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

By Rex Butler

The Argentine author Jorge Luis Borges is unquestionably one of many defining voices of our age. because the moment international conflict, his paintings has had a big influence on generations of writers, philosophers, and literary theorists. This consultant deals a detailed analyzing of ten of Borges' maximum brief tales, trying to deliver out the common sense that has made his paintings so influential. the most portion of the consultant bargains an research of such key phrases in Borges' paintings as "labyrinth" and the "infinite" and analyzes Borges' specific narrative concepts.

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


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Additional info for Borges' Short Stories: A Reader's Guide

Sample text

The activity of the critic in finding sources or influences, of comparing a great author with others, is absolutely necessary. And even to attempt to avoid this by speaking of some real Kafka behind all of these comparisons is only to produce another comparison. Kafka does not exist outside of literary history, some expectation or preconception of how he should be read. In other words, in a paradox we have already seen, Kafka is at once outside of all comparison and only another in an endless series of comparisons.

For all of the infinite number of things that an Immortal is said to do in their life, drinking water from that second stream must be one of them. If in one way they discover this second steam only after doing an infinite number of things, in another this infinity exists only because it comes to an end thanks to this second stream. Indeed, it might be suggested that the Immortal does not even do an infinite number of things before drinking from that second stream, because he would not then get around to doing so, and he could not therefore become immortal.

It is this category of the Borgesian that we seek to take up here through a reading of three of Borges’ texts: ‘Kafka and His Precursors’, ‘Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote’ and ‘The Library of Babel’. ‘KAFKA AND HIS PRECURSORS’ The essay ‘Kafka and His Precursors’ first appeared in the newspaper La Nación on 19 August 1951, and was subsequently published in Otras inquisiciones [Other Inquisitions]. Other Inquisitions is a collection of essays notable for the extremely wide variety of topics addressed, which points either to the wide-ranging nature of Borges’ interests or to the contingencies of book reviewing.

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