Download Borges' Short Stories: A Reader's Guide by Rex Butler PDF

By Rex Butler

The Argentine author Jorge Luis Borges is unquestionably one of many defining voices of our age. because the moment international warfare, his paintings has had an immense effect on generations of writers, philosophers, and literary theorists. This advisor deals a detailed examining of ten of Borges' maximum brief tales, trying to convey out the common sense that has made his paintings so influential. the most component to the advisor deals an research of such key words in Borges' paintings as "labyrinth" and the "infinite" and analyzes Borges' specific narrative thoughts.

This advisor additionally units Borges' paintings inside of its wider literary, cultural and highbrow contexts and gives an annotated advisor to either scholarly and renowned responses to his paintings to aid additional reading.


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Extra resources for Borges' Short Stories: A Reader's Guide

Sample text

Rufus’ narrative then comes to a halt; and when he resumes a year later, he realizes, upon re-reading his manuscript, that what he has written seems unreal to him because ‘the experiences of two different men are intermingled in it’ (CF, 193). He notes that, while some of his statements would accord with a soldier like Rufus, much of what he has written seems as though written by a poet. In particular, he observes that sprinkled throughout the text are phrases and expressions taken from Homer. Not only do we as readers already suspect that the real author of the pages we have just read is Cartaphilus, but Rufus/Cartaphilus begin to suspect – although this is never explicitly spelled out – that not only have they once met Homer but that they actually are Homer.

And, given that the number of streams in the world is not infinite and that immortals have an infinite amount of time to look, the Immortals are certain eventually to find this stream. Now, this might appear as though the immortal must do an infinite number of things, that everything must find its opposite, before the second stream can be found. It would be as though the search for this stream involves a literally endless journey, crossing all the countries in the known world, as it is depicted in the story.

The story originally appeared in Sur in May 1939, and is often claimed to be Borges’ first. It is said in a well-known and often-repeated anecdote – first told by Borges himself – that it was written after Borges had spent several weeks in hospital hovering between life and death after contracting septicaemia, and that he wanted to see if he had recovered by trying to write something he had never written before: a short story. In fact, Borges had already written the story ‘The Approach to Al-Mu’tasim’.

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