Τhe Garden of Forking Paths

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Title: The Garden of Forking Paths

Writer: Jorge Luis Borges (translated by Donald A.Yates, Andrew Hurley, James E.Irby

Publishing House: Penguin Modern Classics

Date of Publication: February 22nd 2018

Rating: 5 stars

‘’Summer was drawing to a close, and I realised that the book was monstrous.’’

Jorge Luis Borges, one of the most prominent Argentinian writers and one of the forefathers of Magical Realism, created stories where everything takes place in a superbly orchestrated, organized chaos. His world is one of mysteries, bookish cyphers and secrets, a blend of mystical tradition and the Occult. In sceneries made of hallucinatory landscapes, labyrinths, mirrors and gardens, philosophers, men of the law, artists enter dark corridors and strange libraries, stepping on the blurry line between the Real and the Fictional.

‘’From the rear of the secluded house within a lantern approached: a lantern that the trees sometimes striped and sometimes eclipsed, a paper lantern that had the form of a drum and the colour of the moon.’’

The Garden of Forking Paths: A story set in WWI, of secret services, strange ancestors, and the unbroken sequence of Cause and Effect.

The Book of Sand: An infinite book, without a first or last page, without a story or characters, leads its unfortunate owner to despair. 

The Circular Ruins: A story on the eternal circle of Fate, of our existence and our actions, and the literary immortality of the stories within the stories.

On Exactitude In Science: I doubt you’ll ever read a more bewildering photograph.

‘’Of the many problems which exercised the reckless discernment of Lonnrot, none was so strange – so rigorously strange, shall we say – as the periodic series of bloody events which culminated at the villa of Treste-le- Roy, amid the ceaseless aroma of the eucalypti.’’

Death and the Compass: A story weaved in Kabbala, Jewish tradition, detective puzzles and incarnation.

‘’A yellow, rounded moon defined two silent fountains in the melancholy garden. Lonnrot explored the house. Through anterooms and galleries he passed to duplicate patios, and time after time to the same patio […] The house is not this large, he thought. Other things are making it seem longer: the dim light, the symmetry, the mirrors, so many years, my unfamiliarity, the loneliness.’’

One Comment

  1. Glad to see you reading the Penguin Moderns – they’re so good, and Borges is particularly outstanding. Looking forward to getting to this one!

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