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

By Rex Butler

The Argentine author Jorge Luis Borges is surely one of many defining voices of our age. because the moment international struggle, his paintings has had a tremendous impression on generations of writers, philosophers, and literary theorists. This advisor deals a detailed analyzing 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 phrases in Borges' paintings as "labyrinth" and the "infinite" and analyzes Borges' specific narrative innovations.

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


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

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It is perhaps no coincidence that Cartaphilus dies at sea while returning to his homeland of Smyrna and is buried on the island of Ios in the Aegean, because these places are said to be where Homer was born and where he was buried. Critics have predominantly interpreted ‘The Immortal’ in terms of Borges’ long-held fascination with the ‘nothingness of personality’. 8 We see this in Borges’ argument that in the act of copulation we are all the same person, or that when we read Shakespeare we actually become Shakespeare (TL, 323).

In 1066, he fights at the Battle of Hastings. In the thirteenth century, he translates the story of Sinbad in Egypt. In 1638, he is in Rumania and later in Germany. In 1714 in Aberdeen, he subscribes to the six-volume set of Pope’s translation of the Iliad. In 1921, finally, a boat taking him to Bombay runs aground on the Eritrean coast. While ashore, he drinks water from an unidentified stream; and, upon pricking himself with a thorn, notices himself bleed and feel pain. He realizes with a sense of relief that he is once again mortal.

Indeed, we might even say that each new name added to the list is an attempt to supplement the ones before, to speak of some particular quality that the previous precursors did not encompass. It is this feeling that something has not yet been taken account of that allows us to keep on adding names to the list. In this sense, each new comparison represents a failure to define Kafka, a failure made clear by the one that comes after. Each successive entry on the list attempts to say what Kafka and the ones before have in common, what the real Kafka is that allowed those previous comparisons to be made.

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