Read The Widow Ching-Pirate by Jorge Luis Borges Online


Borges became famous as a writer of short stories that contained new realities: elaborately conceived, ingenious and gamesome précis of impossible worlds or imaginary books. In these five stories there is danger on the high seas, an ungracious teacher of etiquette and an encyclopedia of an unknown planet - and Borges's unique imagination and intellect play throughout....

Title : The Widow Ching-Pirate
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780141195810
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 75 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Widow Ching-Pirate Reviews

  • Mark JEaston
    2019-12-28 04:42

    There's always an inherent danger in reading Borges as his short fiction carries with it an intrinsic risk of exploding, each story being an impenetrable and enigmatic mass of chaos plucked from the depths of his cavernous imagination and bound in heavy and endless threads of language.This short collection of five stories is no exception. Covering a range of themes-including piracy, thuggery, Japanese etiquette, false knowledge, and unoriginality of art-each story has, at its heart, a brilliant kernel of an idea, to which Borges adds one or more metaphysical twists, and then finally wraps in the referential but labyrinthine language of an academic.If it weren't for his ineluctable qualities of creativity and mystery, I have no doubt his verbosity would put off even the most ardent of readers, but as it stands his stories tantalise, leaving the reader as intrigued as they are uncomfortable, and, above all, absolutely uncertain about what boundaries, if any, should be placed on literature, let alone reality.

  • Brian
    2019-12-21 23:42

    Borges makes me wish I had a set of encyclopedias. When I read his short stories I believe what he is saying is the truth. It is the truth. What would Borges have thought of google? Bullshit!!! That's what he would of thought. Any Tlön would tell you that the Internet and anything posted on it is nothing but words written in a past that no longer exists. I love Borges. He teaches me things no one taught me in school. He taught me that life is now and only now. And there are many of my lives coexisting. Thanks Mr Borges.

  • Anna
    2020-01-13 01:57

    This is the perfect little book to have in your bag just in case, for example, you have to wait 25 minutes at the dentist. It weighs virtually nothing and contains five stories by Borges, of the invented historical and literary anecdote type. Each is beautifully crafted, but my favourite is 'Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius', which I've read before in another collection. It's an account of an imaginary simulacrum of a world that proves more fascinating than the real one. As with most Borges stories, it gives you a vertiginous sense of how fragile reality can be.

  • Robert
    2019-12-24 03:37

    Some of it very interesting, the rest of it either went completely over my head or quite dull. Not smart enough to tell which.

  • Enrique
    2020-01-16 06:51

    I love Borges' short stories and these ones are also very good. Specially the third one. They are a good introduction to Borges world. And if you enjoy these 5 stories I would recommend you the complete short stories book.

  • Cristina Chițu
    2020-01-20 00:58

    Be cruel, be just, be obeyed, be victorious....truth, whose mother is history Fame is a form- perhaps the worst form- of incomprehension.

  • Eva Amsen
    2019-12-27 01:57

    The last two stories were by far my favourite, especially the one about the man who dedicated his life to writing "the" Quixote. (Essentially, plagiarising, but in the most convoluted way!)

  • Irwan
    2020-01-01 03:46

    Nerdy. Surprisingly entertaining read for seemingly pointless stories.

  • The Idle Woman
    2020-01-19 07:31

    One of the Penguin Mini Modern Classics series, this is like a little collection of curios - five stories displaying different aspects of Borges's writing. Fittingly, there are examples of fantasy recounted with the gravity of history, and history told with the elaboration of fantasy. Three studies focus on lesser-known figures from history: the 'doughty' Widow Ching, who ran a formidable pirate fleet in the seas around China; the New York gang boss Monk Eastman, with his unexpected affection for cats; and the Japanese etiquette master whose arrogance led to the sworn vengeance of the 47 Ronin. The collection rounds off with two more fanciful tales: the story of an encyclopedia which describes an entirely invented world, which threatens to become more real than reality itself; and the story of a man who sets out to rewrite Don Quixote in the original words. For me, the first three stories in this collection were the most enjoyable: I found the last, on the 'Author of the Quixote', rather baffling because I simply couldn't see the point. Is Borges is making a point about the folly of modernist literary criticism and the arrogance of modern writers? Or, as I always fear with Borges, am I just too daft to understand?!This is a very short taster of Borges - 75 pages in total - but if you haven't read him before, it will introduce you to his erudite and playful approach to the short story. If you are a newcomer, hopefully you'll be tempted to seek out some of his other books, because while this is a fair introduction it doesn't do justice to his imagination. I have to say that I didn't enjoy it as much as Penguin's collections of his longer, more elaborate stories - Labyrinths, for example - but it was at least an introduction to some unfamiliar, but intriguing historical figures.

  • Ronan
    2020-01-01 06:46

    Amazing and pointless. Borges writes somewhere in this little book that every purely intellectual exercise is ultimately pointless. He also writes about how wonderful it is that a particular writer can excel at espousing the exact opposite of his own point of view, and thus not offend the target of his criticism because they're both in on the joke (=profoundly ridiculous). One short story is about an author who tries to write Don Quixote... 300 years later. ..but exactly the same (!). He destroys all evidence of these mammoth attempts adding to Monty Python levels of absurdity. Another story about an imaginary country (or is it?) inserted into an edition of an encyclopedia, later upping the stakes to a 1001 page tome about an entire planet, is it fabrication or alternate reality? Does it matter? Nope, not a jot. It's funny but dense stuff written in a mocking satirical literary academic style, mixing imaginary and real references just for the craic.

  • Peter Dunn
    2020-01-13 07:36

    I acquired this as part of the Penguin Mini Modern Classics 50-volume box set. Sadly as I write this I can see that this out of print box set is only now available via Amazon at a huge prize so don’t bother looking for it, but do watch out for future similar efforts by Penguin.It is a great way of pushing you to read outside one’s comfort zone as you feel obliged to read them all as you have bought them and their small size means they take hardly any time to read. Each one I've read in the collection so far has tempted me to read more of that author, but not this time. It may be a poor translation, it may be that the stories are ripped out of context but these stories just didn't grab me as a whole"Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius" is the exception. It packs a lot of ideas into a very short story and there are probably a host more ideas and allusions therein that I am missing as I know very little about Latin American culture.

  • Ryan
    2020-01-08 02:34

    This was my first reading of Borges, and while I was pleasantly surprised by how creative and amusing some of the stories are, I haven't yet figured out how to approach his work in general. Clearly there's are larger significance within the fabric of his extremely short fictions, but without looking at more of his work its hard for me to put the ideas together. It's ironic that I need to read much more of his work to understand the stories here, because otherwise the variety covered is perfect for the mini modern classics line.

  • The Book
    2019-12-20 23:53

    Overall, not my favourite collection of stories by Borges. I usually find that I enjoy the concepts in his stories but on occasion the language and style gets in the way of my enjoyment of them. I find his fist person narrative style overly fussy in Pierre Menard for example, and didn't want to finish reading it. Then again, I enjoyed The Uncivil Teacher (...) which has a different, calmer narrative style.

  • Ruth Brumby
    2019-12-26 03:47

    Fascinating writing. I knew about the female pirates, so I knew that first story was accurate, even unadventurously so. Then gradually I moved to Tlon, real or unreal? An enthralling comment on times and thought, making me want to research people who may not actually exist. Andrew Hurley's writing is great; I don't know how his translation compares with the original, but his word choices are excellent.

  • Jacqui
    2020-01-16 01:48

    Memorable QuotesThe Widow Ching-Pirate“Be cruel, be just, be obeyed, be victorious.”Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius“…the present is undefined and indefinite, the future has no reality except as present hope, and the past has no reality except as present recollection"“…while we sleep here, we are awake somewhere else, so that every man is in fact two men.”

  • Claudia
    2019-12-20 23:29

    Now this was a highly satisfying short story. This author seems to be able to mix excellent story telling with great cultural awareness. His technique is second to none. You must read for yourself because if I keep on writing about this amazing Chinese story -that both saddens and is rather joyful- I run a risk of writing a larger review than the story. Read it. It's outstanding. 4 stars

  • Steven Pilling
    2020-01-14 07:37

    this made me realise that when it comes to fiction I'm not as clever as I think I am. parts were good but most floated past my head leaving only bafflement. borges has a beautiful turn of phrase some humour and well I think this collection fits my view of jazz in that the creator enjoyed it way more than the reader.

  • Alexandria
    2020-01-13 23:39

    A collection of 5 short stories from 1939 and 1944. I especially enjoyed "Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius" and "Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote". Borges is, as always, simultaneously playful and thought-provoking in his ideas and prose.

  • Marion Honey
    2020-01-20 06:36

    The story concepts were too dense for me. I always felt like I was reading to finish rather reading for enjoyment. The writing wasn't bad; it just wasn't for me. Guess I'll be staying away from this dude.

  • Runa
    2019-12-25 03:41

    I'm a huge admirer of Borges, but I wasn't fully convinced by the first three stories in this little book - they're good, of course, but - I felt - not up to the insanely high standards that his fiction sets for itself. On the other hand, Tlon and Pierre Menard are, as always, perfect.

  • Chris Wright
    2020-01-12 02:58

    Clever philosophy and social commentary in an unusual short story format. Well crafted is the phrase which springs to mind.

  • Dave
    2019-12-30 05:31

    Enjoyable sampling of Borges' works. The story ""Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius" almost has some Lovecraftian moments, with its discussion of secret otherworldly cults and undiscovered books.

  • Alix
    2019-12-20 00:55

    I tend to really like Borges in general, but I didn't particularly like any of the stories in this collection. Would definitely not read again.

  • Cassandra
    2020-01-19 05:53

    The stories of "Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius" and "Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote" are both so original and mind-bending they are a joy to read. I love the depth and frugality of Borges.

  • John
    2020-01-19 00:52

    It makes me want to read more Borges, which is surely the point.

  • Johan Radzi
    2020-01-19 00:50

    borges, lu memang kerennn!

  • Blogbaas Van 'tVliegend Eiland
    2020-01-05 07:56