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Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Flaneur)This is something very hard to find, almost by definition: a literary writer who thinks in abstract terms (the only other such author I've read is Stanislaw Lem). These are philosophical thought experiments in their purest form, yet somehow magically delivered in a playful literary athmosphere. Borges is a mathematical philosopher, first and last. Ignore the "Latin American" categorization and the nonsense about his background and personal life: one should resist embedding him in a socio-cultural framework; he is as universal as they come. It is good to read a short story once in a while to see how literature and philosophy can be saved by the parable.
From Jorge Luis Borges’s 1935 debut with The Universal History of Iniquity, through his immensely influential collections Ficciones and The Aleph, these enigmatic, elaborate, imaginative inventions display his talent for turning fiction on its head by playing with form and genre and toying with language. Together these incomparable works comprise the perfect one-volume compendium for all those who have long loved Borges, and a superb introduction to the master's work for those who have yet to discover this singular genius.