The Garden of Forking Paths Essay

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Coincidence brings the two plots together, and the second is contained in the first just as the first is framed historically. The reader expects the second plot to illuminate the first (or at least have some direct bearing upon it) just as the first supposedly illuminates the historical event referred to in the framing paragraph of the opening. Actually, it does so only indirectly, on a different level, and thus again subversively. Before exploring the devices by which the first and second plot are linked, let us turn briefly to one of Borges' most famous theoretical statements on narrative, which is of relevance for an understanding of the overall structure of "The Garden. . . ."

In an essay on "Narrative Art and Magic," first published in Spanish in 1932 (i.e., before Borges began writing the stories in Ficciones ) and only recently translated into English, Borges outlines a primitive typology of...

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This section contains 1,453 words
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