Did you guys know that Jorge Luis Borges got his start as a poet? Okay, well, have you ever heard of Jorge Luis Borge?
Sigh. In very brief, this guy wrote very short, very intellectual stories. Everyone on this list would love ‘em. “The Library of Babel” describes an infinite library containing not only every written book but every possible book. “Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote” is about a man who spends his life writing the first chapter of Don Quixote – word for word identical to the one that Cervantes wrote. Oh, these are strange works. A man discovers that he’s only a dream, another finds all the world in a small copper coin. And his nonfiction essays are stunning. In fact, there are some pieces where you can’t determine if they’re fiction or essay.
Here’s one of his poems:
History Of The Night
by Jorge Luis Borges
Throughout the course of the generations
men constructed the night.
At first she was blindness;
thorns raking bare feet,
fear of wolves.
[The rest of the poem has been removed because it’s almost certainly still in copyright. But I doubt you’ll have any trouble finding it on the Web.]
Now is that a cool idea or what? A history of the night! Borges was brilliantly erudite, too. You can trust him to have gotten the facts right.
Did you notice the kicker? It exists in the last couplet. Borges was blind.