The Fantastical Book Covers of Jorge Luis Borges


“Although Borges could justifiably be considered the most erudite writer of this century, his works frequently provide the reader with moments of intact emotion or simple entertainment,” writes the Borges Center at the University of Pittsburgh. “Fantastic ontologies, synchronic genealogies, utopian grammars, fictional geographies, multiple universal histories, logical bestiaries, ornithological syllogisms, narrative ethics, imaginary mathematics, theological thrillers, nostalgic geometries and invented remembrances, are part of the huge landscape Borges’ works offer both to the academic scholar and the casual reader. And over all things, the philosophy, conceived as perplexity, the thought as conjecture, and the poetry as the deepest form of rationality.” All these complexities are visible in Borges’ book covers, which boast fantastical beasts and surreal scenes. Today is the late Argentine novelist’s 118th birthday, so we’re revisiting some of the book covers that best encapsulate his stunning world.

by Yoko Yamamoto