The Fiction­al Books of Jorge Luis Borges

Published Categorised as Art & Design, Books, Popular Posts 2 Comments on The Fiction­al Books of Jorge Luis Borges

Jorge Luis Borges loved to create fiction­al books in his stor­ies, using non-fiction formats like book reviews of non-exist­ent books to tell a story. If you haven’t read any Borges I can’t recom­mend him highly enough- I would recom­mend the story collec­tion Labyrinths. I have also linked to free online versions of the stor­ies these book covers are based on.

I decided to make some mockup covers of some of his fake books as a project, adding a chal­lenge to myself of using photos from Wiki­pe­dia as my raw mater­i­als (Wiki­pe­dia would defin­itely win the Borges approv­al).

There’s some­thing very satis­fy­ing about making product mockups in Photoshop, making some­thing that looks like a real thing, but exists nowhere but the screen. You can find good free templates here.

“A Game of Shift­ing Mirrors” comes from this story, a fake book review of a book that doesn’t exist, that tells a story with­in the frame of the review. I went for cult 60s/​70s paper­back feel for this one. The publish­ing house is B for Borges of course.

I liked this design so much I’ve put it up for sale as a print- you can see it here.

Erik Lönnrot from Death and the Compass on the other hand, was clearly a contem­por­ary high-end scandi thrill­er writer, stead­ily churn­ing out a long series. (The red triangle theme despite the four theme of the title comes from the story, as does the quote)

Uqbar comes from Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Terti­us. The narrat­or keeps find­ing second hand books about a coun­try that doesn’t exist, produced by a secret soci­ety aiming to change real­ity and make it real by chan­ging the narrat­ive enough. The origin­al Lesbare und lesenswerthe Bemerkun­gen über das Land Ukkbar in Klein-Asien by Johannes Valentinus Andrea, dates from 1641 in the story. However nowadays clearly, a myster­i­ous and sinis­ter guide­book to a non-exist­ent coun­try would turn up in a pile of free battered low-budget out of date travel guides in a youth hostel. So this is what I made. Borges Travel Press, German imprint. For this and the other paper­back, I had to dig a bit to find out how much a book would cost at the time in pre-metric Brit­ish currency and Deutschmarks/​Austrian Schillings.

The Wiki­pe­dia photo is an ornate mirror because “For one of those gnostics, the visible universe was an illu­sion or (more precisely) a soph­ism. Mirrors and fath­er­hood are abom­in­able because they multiply and dissem­in­ate that universe”.

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