Pierre Menard, author of the Quixote

Jorge Luis Borges

I BORGES, JORGE LUIS. Pierre Menard, autor del Quijote.

[Buenos Aires, c. 1940].

Holograph manuscript in Spanish, 11 leaves (215 × 165 mm.), numbered 1 to 11 in manuscript in the top right corner of each leaf, black ink written on rectos only, on paper removed from a notebook, ruled in blue and pink, “Haber” and original printed numbering printed in black in the top right corner of each leaf (the printed numbering of the leaves out of sequence, and not corresponding to the manuscript numbering: leaf 1 — 14, 2 — 15, 3 — 38, 4 — 39, 5 — 41, 6 — 42, 7 — 40, 8 — 43, 9 — 44, 10 — 45, 11 — 46), numerous revisions, interpolations, and erasures, signed by Borges on the final leaf. Slight marginal stains affecting a few leaves, left hand margins frayed where the leaves have been removed from the original notebook.

Unpublished manuscript of Borges’ Pierre Menard, autor del Quijote. Probably a version of the story prepared for publication in El jardín de senderos que se bifurcan (1941).

Provenance: private collection, USA.

II SUR, vol. 56.

Buenos Aires: Sur, 1939.

Octavo (245 × 190 mm.), pp. [2], 107, [17]. With 6 pages of advertisements. In the original publisher’s olive wrappers, with the SUR device on the upper cover. Text-block cracked in places but secure, a little age-toned as usual. Wrappers slightly spotted, marginal chips and tears, lower right corner upper cover torn with loss, short tears in the upper joint.

First appearance in print of Pierre Menard, autor del Quijote, in the influential Argentine literary journal SUR, founded and edited by Victoria Ocampo, to whose sister Silvina Pierre Menard is dedicated. Borges had been involved in SUR since its creation in 1931, and it is
within its pages that much of his work was first published. Very rare.

Provenance: private collection, Buenos Aires.


HELFT, NICOLÁS. Jorge Luis Borges: bibliografía completa. Buenos Aires: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1997, p. 61.

III BORGES, JORGE LUIS. El jardín de senderos que se bifurcan.

Buenos Aires: Sur, 1941.

Octavo (210 × 150 mm.), pp. 124, [4]. In the original pale blue dust-jacket, attached at the spine to white card wrappers, upper panel of the dust-jacket lettered in white and with the SUR publisher’s device, spine lettered in white. Slight abrasion to the front free endpaper, offsetting from the turn-ins of the dust-jacket to the first and last few leaves.

First appearance in book form, and second appearance in print, of Pierre Menard, autor del Quijote. Arguably Borges’ most significant book, comprising eight of his best-known short stories, including Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius, La Biblioteca de Babel, La lotería en Babilonia and the first appearance in print of El jardín de senderos que se bifurcan.

A presentation copy from Borges to his childhood friend Jorge Calvetti, the Argentinian ultraist poet. The punning inscription from Borges, acknowledging his recent transition to prose fiction, reads: “Al poeta Jorge Calvetti, con la amistad de su colega prosaico Jorge
Luis Borges”. An unusually fine copy, with little of the age-toning that usually affects this book.


(1) Jorge Calvetti (19162002), presentation inscription from Borges and personal library stamp on front free endpaper.

(2) Private collection, USA.


BECCO, HORACIO JORGE. Jorge Luis Borges: Bibliografía total 19231973. Buenos Aires: Casa Pardo, 1973, p. 29.

HELFT, NICOLÁS. Jorge Luis Borges: bibliografía completa. Buenos Aires: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1997, p. 62.

LOEWENSTEIN, JARED C. A Descriptive Catalogue of the Jorge Luis Borges Collection at the University of Virginia Library. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1993, p. 355.