Complete summary of Jorge Luis Borges’ The Garden of Forking Paths. eNotes plot summaries cover all the significant action of The Garden of Forking Paths. For Victoria Ocampo / On page 22 of Liddell Hart’s History of World War I you will read that an attack against the Serre-Montauban line by thirteen British. To say that Jorge Luis Borges was a librarian, of course, is like saying Wallace The concept Borges described in “The Garden of Forking Paths”—in several.

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Jorge Luis Borges In fact, the story helped to establish his reputation as a fiction writer. Outraged, other Argentinean writers and critics devoted an borged issue of the prominent literary journal, Sur, to Borges and his gxrden. As in his other stories, Borges uses fiction as a vehicle to explore philosophical and literary issues. Consequently, the characters in his stories seem less developed.

Its clever plot and sophisticated philosophical exploration of the nature of time inspires much critical commentary.

Jorge Luis Borges was one of the most important and influential writers of the twentieth century. Born on August 24, in Buenos AiresArgentina, Borges was a poet, an essayist, and a short story writer, and his career spanned six decades.

Borges was born into an old, wealthy Argentinean family. His early fascination with language and words became a defining characteristic of his later work. His family traveled extensively when he was a boy. During this time, Jorge attended college in Geneva and earned his degree in When the war ended, the Borges family resumed their tour of Europe, spending the next three years in Spain.

In the Borges family returned to Buenos Aires. Jorge published his first book, Fervor de Buenos Aires, in This first publication was followed by two more books of poetry. In addition, he also published three books of essays between and These works served to establish him as a leading literary voice of Argentina.

Full text of “The Garden Of Forking Paths Jorge Luis Borges “

In the death of his father and subsequent financial difficulties forced Borges into accepting a position as a municipal librarian. In the same year, he suffered a serious head injury. Some biographers suggest jore link between the fall and his turn toward prose fiction in the following years. Between and he wrote lius stories that elevated him to the pinnacle garde Argentinean literary life. Moreover, as his stories were translated into other languages he became a writer of international reputation.

This volume was translated into English in Many Argentinean writers and critics were outraged, and they subsequently dedicated an entire issue of Sur, an important literary magazine, to a consideration of his work. Borges continued to write poetry, short stories, and essays despite the blindness that plagued him during his final twenty-five years.

Although Borges published little new work afterhe remained actively involved in literary life until his death in Geneva, Switzerland, in The story opens with a brief gqrden from a history of World War Ipresented by an unnamed narrator. The narrator refers to a statement by a character, Dr.

Yu Tsun, made during World War I. Yu Tsun, a Chinese national and a former professor of English, reveals in his statement that he is a German spy.


He recounts the events leading to his arrest, beginning with when he discovers that his contact has been killed. He knows he must devise a way to get an important message to the Germans. He looks in a telephone book and finds the name of a man, Stephen Albert. Yu Tsun thinks Albert will be able to help, although he does not reveal how he knows this. Yu Tsun then recounts how he travels to Dr. When Yu Tsun arrives, Dr. Albert mistakes him for a Chinese consul that he knows; Dr.

Albert assumes that the Chinese man is there to view his garden. Yu Tsun discovers that Dr. Albert is a sinologist, which is a scholar who studies Chinese culture. By a strange coincidence, Dr. Albert further reveals that he has been studying the novel. Albert tells Yu Tsun that he has solved the riddle of the lost labyrinth, arguing that the novel itself is the labyrinth.

Yu Tsun experiences for a moment a sense of himself and Albert in many other times. Suddenly, he sees Madden approaching. Yu Tsun asks Albert to let him see once again the letter written by his ancestor. In the last paragraph of his statement and the storyYu Tsun is awaiting his death on the gallows as punishment for his crime. He reveals that he has shot Albert in order to send a message to the Germans. The name of the town the Germans needed to bomb was Albert. By shooting a man of the same name without apparent motive, Yu Tsun was sure that the information would appear in newspapers the Germans would read.

Because the city was bombed the day before Yu Tsun makes his statement, he knows that his message had been received. Stephen Albert is a noted sinologist, or student of Chinese language and culture. Through Albert, Borges offers a philosophical discussion of the nature of time.

The Garden of Forking Paths – Wikipedia

Captain Richard Madden is an Irishman who works for English intelligence. The narrator then introduces the statement made by a Dr. He is also a German spy. The document is a statement made by Yu Tsun after his murder of Dr. Yu Tsun, in order to get vital information to the Germans after his contact is killed, describes how he devises a plan to relay the site of the British artillery park in Belgium. Yu Tsun is a contradictory character; although he is Chinese, he teaches English. Although he does not like the Germans, he works for them as a spy.

Yu Tsun visits Dr. Stephen Albert for the sole purpose of murdering him so that his name will appear in the newspaper and reveal to the Germans the name of the city Albert. He discovers that Dr. Nevertheless, he carries through with his plan to murder Dr.

Albert, thus revealing to the Germans the information they need to bomb the English artillery. Centuries of centuries and only in the present do things happen With this, Yu Tsun describes time in a linear manner. That is, humans experience time as a series of present moments, one following the other. As soon as the moment is experienced, however, it no longer exists.


On account of this, the past is no more real than the future. Both exist nowhere but in the human mind: When Yu Tsun arrives at the home of Albert, however, the notion of time as linear is challenged.

The Garden of Forking Paths Quotes

He believed in an infinite series of times, in a growing, dizzying net of divergent, convergent, and parallel times. Further, each decision a person makes leads to different future. The branching, or forking, of all these decisions fodking that time is not a line, but gardn is a web or a network of possibilities. The image of the labyrinth, thought of as a forking of time, rather than space, is the clue that Albert needs to rethink the concept of time.

For a moment, Yu Tsun experiences time as Albert describes it: Those persons were Albert and I, secret, busy, and multiform in other dimensions of time. In this moment, in this present, Yu Tsun murders Dr. However, Albert believes that he has solved the mystery of the lost labyrinth and the chaotic novel. Furthermore, Albert works to create order out of the disorder of gagden novel. In other words, Albert acts as an ideal reader of this pths, imposing form bkrges structure to what might otherwise be seen as nonsense.

Borges seems to be implying that while the universe may appear to be chaotic and disordered, the chaos itself may represent an order-as-yet-not-understood. As the story opens, an unknown narrator speaks directly to the reader: In the second paragraph, the narrator suggests that rain may not have been the reason for the delay. He offers as evidence a statement from a Dr. Yu Tsun, but the first two pages of the document are missing.

Consequently, the narrator throws the reader into the statement mid-sentence. The effect of this is to disconcert readers momentarily as they try to piece together the missing portion of the text and to absorb the sudden introduction of a new narrator.

Interestingly, although it appears that off original narrator drops completely out of the story after introducing the statement, there is one further intrusion by the original narrator in the form of a footnote. The footnote serves several purposes in the narration. In the first place, footnotes are generally found only in scholarly works, not short fictions.

Consequently, the appearance of the footnote seems to suggest that Borges wants to place the story within a certain genre of work—a nonfiction report. Albert may not be entirely trustworthy. Richard Madden acted in self-defense. This defense of Madden causes readers borgges wonder if the narrator and Madden might not be one and the same.

At the very least, it casts serious doubt in the minds of readers over the missing two pages of the document. What else has the narrator chosen to hide from readers?