My Experience With The Aleph

2 min readphoto by Wikimedia Commonsreview, popular

I don’t remember when I found the story but it was called The Aleph and was introduced to me by a woman, like the best things in life are. When I’d just finished it, there was a strange ineffable feeling inside me that made me want more. And it turns out that there was a complete book from where the tale came! That was how I met Jorge Luis Borges.

The Aleph was published in 1949. At first glance, it’s just a series of stories, but they really are not just stories. This book covers various literary aspects of different cultures, such as the Eastern, Hebrew, Arabic, and German. His texts vacillate between recurrences, disagreements, and falsehoods. They create a universe in which there is the equalizing juxtaposition of the impossible with the possible, leaving to the reader’s mercy the definition of that small line between dreams and reality. For Borges, all things happen in the same place at the same time, unless they don‘t.

Usually, his stories always return to a cyclical definition of the universe. Borges takes us through mazes, making circumvent skillfully through false doors and temptations of rigor until you find the lighted room of that desired revelation, where that surprised Rabbi in the act that shakily writes the secret name of God or where the last digit of eternity is. There’s even the possibility of stopping time as it happens, momentarily breaking with reality. Borges ends epitomizing the world this way.

In short, this book addresses time, space, chances, mathematics, past, present and future, labyrinths, nothingness, hieroglyphics, enigmas, religion and science, dreams, metaphysics, philosophy, God, our intrinsic existence, some magic coin, many mental games, and some other bestial lineage. All things and nothing at once. Even his last story ─ The Aleph─ could make reference to the same book, like a spiral that never ends that is superimposed on itself ad infinitum.

This is a book which I totally recommend, it‘s a work that breaks all prejudice and seeks to bring the mind to those enigmas that nobody dares to question. It‘s a dreamlike mix of a fantastic mind. It is a book that takes time, analysis, fragmenting every scheme, and letting a wonderful new universe trigger against one. It is like giving wings to the mind and… fly.


Borges, Jorge Luis (1996). El Aleph, Madrid, Alianza Editorial, pp 184.

April 10th, 2016