Complete summary of Jorge Luis Borges’ The Garden of Forking Paths. eNotes plot summaries cover all the significant action of The Garden of Forking Paths. Full text of “The Garden Of Forking Paths Jorge Luis Borges “. See other formats. The Garden of Forking Paths To Victoria Ocampo In his A History of the. To say that Jorge Luis Borges was a librarian, of course, is like saying Wallace The concept Borges described in “The Garden of Forking Paths”—in several.

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The advice about turning always to the left reminded me that such was the common formula for finding the central courtyard of certain labyrinths.

The Garden of Forking Paths

Century follows century, and things happen only in the present. An Irishman in the service of England, a man suspected of equivocal feelings if not of actual treachery, how could luia fail to welcome and seize upon this extraordinary piece of luck: I did not do it for Germany – no!

The hazy and murmuring countryside, the moon, the decline of the evening, stirred within me. A man who, sitting in his i arid Berlin office, leafed infinitely through newspapers, looking in vain for news from us.

For example, you come to this house; but in other possible pasts you are my enemy; in others my friend. For a moment his back was again turned to me. Fang makes up his mind to kill him. There was about him something of the priest, and something of the sailor.

Whosoever would undertake some atrocious enterprise should act as if it were already accomplished, should impose upon himself a future as irrevocable as the past.


There was almost no one on the platform. I foresee that man will resign himself each day to new abominations, that soon only soldiers and bandits will be left.

Something – perhaps merely a desire to prove my total penury to myself – made me empty out my pockets. It was not easy to bring about, and I know that its execution was terrible. I do not find it believable that he would waste thirteen years laboring over a never ending experiment in rhetoric. I told myself that I thus ran less chance of being recognized. For an undetermined period of time I felt myself cut off from the world, an abstract spectator. Abominably, I have yet triumphed!

In the black and yellow garden there was only a single man, but this man was as strong as a statue and this man was walking up the path and he was Captain Richard Madden.

Borges’s vision of “forking paths” has been cited as inspiration by numerous new media scholars, in particular within the field of hypertext fiction.

I recalled, too, the night in the middle of The Thousand and One Nights when Queen Scheherezade, through a magical mistake on the part of her copyist, started to tell the story of The Thousand and One Nights, with the risk of again arriving at the night upon which she will relate it, and thus on to infinity.

I was going to the village of Ashgrove, but took a ticket for a station further on.

Albert’s solution is that they are one and the same: My irrevocable decision could wait. Albert further explains that these constantly diverging paths do sometimes converge again, though as the result of a different chain of causes; for example, he says, in one possible time-line Doctor Tsun has come to his house as an enemy, in another as a friend.


Going down the gently sloping road I could not feel fatigue. Ts’ui Pen was a fine novelist but he was also a man of letters who, doubtless, considered himself more than a mere novelist. I know that of all problems, none disquieted him more, and none concerned him more than the profound one of time. I lifted my eyes and the short nightmare disappeared. I threw myself down on my narrow iron bed, and waited on my back.

Meditating thus I arrived at a high, rusty iron gate. He knew that my problem was to shout, with my feeble voice, above the tumult of war, the name of the city called Albert, and that I had no other course open to me than to kill someone of that name. I have gone over hundreds of manuscripts, I have corrected errors introduced by careless copyists, I have worked out the plan from this chaos, I have restored, or believe I have restored, the original.

I am a timorous man.

The Garden of Forking Paths – Wikipedia

The truth is that, in the deserted street, I felt infinitely visible and vulnerable. The testimony of his contemporaries attests to this, and certainly the known korge of his life confirm his leanings toward the metaphysical and the mystical. Though trembling with gratitude at Albert’s revelation and in awe of his ancestor’s literary genius, Tsun glances up the path to see Captain Madden approaching the house.