Ficciones (lit. «Fictions») is a collection of short stories by Argentinean writer Jorge Luis Borges. Published originally in 1944, it unites in a single book two previously published anthologies of his1. These two parts are «El jardín de senderos que se bifurcan» («The Garden of Forking Paths»)2 and «Artificios» («Artifices»).

Ficciones is among the better known works of Borges, perhaps the best of all. Its stories are a perfect example of Borges’ own recurring themes3 and magic realism as a whole, where the supernatural seems not only to be real, but greater than—and thus independent of—the narrators and other mortal protagonists: The unexplainable happens and we’re mere witnesses of it, powerless to even describe those powers properly.

Poor and laborious delirium is that of creating vast books, to extend to five hundred pages an idea whose perfect oral exposition fits in a few minutes. It’s better to simulate that those books already exist and to offer a summary, a comment on them.

Jorge Luis Borges; «Ficciones» (Prologue)

Ficciones contains the following short stories:

  1. «El jardín de senderos que se bifurcan»
    1. Prologue
    2. «Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius»
    3. «Pierre Menard, autor del Quixote» («Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote»)
    4. «Las ruinas circulares» («The Circular Ruins»)
    5. «La lotería en Babilonia» («The Lottery in Babylon»)
    6. «Examen de la obra de Herbert Quain» («An examination of the Work of Herbert Quain»)
    7. «La Biblioteca de Babel» («The Library of Babel»)
    8. «El jardín de senderos que se bifurcan» («The Garden of Forking Paths»)
  2. «Artificios»
    1. Prologue
    2. «Funes el memorioso» («Funes the Memorious»)
    3. «La forma de la espada» («The Form of the Sword»)
    4. «Tema del traidor y del héroe» («Theme of the Traitor and the Hero»)
    5. «La muerte y la brújula» («Death and the Compass»)
    6. «El milagro secreto» («The Secret Miracle»)
    7. «Tres versiones de Judas» («Three Versions of Judas»)
    8. «El fin» («The End»)
    9. «La secta del Fénix» («The Sect of the Phoenix»)
    10. «El Sur» («The South»)


This writeup is based on the Kindle edition of «Ficciones». As such, it doesn’t contain «El acercamiento a Almotásim» («The Approach to Al-Mu’tasim»). Most of the translations are mine, given that I only have access to the original Spanish version.

Kindle ebook
File size
779 KB
LUMEN (May 6, 2011)
Sold by
Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial SAU

  1. This fractal structure will be familiar to Borges’ readers and is also reflected in the contents of the book itself

  2. Also the name of one of his short stories

  3. Including, but not limited to labyrinths, philosophy, games of chance, secret societies like the Rosicrucian order…

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.