Labyrinths by Luis Borges, edited by Donald A. Yates, JHWS “Pal,” and James E. Irby


By Jorge Luis Borges and Translated and Edited by Donald A. Yates, JHWS Chair and “Pal” and James E. Irby

Published by New Directions.

Available at Amazon    $12.00

Donald A. Yates, JHWS, BSI is a life-long devotee of Sherlock Holmes, Dr Watson, and the detective fiction and mystery genres. During his years as Professor of Romance Languages at Michigan State and the University of Michigan, Dr Yates emerged as a foremost translator and scholar of the writing of Jorge Luis Borges and, unlike Borges’s subsequent biographers, came to know the writer personally during frequent stays in Argentina. Dr Yates is currently at work on his definitive biography of the great Argentine writer written from this uniquely personal relationship and first-hand observation of the writer and his family.

Borges embodied the cultural and intellectual sophistication of Argentina in the pre- and post-WWII years, a sophistication reflecting its heavily European influence and its focus of the arts, science, and intellectual pursuits. Borges wrote in both a fantastical genre and a detective/mystery genre. His early years, spent living throughout Europe, gave him a great appreciation for the English language and he was a devoted fan of Poe and other writers of mystery/detective stories.

Labyrinths, among his greatest works, contains stories that can only be described as “Sherlockian Intellectual” as well as “Watsonian Descriptive Action Narrative.” Here, Sherlockians and Watsonians will find the qualities of Holmes that we so admire: his intense intellectual concentration and the ability to perceive realities in different ways and with outcomes other than the norm. Borges, like Holmes, thought deeply, intensely, and long about reality and, as a result of his profound insights into the nature of reality, produced a fantastical and wholly unique vision of reality, meta-reality, and unreality that has never been equalled. We can learn much about Holmes through a study of the writing of Luis Borges, especially with the advantage of the superb translations by our Society’s Chair, Donald A. Yates.


This is a book that will change forever your entire perception of reality. One of the two or three most significant reading and intellectual experiences of my lifetime.

-Don Libey, Author and former Publisher

The classic by Latin America’s finest writer of the twentieth century—a true literary sensation—with an introduction by cyber-author William Gibson.

The groundbreaking trans-genre work of Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986) has been insinuating itself into the structure, stance, and very breath of world literature for well over half a century. Multi-layered, self-referential, elusive, and allusive writing is now frequently labeled Borgesian. Umberto Eco’s international bestseller, The Name of the Rose, is, on one level, an elaborate improvisation on Borges’ fiction “The Library,” which American readers first encountered in the original 1962 New Directions publication of Labyrinths.

This new edition of Labyrinths, the classic representative selection of Borges’ writing edited by Donald A. Yates and James E. Irby (in translations by themselves and others), includes the text of the original edition (as augmented in 1964) as well as Irby’s biographical and critical essay, a poignant tribute by André Maurois, and a chronology of the author’s life. Borges enthusiast William Gibson has contributed a new introduction bringing Borges’ influence and importance into the twenty-first century.

One Reply to “Labyrinths by Luis Borges, edited by Donald A. Yates, JHWS “Pal,” and James E. Irby”

Comments are closed.