The indefinability of the self and the multiplicity of personal identity are the main lines of thought connecting these 11 pieces of excellent literature, among the finest of Borges's. An author of short fiction stories, essayist and poet -though perhaps too much of a thinker for poetry-, Borges is, without hesitation, one of the greatest writers of all time. This careful, well-thought selection gives a brilliant account of one of Borges's conspicuous, recurrent themes: the difficulty of defining self-identity, since a man's distinctive features, whether mental, physical or even metaphysical, are not unique to him. As in some of the most noted masterpieces of literature, the philosophical substrate provides the background for fascinating and intriguing stories, frequently trespassing the fantastic or the bizarre. So, we witness the struggle of an early 20th Century French novelist to write The Quixote -not a contemporary version of Cervantes's renowned work, but the original -- and succeeding! We have the occasion to come to terms with the strange world of Tlön and its uncanny understanding of reality, as shown by its diverse, odd languages. The Lottery of Babylon gives every man the opportunity to become rich, powerful and exultant...or appallingly miserable and abject -by chance? The Garden of Forking Paths is a legacy of innumerable futures -which, however, does not include all of them. Death and the Compass displays the confrontation of a detective with his murderer, whom he is chasing, in a labyrinth of clues spread throughout space and time. The brief historical and literary essays concerning the elusive and somewhat contradictory character of the Emperor of China, builder of the Great Wall and destructor of books, and the precursors of Kafka, paving the way for something they ignore and being later re-created, explore the indefinability of man's essence, in much the same way as the previous fiction stories, since one never knows quite what are the limits between fiction and fact, both inside and out of Borges's work. Borges and I and Everything and Nothing -the latter is the original title by the author in English, though the work was written, as the rest of the compilation, in Spanish- express succinctly the core argument of the book, raising an uneasy metaphysical question: Whereas man may not know exactly who he is, does God know? Finally, two conferences given by Borges close the volume, turning to episodes from Borges's own life, in order to resume somehow the book's contents by invoking the fantastic worlds of dreams -rather, of nightmares- and of blindness, that suggest a vaster and more weird reality with perhaps blurrier limits than we can possibly understand. However, there is space for man if we are able to accept what we cannot understand, as a starting point for creating our own-made life.