Book of Fantasy

Book of Fantasy

 
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The Tower of Babel
' ... the story about that hole in the ground, that goes down nobody knows where, has always fascinated me rather. It's Mahomedan in form now; but I shouldn't wonder if the tale is a long way older than Mahomet. It's all about somebody they call the Sultan Aladin; not our friend of the lamp, of course, but rather like him in having to do with genii or giants or something of that sort. They say he commanded the giants to build him a sort of pagoda rising higher and higher above all the stars. The Utmost for the Highest, as the people said when they built the Tower of Babel. But the builders of the Tower of Babel were quite modest and domestic people, like mice, compared with old Aladin. They only wanted a tower that would reach heaven, a mere trifle. He wanted a tower that would pass heaven, and rise above it, and go on rising for ever and ever. And Allah cast him down to earth with a thunderbolt, which sank into the earth, boring a hole, deeper and deeper, till it made a well that was without a bottom as the tower was to have been without a top. And down that inverted tower of darkness the soul of the proud Sultan is falling for ever and ever.'

G. K. Chesterton

English essayist, novelist and poet. Born in London in 1874; died in 1936. He published a vast amount of work, always lucid yet ardent. He wrote and revived literary styles including novels, literary criticism, lyric poetry, biography, polemic, detective stories. He is the author of essays on Robert Browning (1903) G. F. Watts (1904) and Charles Dickens (1906). His books include Heretics (1905); The Man Who Was Thursday (1908); Orthodoxy (1908); Manalive (1912); Magic (1913); The Crimes of England (1915); A Short History of England (1917); The Uses of Diversity (1920); Father Brown Stories (1927); Collected Poems (1927); The Poet and the Lunatics (1929); Four Faultless Felons (1930); Autobiography (1937); and The Paradoxes of Mr. Pond (1936).

The Shadow of the Players

In one of the tales which make up the series of the Mabinogion, two enemy kings play chess while in a nearby valley their respective armies battle and destroy each other. Messengers arrive with reports of the battle; the kings do not seem to hear them and, bent over the silver chessboard, they move the gold pieces. Gradually it becomes apparent that the vicissitudes of the battle follow the vicissitudes of the game. Toward dusk, one of the kings overturns the board because he has been checkmated, and presently a blood-spattered horseman comes to tell him: 'Your army is in flight. You have lost the kingdom.'

- EDWIN MORGAN

Bóng Kỳ Thủ

Một trong những truyện của chuỗi truyện Mabinogion, hai  ông vua kẻ thù ngồi chơi cờ, trong  lúc trong thung lũng kế đó, hai đạo binh của họ quần thảo, làm thịt lẫn nhau. Giao liên, thiên sứ…  liên tiếp mang tin về, họ đếch thèm nghe, chúi mũi vô mấy con cờ bằng vàng. Rõ ràng là tuồng ảo hoá bày ra ở thung lũng nhập thành một với tuồng cờ tướng. Sau cùng, vào lúc chập tối, 1 ông vua  xô đổ bàn cờ, khi bị chiếu bí, đúng lúc đó, tên kỵ sĩ từ chiến trường lao về, thưa hoàng thượng, VC lấy mẹ mất Xề Gòn  rồi!
Hà, hà!

Vô tiệm sách cũ, vớ được cuốn lạ, Borges biên tập. GCC chưa từng nghe tới cuốn này! Kafka đóng góp hai truyện, Josephine và Trước Pháp Luật. Trang Tử, Bướm mơ người hay người mơ bướm. Một truyện trong cuốn sách.
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The Shadow of the Players
In one of the tales which make up the series of the Mabinogion, two enemy kings play chess while in a nearby valley their respective armies battle and destroy each other. Messengers arrive with reports of the battle; the kings do not seem to hear them and, bent over the silver chessboard, they move the gold pieces. Gradually it becomes apparent that the vicissitudes of the battle follow the vicissitudes of the game. Toward dusk, one of the kings overturns the board because he has been checkmated, and presently a blood-spattered horseman comes to tell him: 'Your army is in flight. You have lost the kingdom.'

- EDWIN MORGAN

Bóng Kỳ Thủ
Một trong những truyện của chuỗi truyện Mabinogion, hai  ông vua kẻ thù ngồi chơi cờ, trong  lúc trong thung lũng kế đó, hai đạo binh của họ quần thảo, làm thịt lẫn nhau. Giao liên, thiên sứ…  liên tiếp mang tin về, họ đếch thèm nghe, chúi mũi vô mấy con cờ bằng vàng. Rõ ràng là tuồng ảo hoá bày ra ở thung lũng nhập thành một với tuồng cờ tướng. Sau cùng, vào lúc chập tối, 1 ông vua  xô đổ bàn cờ, khi bị chiếu bí, đúng lúc đó, tên kỵ sĩ từ chiến trường lao về, thưa hoàng thượng, VC lấy mẹ mất Xề Gòn  rồi!
Hà, hà!

Before the Law
Before the Law stands a doorkeeper. To this doorkeeper there comes a man from the country and prays for admittance to the Law. But the doorkeeper says that he cannot grant admittance at the moment. The man thinks it over and then asks if he will be allowed in later. 'It is possible,' says the doorkeeper, 'but not at the moment.' Since the gate stands open, as usual, and the doorkeeper steps to one side, the man stoops to peer through the gateway into the interior. Observing that, the doorkeeper laughs and says: 'If you are so drawn to it, just try to go in despite my veto. But take note: I am powerful. And I am only the least of the doorkeepers. From hall to hall there is one doorkeeper after another, each more powerful than the last. The third doorkeeper is already so terrible that even I cannot bear to look at him.' These are difficulties the man from the country has not expected; the Law, he thinks, should surely be accessible at all times and to everyone, but as he now takes a closer look at the doorkeeper in his fur coat, with his big sharp nose and long, thin, black Tartar beard, he decides that it is better to wait until he gets permission to enter. The doorkeeper gives him a stool and lets him sit down at one side of the door. There he sits for days and years. He makes many attempts to be admitted, and wearies the doorkeeper by his importunity. The doorkeeper frequently has little interviews with him, asking him questions about his home and many other things, but the questions are put indifferently, as great lords put them, and always finish with the statement that he cannot be let in yet. The man, who has furnished himself with many things for his journey, sacrifices all he has, however valuable, to bribe the doorkeeper. The doorkeeper accepts everything, but always with the remark: 'I am only taking it to keep you from thinking you have omitted anything.' During these many years the man fixes his attention almost continuously on the doorkeeper. He forgets the other doorkeepers, and this first one seems to him the sole obstacle preventing access to the Law. He curses his bad luck, in his early years boldly and loudly; later, as he grows old, he only grumbles to himself. He becomes childish, and since in his yearlong contemplation of the doorkeeper he has come to know even the fleas on his fur collar, he begs the fleas as well to help him and to change the doorkeeper's mind. At length his eyesight begins to fail, and he does not know whether the world is really darker or whether his eyes are only deceiving him. Yet in his darkness he is now aware of a radiance that streams inextinguishably from the gateway of the Law. Now he has not very long to live. Before he dies, all his experiences in these long years gather themselves in his head to one point, a question he has not yet asked the doorkeeper. He waves him nearer, since he can no longer raise his stiffening body. The doorkeeper has to bend low towards him, much to the man's disadvantage. 'What do you want to know now?' asks the doorkeeper; 'you are insatiable.' 'Everyone strives to reach the Law,' says the man, 'so how does it happen that for all these many years no one but myself has ever begged for admittance?' The doorkeeper recognizes that the man has reached his end, and, to let his failing senses catch the words, roars in his ear: 'No one else could ever be admitted here, since this gate was made only for you. I am now going to shut it.'
Frank Kafka
The Book of Fantasy
Edited by Jorge Luis Borges, Silvina Ocampo, A. Bloy Casares
A collection of classic fantasy stories which resulted from a chance conversation between three friends in Buenos Aires in 1937. The friends were Jorge Luis Borges, Adolfo Bioy Casares and his wife Silvina Ocampo and they decided to gather together their favourite stories.



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