Jorge Luis BorgesWorld Literature

Analyzing Jorge Luis Borges

8 Mins read

Jorge Luis Borges was born in 1899 and has become a outstanding Latin American short story author in 1930s. His main assortment of short tales embrace ‘A universal history of iniquity’, ‘Ficciones’, ‘The Aleph’, ‘Artifices’, ‘The Maker’, ‘Museum’, ‘In praise of Darkness’, ‘Brodie’s Report’, ‘The book of sand’ and ‘Shakespeare’s memory.’

Borges Narrative Style:

Borges’ stories are characterized by the totally different types of narration it presents. The manner Borges plays with time and space makes each story totally different from the last one. But on looking on the story rigorously, we see the narration fashion a simplistic combination of sure components blended in several proportions to color a new shade each time. Such components like Magical Realism, Non linearity of time, creation of a fictional space, circular plot or timeline are the instruments Borges implements with finesse.

The most essential of those components are the ‘unreal factor’ in his texts. Magical realism is a literary method that we witness by means of the writings of some different authors like Franz Kafka earlier than Borges whereas a number of others like Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Salman Rushdie after him, however the best way Borges combines the 2 worlds of fiction and fantasy is sort of totally different. Whereas on one hand we see Marquez utilizing redundant details relating to a fantastic event to make it sound very bizarre, Borges shifts the eye of the reader from questions relating to the fact of the set of events by posing extra entangling philosophical question from the event.

Read About: Analyzing the Short Story “A Dream” by Franz Kafka

For instance, in ‘Funes the memorious’ we see the moment where the questions in regards to the actuality of Funes’ prodigious reminiscence are overshadowed by the phrases he recites and the concepts he presents. Thus, Borges ventures into the world of fiction, with out letting the reader understand that they’ve simply crossed the line of distinction. That’s what defines magical realism; when the line of distinction between actuality and fantasy is so blurred that the reader never realizes on which aspect is he.
Apart from the stories of ‘Aleph’ and ‘Ficciones,’ we see quite a few examples of Magical Realism within the tales of the book ‘A Universal History of Iniquity.’ It presents assortment legends about varied adventures by individuals, usually criminals. These accounts, as usually occurs with legends, have been exaggerated to the extent of unreality however Borges presents it in a manner that it appears fairly pure and real looking.
Through Borges we get a set of short stories that aren’t actual. He writes stories in so many ways in which a few of them must require a widening of the definition of ‘fiction’ in one’s thoughts. Another sort of his narrations is when he analyses a very nonexistent story or book by an equally nonexistent writer in a manner that it appears to be completely actual. Though it could remind us of some ‘Double Fiction’ texts, however they don’t seem to be the identical at some degree. The layers of the double fiction have a really intriguing relationship in this case. If one tells us that the story and writer analysed are actual, then as an alternative of being a narrative this turns into an evaluation. The nature of one part of the story is carefully associated to the other however nonetheless there appears to be a really clear distinction between the 2.

Generally, double fiction or hypo-narratives have a story embedded inside a story. This imparts a number of layers to the story. For instance, we’ve a narrator and there may be his story occurring whereas a story he narrates additionally forms part of his life. Thus we’ve two tales occurring within the narration, separated by time and space, with solely widespread link being the one who is narrator in a single and character in different. A twisted type of that is seen in Midnight’s Children where the character within the embedded story can also be the narrator and thus the 2 tales meet up in the end. But Borges utilizes the anomaly that the reader could not know whether or not the embedded story is fiction or a journalistic account/ a book assessment.

An ideal instance of such story is ‘Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis, Tertius’ where with an exception of the theme of utopia, essentially the most fundamental thought appears to be to present Borges style double fiction narrative. The most intriguing part of this story is how the author writes a fictional account of a author, who wrote total encyclopedias a couple of fictional place and its fictional customs and tradition.

Read About: Overall Themes of Franz Kafka’s Writing

Another fundamental concept that embosses out is the circular nature of certain plots by Borges. Again, the circularity just isn’t within the widespread style. Considering it with the instance of the story ‘The Circular Ruins,’ we are able to simply see how Borges provides a new meaning to the whole story by closing the plot on this style. The story begins with a wizard creating a person in his dreams, rising him and educating him. But it doesn’t precisely end where it began. It relatively ends with the wizard realizing that he himself additionally a piece of somebody’s dream, somebody’s creativeness and thus it turns into clear that we end up precisely where we began, however now with a vital data, the shortage of which was the driving power of the story.

Idea of Labyrinth

If there may be one thing in his stories which is much more clearly seen than the unreality, then it needs to be Borges’ fascination with Labyrinths. There are a couple of stories like ‘The Garden of Forking paths’ and ‘The Immortal’ where Labyrinth is introduced as a theme. ‘The garden of forking paths’ provides to us a fictional book which is written as a labyrinth. Unlike regular books where resolution by characters resolve which manner the story leads, that book depicts a story through which all attainable outcomes takes place and thus taking us to alternative ways. The intricacy of those methods and their attainable connections with one another forms what looks like a literary labyrinth.

In ‘The Immortal,’ the labyrinth is used as a symbol of infinity. The city of the immortals known as a labyrinth and the frustration of immortality is materialized in front of reader by it comparability with being caught in a labyrinth.

In one other story, ‘The library of Babel,’ the fictional library can also be introduced as a labyrinth, in a manner additionally symbolizing the universe, which aside from simply being infinite, can also be very symmetrical in nature. A specific book on this infinite library holds the best way out of this labyrinth. All these tales make use of labyrinth as a really robust motif.

Though in ‘The House of Asterion’, he refers to an actual Labyrinth, however for a significant variety of his stories, he makes use of Labyrinths as a metaphorical device to indicate to us the never ending nature of certain issues just like the strumming of guitar within the story ‘The End’ where labyrinth is used to suggest the seemingly never ending guitar strumming.
Such examples are quite a few in his texts and the repetition of the identical metaphor cements his fascination with the idea. It is more like a signature, a phrase, an idea he appears to be obsessive about. One of his different short story collections even has the title ‘Labyrinth.’


Despite of the inclusion of unreal texts and authors as center items of the story, Borges additionally bases his tales around lots of different texts with Cervantes’ Don Quixote, Homer’s Odyssey and Iliad and Jose Hernandez’s poem Martin Fierro being referred to very often. His vast knowledge of world literature is extremely spectacular. The very informal shift of dialogue from Homer to Dante after which to Shakespeare establishes his grip over classical texts.

Read About: “In the Penal Colony”: Themes

This makes it a really troublesome studying experience because the story has prerequisite knowledge for it to be totally understood. Many of those references being on the degree of an object solely could be understood with simply factual information in regards to the textual content however others, like Martin Fierro and Asterion, require detailed information before understanding the characters. In the story, ‘Pierre Menard, the Author of Quixote’ he establishes a writer who’s rewriting the basic textual content ‘Don Quixote’ however Borges reviews the way it isn’t merely a duplicate or translation however a new piece of literature. In ‘The Immortal,’ Homer has a direct presence which brings in references to his ‘Odyssey’. The poem ‘Martin Fierro’ attracts reference in a number of texts. The complexity and direct inclusion of classical literary texts limits the readership/ legibility of his stories. To actually perceive such stories, one must first learn a minimum of 50 extra texts from which Borges attracts inspiration.

Approaching the Perfection:

A constant try to define and approach the perfect is seen in his texts. ‘Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis, Tertius’ presents to us the search of Utopia which is a primary instance of it. The story develops an image of Tlon which appears to be ideal from a perspective. Even the whole idea of making one other world and simply the world without any story, defining intimately its tradition and geographical features and customs is in itself an try at placing down your dream world on paper. A never ending seek for the best city appears to be shaping up within the ideas of Borges whereas writing this story although it appears fairly clear that such a city could never exist.

Another search is the search of god. ‘The approach to Al Mutassim’ very explicitly exhibits the strategy of a person in direction of god. But ending of the book earlier than the traveler meets him is very straight ahead approach to say that it is just in regards to the journey and never the vacation spot. Again, the concept comes out is that God (The perfect) could not exist and the meaning isn’t reaching what we’re in search of however instead polish ourselves throughout the whole journey is what appears extra significant.

But all just isn’t what meets the attention. It is the internal layer of the story, what stays are the criticism from the creator which makes your entire idea multi faceted. All these are thought introduced by a fictional writer and we are able to settle for that in instances where the ideas of this character and our writer don’t concur, we are able to conclude that it was solely meant to generate a debate like in ‘The approach to Al Mutassim.’

Such working commentary takes the story nearer to the reader. When we understand that the individual commenting can also be a personality within the story, then so are we and thus the narration in a manner develop into second person. This makes it much more fascinating.

Read About: Kafka’s “In the Penal Colony” Analysis

The Missing Sex

A really observant reader will all the time reach noticing the lack of feminine characters within the stories. With an attainable exception of ‘Emma Zunz’ female characters appear to be completely absent in these stories, the one dialogue of women additionally being simply in stories like ‘Zahir’ and ‘Aleph’ where the stature to girls within the dialogue is nothing greater than an object. The exclusion of the women and sex are two issues which appear very unusual. Even when women are present within the story, they’re extremely objectified for offering sexual alternatives or facilitating additional interplay between the male characters.

But there may be neither any specific mention nor slight hint in direction of any type of homosexual tendencies in his stories either. This type of strategy perhaps a direct consequence of his personal ideas and life and a little analysis into his life story reveals his distances from them in actual life as well. Another fascinating level is how progressively this changes as we progress in direction of the chronologically second half of his assortment.

Similarity in Style

Borges had lots of concepts and strategies with him and what he did was to fluctuate the proportion of every idea in a narrative to provide you with a completely new idea.

But what’s seen repeatedly is a helping hand within the understanding of those themes. There are stories which have been written with simply one in every of these concepts in lime light. This helps us to extract the one thought and therefore perceive his writing style piece by piece. But nonetheless, nothing can actually by understood by making a sum of its components and that’s how Borges chooses to sure and elude us on the identical time.

Suggestions? Share in the comment section.

And yes! if you need premium accounts at cheapest rate inbox me on my Facebook page at: Premium Palace

Subscribe my YouTube channel at: The Stream Post

And, if you want me to rewrite your blog post with 100% uniqueness, then contact me on Fiverr at: Shahireng

Related posts
World LiteratureAlbert CamusThe Stranger

A Study of Absurdity in Novel "The Stranger" by Camus

5 Mins read
Albert Camus’s existentialist novel, The Stranger, is a tale of absurdity. This novel tells the story of a man by the name…
World LiteratureThe Castle

The Castle by Franz Kafka as a Presage of Dystopia

5 Mins read
The Castle by Franz Kafka, a book written in the early 1900s, foreshadows the dystopia that we are living in today. It…
Jorge Luis BorgesThe Library of Babel by Jorge Luis Borges

Borges Labyrinth in The Library of Babel

2 Mins read
The unusual loops within the story reinforce the concept that the Library and its books form a labyrinth of obscure meaning. All…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

For security, use of Google's reCAPTCHA service is required which is subject to the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

I agree to these terms.