictions” includes two short story anthologies: The Garden of Forking Paths, which leads the reader through labyrinths of intersecting times, and Artifices, in which the author uses trickery to bring out the reader by promising different types of temporal narratives.