The Book Of Imaginary Beings
- Author: Jorge Luis Borges
- Publisher: Random House
- ISBN: 9780099442639
Jorge Luis Borges is generally acknowledged to be not only the greatest living writer in the Spanish language today but a giant in the world of literature. In "The Book of Imaginary Beings" Borges has drawn upon his vast knowledge of international literature to complete a modern variation of the traditional bestiary.
In 120 pieces, he assembles bizarre and beautiful creatures from all centuries, all countries and all man's fantasies and wild imaginings. The beasts range from the A bao A Qu of malay myth, who sympathetically glows along on a pilgrim's journey to nirvana and moans at the incompletion of the quest, to the murderous marine monster, the Zaratan. In this zoo of dreams are such celebrated creatures as the trolls, the Minotaur, the Cheshire Cat, the golem and the six-tusked white elephant that foretold the birth of the Buddha. Also there are metaphysical fancies like Condillac's sensitive statue, Steiner's thermal beings, the half-lamb-half-cat invented as a pet by Kafka, and the lamed Wufniks of Jewish belief - those magic, righteous beings who die if they realise who they are. Borges draws parallels from many sources ranging through time and space: China, India, Scandinavia, the Americas, the writings of Poe, Swedenborg and Piny; antiquity, mythologies and travellers' yarns.