The Aleph Essay

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In the following essay excerpt, Thiem examines Borges's reluctance to acknowledge the influence of Dante in "The Aleph."

Readers and critics of Borges's "The Aleph" ("El Aleph,") 1945 have long recognized the Dante allusions, some subtle, some obvious, woven into the text of this intricate, famous tale. In various unmistakable ways Borges alludes to Dante Alighieri, to Beatrice, and to elements of the Commedia. Even so, he never refers directly to Dante or the Commedia, in spite of the fact that in "The Aleph" he cites numerous "precursors." Furthermore, in his 1970 "Aleph" commentary Borges virtually denied that the allusions to Dante were intentional:

Critics . . . have detected Beatrice Portinari in Beatriz Viterbo, Dante in Daneri, and the descent into hell in the descent into the cellar. I am, of course, duly grateful for these unlooked-for gifts.

Although a number of critics have glossed the major Dante allusions in "The...

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This section contains 3,694 words
(approx. 10 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Aleph Study Guide
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The Aleph from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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