Perhaps I’m too underdone to appreciate this. Started reading it as part of Borge’s ‘Collected Ficciones,’ but could not persevere throughout the entire compilation. As I delved deeper into the collection and Borge’s aged, more and more self was given up to indulgence. Stolen stories then made up and into new things is a good self-description of this collection. I enjoyed it – but less than I expected in light of the mammoth reputation that Borge’s short fiction possesses.
Pirates and bandits, love and adventure and life and death live in these stories. On the surface at least. Peel it back and find yourself bemusedly spending time with a writer not wholly engaged with any of the aforementioned – examining them and dreaming them and, most importantly, writing them, but not bringing you with him to live them. It was an interesting experience to read writing that never forgot it was literature – that never peeled back the curtain and flung the reader directly into the story. Instead of immediacy – that metafictional framework. Reading a writer writing about a writer writing about what he’d read. Fictional historians of sometimes fictional, sometimes factual history – clever and engaging and stimulating.