The Book of Imaginary Beings (Classics Deluxe Edition): (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)

The Book of Imaginary Beings (Classics Deluxe Edition): (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)

Paperback(Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)

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In a perfect pairing of talent, this volume blends twenty illustrations by Peter Sís with Jorge Luis Borges's 1957 compilation of 116 "strange creatures conceived through time and space by the human imagination," from dragons and centaurs to Lewis Carroll's Cheshire Cat and the Morlocks of H. G. Wells's The Time Machine. A lavish feast of exotica brought vividly to life with art commissioned specifically for this volume, The Book of Imaginary Beings will delight readers of classic fantasy as well as Borges's many admirers.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780143039938
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/26/2006
Series: Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition Series
Edition description: Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 350,352
Product dimensions: 8.34(w) x 10.92(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 18 - 17 Years

About the Author

Jorges Luis Borges was born in Buenos Aires in 1899 and educated in Europe. One of the most widely acclaimed writers of our time, he published many collections of poems, essays and short stories, before his death in Geneva in June 1986. In 1961 Borges shared the International Publishers' Prize with Samuel Beckett. The Ingram Merrill Foundation granted him its Annual Literary Award in 1966 for his "outstanding contribution to literature." In 1971 Columbia University awarded him the first of many degrees of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa that he was to receive from the English-speaking world. In 1971 he received the fifth biennial Jerusalem Prize and in 1973 was given the Alfonso Reyes Prize, one of Mexico's most prestigious cultural awards. In 1980 he shared the Cervantes Prize (the Spanish world's highest literary accolade) with Gerardo Diego. Borges was Director of the Argentine National Library from 1955 until 1973. In a tribute to Borges, Mario Vargas Llosa wrote: "His is a world of clear, pure, and at the same time unusual ideas...expressed in words of great directness and restraint. [He] was a superb storyteller. One reads most of Borges' tales with the hypnotic interest usually reserved for reading detective fiction..."

Andrew Hurley
is a translator of numerous works of literature, criticism, history, and memoir. He is professor emeritus at the University of Puerto Rico.

Peter Sís has received five New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Book of the Year awards, a Society of Illustrators Gold Medal, and a Caldecott Honor. He was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2003.

Date of Birth:

August 24, 1899

Date of Death:

June 14, 1986

Place of Birth:

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Place of Death:

Geneva, Switzerland


B.A., Collège Calvin de Genève, 1914

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From the Publisher

Of all the Latin American authors in this century, [Borges] is the most universal. (Harold Bloom)

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The Book of Imaginary Beings 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I grew up with this book in my mothers collection, She had bought it in a sale from a local library long before i was born. And it was always a favorite referance book of mine. Growing up in the midst of the Harry Potter mania i found a good understanding of mythical animals and their sources to be a good thing. But dont let me mislead you this is by no means a childrens book. I will most likely break down a buy a copy of my own someday and would recomend this as an addition to any collection if you are a fan of mythology and magic.
P_S_Patrick on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
While I am a big fan of Borges I would not say that I was overly impressed with this book. I think this could partly due to the edition I have not being one of the illustrated ones, but I don't think it is that alone. Despite this, the book does have a lot going for it, the variety of sources that the creatures come from is well researched and impressive, from the ancient Greek writers to the more modern novelists; there is a certain academic feel to it aside from the general amusing nature of the book. This isn't the sort of book that is best appreciated by reading straight through, but is better dipped into. I wouldn't consider this one of Borges' essential works, but no doubt fans of the author will like it even though it isn't in the same league as Labyrinths, as Borges' characteristic style can be noticed in most of the descriptions. Also, at nearly 250 pages, (which isn't actually that long), it is longer than many of his collections of stories.
GuilhermeSolari on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Not the best thing I have read from Borges, but this author's mediocre work is excellent at any standard.
The book itself is pretty much an inside joke of sorts, playing with Borge's obsession of creating new worlds and cultures and then leaving traces of them in real life. Much like the main idea in Tlon, Uqbar and Orbis Tertius.
Borges manages to give us a taste of how rich the human imagination can be without being too dense. Some of the animals are pretty familiar (dragons and centaurs and such), but others really do defy the imagination.
veevoxvoom on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a book that I've always wanted: an encyclopedia of creatures from world mythology that doesn't have to be exhaustive, but is interesting and written in a way that makes you want to see them and imagine their beauty and ugliness. Plus, it's Jorge Luis Borges. How can you go wrong?The Book of Imaginary Beings isn't very long or thick. It picks about one hundred animals and gives them each a page or two, but rather than being didactic (this is not a reference book, so if you're looking for that, look elsewhere), Borges describes them with language fit for the legends that they come out of. It's like reading one hundred short stories. And he picks animals from all around the world. Many of the animals you will never have heard of before, but there are also a few favourites like dragons and unicorns, described in Borges' careful, lyrical style.All in all, it's a wonderful, quirky little book.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I found this book OK. I was expecting a guide for everyday mythical creatures. This wasn't what I expected but still. If you're looking for creatures in different religions well then I bet you would like it. I did learn from it though. I recommend this to the most serious mythologists. Is that a word?