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By Jorge Luis Borges, Norman Thomas Di Giovanni

ISBN-10: 0525226702

ISBN-13: 9780525226703

In his writing, Borges regularly mixed excessive seriousness with a depraved experience of enjoyable. right here he unearths his savour re-creating (or making up) colourful tales from the Orient, the Islamic global, and the Wild West, in addition to his horrified fascination with knife fights, political and private betrayal, and bloodthirsty revenge. glowing with the sheer exuberant excitement of story-telling, this assortment marked the emergence of an totally special literary voice.

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Extra resources for A Universal History of Infamy

Sample text

I n consequence, Admiral Kwo-lang, I leave to your hand the administration of punishment. Never forget that clemency is a prerogative of the throne and that it would be presumptuous of a subject to endeavour to assume such a privilege. Therefore, be merciless, be impartial, be obeyed, be victorious. The incidental reference to unseaworthy vessels was, of course, false. Its aim was to encourage Kwo-lang’s expedition. Some ninety days later, the forces of the widow Ching came face to face with those of the Middle Kingdom.

Nearly a thousand ships joined battle, fighting from early morning until late evening.  A mixed chorus of bells, drums, curses, gongs, and prophecies, along with the report of the great ordnance, accompanied the action. The emperor’s forces were sundered. Neither the proscribed clemency nor the recommended cruelty had occasion to be exercised. Kwo-lang observed a rite that our present-day military, in defeat, choose to ignore - suicide. The Terrorized Riverbanks The proud widow’s six hundred war junks and forty thousand victorious pirates then sailed up the mouths of the Si-kiang, and to port and starboard they multiplied fires and loathsome revels and orphans.

In this tumult of lowly smells and woolly heads, he enjoyed a superiority that stemmed from having freckles and a mop of red hair. He took pride in being white; he was also scrawny, wild, and coarse. At the age of twelve, he fought in the gang of the Swamp Angels, that branch of divinities who operated among the neighbourhood sewers. On nights redolent of burnt fog, they would clamber out of that foul-smelling labyrinth, trail some German sailor, do him in with a knock on the head, strip him to his underwear, and afterward sneak back to the filth of their starting place.

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A Universal History of Infamy by Jorge Luis Borges, Norman Thomas Di Giovanni

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