Presentation on theme: "“The Garden of the Forking Paths” Jorge Luis Borges Literary Criticism: History (3)– History and Time."— Presentation transcript:
“The Garden of the Forking Paths” Jorge Luis Borges Literary Criticism: History (3)– History and Time
Characters & Plot Dr. Yu Tsun– a Chinese, a German spy and a former professor of English goes to Stephen Albert, a sinologist who has created a garden identical to one created by Yu Tsun's ancestor, Ts'ui Pen, who also worked on a novel,The Garden of Forking Paths, for 13 years. pursued by Captain Richard Madden, an Irishman in service to the English despite the other possibilities he envisions, Yu kills Albert.
gardenNovel (Fang vs. intruder) Gap, the inevitable and the Chinese Box The torrential rains, Captain Liddell Hart comments, caused this delay, an insignificant one, to be sure. Yu’s Statement The first two pages of the document are missing 1.the discovery, capture, maybe even the death of two agents (Runeberg and himself) of the German Reich 2.The author of an atrocious undertaking ought to imagine that he has already accomplished it, ought to impose upon himself a future as irrevocable as the past gardenYu vs. Albert 3. Kill “Albert” to relay the site of the British artillery park in Belgium.
The Labyrinthine Yu: aware of multiple possibilities (e.g. 13; 14) understands the maze = world of the past and the future I imagined it[that lost maze] inviolate and perfect at the secret crest of a mountain; I imagined it erased by rice fields or beneath the water; I imagined it infinite, no longer composed of octagonal kiosks and returning paths, but of rivers and provinces and kingdoms... I thought of a labyrinth of labyrinths, of one sinuous spreading labyrinth that would encompass the past and the future and in some way involve the stars. … The afternoon was intimate, infinite.
Time: the irrevocable Yu Tsun: Centuries of centuries and only in the present do things happen; countless men in the air, on the face of the earth and the sea, and all that really is happening is happening to me. the future as the irrevocable (15) talks to Albert and let his “irrevocable future …wait” (16).
Time: the labyrinthine Ts'ui Pen, "I leave to the various futures (not to all) my garden of forking paths.“ -- Why does time forks? Where does forking happens? Albert: time -- a "dizzying net of divergent, convergent, and parallel times.“ (16) multiple possibilities Yu: [feels]not the swarming of the divergent, parallel and finally coalescent armies, but a more inaccessible, more intimate agitation that they in some manner prefigured”(17).
Forking Paths one’s intended/chosen path and its possible diversion : Albert killed, no killing Madden captures Yu Tsun, without understanding the meaning of Albert's death, with understanding “History” becomes “unreal, insignificant.” Yu Tsun experiences a great "contrition and weariness.“ “real” history? Multiple identity of Yu Tsun, Albert and Madden