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Jorge Luis Borges’s Textual Labyrinths

  • Antoine Dechêne
Chapter
Part of the Crime Files book series (CF)

Abstract

This chapter presents close readings of Borges’s most famous meta-detective stories: “The Garden of Forking Paths,” “Death and the Compass,” and “Ibn Hakam al-Bokhari, Dead in His Labyrinth.” I argue that these stories share the ramifications and complexity of the labyrinth, a leitmotif that determines both their themes and structures. My point is that the texts’ essential ambiguity ensues from the paradoxical nature of the labyrinth itself, which works as a paragon of both order and disorder, design and arbitrariness: a very rational figure when observed from above, but an infernal structure in which the detectives inevitably get lost as soon as they cross the maze’s threshold.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antoine Dechêne
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LiègeLiègeBelgium

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