The first published book of Jorge Luis Borges, the great Argentinian poet and short-story writer, was Fervor de Buenos Aires. Borges later wrote, “Fervor de Buenos Aires foreshadows everything I would do afterward.”
It was a slapdash production, Borges claimed in his autobiography: “The book was actually printed in five days; the printing had to be rushed, because it was necessary for us to return to Europe. . . . [It] was produced in a somewhat boyish spirit. No proofreading was done, no table of contents was provided, and the pages were unnumbered. My sister made a woodcut for the cover, and three hundred copies were printed. . . . Most of them I just gave away.”
So: Who knows what might happen with today’s self-published books? Is there a Borges hiding somewhere on Amazon.com? One doubts it. But, who knows?