Borges Short Stories Essay

Submitted By dietcoked
Words: 646
Pages: 3

Borges’ Short Stories
Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius
Metafiction – Narrator talks about how he was discussing how one might write a book in the first person and omit/distort/contradict things “so that a very few readers might divine the horrifying or banal truth”  this in itself is a contradiction
Mirror
At the end of the hallway, mirrors distort things (they flip the image)
“Mirrors and copulation are abominable, for they multiply the number of mankind” – The Anglo-American Cyclopaedia
When checked in the encyclopedia, Uqbar doesn’t exist
Bioy, the guest, finds the actual quote, which says: “For one of those gnostics, the visible universe was an illusion or, more precisely, a sophism. Mirrors and fatherhood are hateful because they multiply and proclaim it.”

Two copies of the book, but Bioy’s has the article on Uqbar
Uqbar seems not to exist in any other copy besides Bioy
Herbert Ashe – engineer for Southern Railway Line – lingers in the mirrors in the hotel at Adrogue
Duodecimals transalting to sexagesimals?
Ashe received a book printed in octavo major from Brazil, written in English, 1001 pages, called “A First Encyclopedia of Tlon. Vol. XI. Hlaer to Jangr”
Book describes Tlon, a planet
The citizens of Tlon were idealistic
Southern Hemispere - impersonal, the world is not a collection of objects in space, but a heterogeneous series of independent acts
Northern Hemisphere – language is adjectival
Borges goes on to describe the culture of Tlon
“sphere of literature” – the idea of a single subject is all powerful, books are rarely signed and plagiarism does not exist – all is the work of a single author who is timeless and anonymous
It is revealed that Tlon is a work of fiction created by a fraternity

Library of Babel
The Universe = indefinite, infinite numbers of hexagonal galleries
Mirror – duplicates appearances, Men infer from this mirror that the library is not infinite – why then should there be illusory replication?
The Library is a sphere whose exact center is any hexagon and whose circumference is unattainable
The library has existed forever
There are twenty five orthographic symbols
For all rationality, there is a lot of chaos
There are no two identical books
“infinite” it is not illogical to think that the world is infinite

Garden of Forking Paths
Context: an allied offensive against the Serre-Montauban line had been planned, but had to be pushed back because of torrential rates… this is an account by a former professor of English
Professor is a spy for the German Empire and realizes that he has been caught but wants to tell his German handlers before he is captured
He does not do it out of love for Germany, but because he wants to prove to his racist masters than an…