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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Search the history of over billion web pages on the Internet. He comments that torrential rain caused this delay – which lacked any special significance. The following deposition, dictated by, read over, and then signed by Dr. Yu Tsun, former teacher of English at the Tsingtao Hochschule, casts unsuspected light upon this event.

The first two pages are missing. Immediately I recollected the voice that had spoken in German. It was that of Captain Richard Bogres.

jkrge Madden, in Viktor Runeberg’s office, meant the end of all our work and – though this seemed th secondary matter, or should have seemed so to me – of our lives also. His being there meant that Runeberg had been arrested or gorking. Rather, to be more accurate, he was obliged to be implacable.

An Irishman in the service of England, a man suspected of equivocal feelings if not of actual treachery, how could he fail to welcome and seize upon this extraordinary piece of luck: I went up to my bedroom.

Absurd though the gesture was, I closed and locked the door. I threw myself down on my narrow iron bed, and waited on my back. The never changing rooftops filled the window, and the hazy six o’clock sun hung in the sky. It seemed incredible that this day, a day without warnings or omens, might be that of my implacable death. In despite of my dead father, in despite of having been a child in one of the symmetrical gardens of Hai Feng, was I to die now?

Then I reflected that all things happen, happen to one, precisely now. Century follows century, and things happen only in the present. There are countless men in the air, on land and at sea, and all that really happens happens to me. The almost unbearable memory of Madden’s long horseface put an end to these wandering thoughts. In the midst of my hatred and terror now that it no longer matters to me to speak of terror, now that I have outwitted Richard Madden, now that my neck hankers for the hangman’s nooseI knew that the fast-moving and doubtless happy soldier did not suspect that I possessed the Secret – the name of the exact site of the new British artillery park on the Ancre.

A bird streaked across the misty sky and, absently, I turned it into an airplane and then that airplane into many in the skies of France, shattering the artillery park under a rain of bombs. If only my mouth, before it should be silenced by a bullet, could pths this name in such a way that it could be heard in Germany My voice, my human voice, was weak.

How could it reach the ear of the Chief? The ear of that sick and hateful man who knew nothing of Runeberg or of me except that we were in Staffordshire. A man who, sitting in his i arid Berlin office, leafed infinitely through newspapers, looking in vain for news from us. I said aloud, “I must flee. Something – perhaps merely a desire to prove my total penury to myself – made jorg empty out my pockets. I found just what I knew I was going to find. The American watch, the nickel-plated chain and the square coin, the key ring with the useless but compromising keys to Runeberg’s office, the notebook, a letter which I decided to destroy at once and which I did not destroya five shilling piece, two single shillings and some pennies, a red and blue pencil, a handkerchief – and a revolver with a single bullet.


Absurdly I held it and weighed it in my hand, to give myself courage. Vaguely I thought that a pistol shot can be heard for a great distance. In ten minutes I had developed my plan. The telephone directory gave me the name of the one person capable of passing on the information. He lived in a suburb of Fenton, less than half an hour away by train. I lis a timorous man. I can say it now, now that I have brought my incredibly risky plan to an end. It was not easy to bring about, and I know that its execution was terrible.

I did not do it for Germany – no!

The Garden of Forking Paths

Such a barbarous country is of no importance to me, particularly since it had degraded me by making me become a spy. Furthermore, I knew an Englishman – a modest man – who, for me, is as great as Goethe.

I did not speak with him for more than an hour, but during that time, he was Goethe. I carried out my plan because I felt the Chief had some fear of those of my race, of those uncountable forebears whose culmination lies in me. I wished to prove to him that a yellow man could save his armies.

Besides, I had to escape the Captain. His hands and voice could, at any moment, knock and beckon at my door. Silently, I dressed, took leave of myself in the mirror, went down the stairs, sneaked a look at the quiet street, and went out. The station was not far from my house, but I thought it more prudent to take a cab.

Full text of “The Garden Of Forking Paths Jorge Luis Borges “

I told myself that I thus ran less chance of being recognized. The truth is that, in the deserted street, I felt infinitely visible and vulnerable.

I recall that I told the driver to stop short of the main entrance.

I got out with a firking and deliberate slowness. I was going to the village of Ashgrove, but took a ticket for a station further on. The train would leave in a few minutes, at eight-fifty. I hurried, for the next would not go until half past nine. There was almost no one on the platform. I walked through the carriages.

I remember some farmers, a woman dressed in mourning, a youth deep in Tacitus’ Annals and a wounded, happy soldier. At last the train pulled out.

A man I recognized ran furiously, but vainly, the length of the platform. It was Captain Richard Madden. Shattered, trembling, I huddled in the distant corner of the seat, as far as possible from the fearful window. From utter terror I passed into a state of almost abject happiness. I fhe myself that the duel had already started and that I had won the first encounter by besting my adversary in his first attack – even if it was only for forty minutes – by an accident of fate.


I argued that so small a luie prefigured a total victory. I argued that it was 2 not so trivial, that were it not for the precious accident of the ulis schedule, I would be in prison or dead.

I argued, with no less sophism, that my timorous happiness was luie that I was man enough to bring this adventure to a successful conclusion. From my weakness I drew strength that never left me. I foresee that man will resign himself each day to new abominations, that soon only soldiers and bandits will be left.

To them I offer this advice: 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.

Thus I proceeded, while with the eyes of a man already dead, I contemplated the fluctuations of the day which would probably be my last, and watched the diffuse patbs of night. The train crept along gently, amid ash trees. It slowed down and stopped, almost in the middle of a field.

No one called the name of a station. A lamp lit the platform, but the children’s faces remained in a shadow. One of them asked me: At a slight incline, the road ran downhill.

It was a plain dirt way, and overhead the branches of trees intermingled, while a round moon hung low in garen sky as if to keep me company. For a moment I thought that Richard Madden might in some way have divined my desperate intent.

At once I realized that this would be impossible. The advice about turning always to the left reminded me that such was the common formula for finding the central courtyard of certain labyrinths. I know something about labyrinths.

Not for nothing am I the greatgrandson of Ts’ui Pen. He was Governor of Yunnan and gave up temporal power to write a novel with more characters than there are in the Hung Lou Meng, and to create a maze in which all men would lose themselves.

He spent thirteen years on these oddly assorted tasks before he was assassinated by a stranger. His novel had no sense to it and nobody ever found his labyrinth. Under the trees of England I meditated on this lost and perhaps mythical labyrinth. I imagined it untouched and perfect on the secret summit of some mountain; I imagined it drowned under rice paddies or beneath the sea; I imagined lus infinite, made not only of eight-sided pavilions and of twisting paths but also of rivers, provinces and kingdoms I thought of a maze of mazes, of a sinuous, ever growing maze which would take in both past and future and would somehow involve the stars.

Lost in these imaginary illusions I forgot my destiny – that of the hunted. For an undetermined period of time I felt myself cut off from the world, an abstract spectator.

The hazy and murmuring countryside, the moon, the decline of the evening, stirred within me. Going down the gently sloping road I could not pathw fatigue. The evening was at once intimate and infinite. A high-pitched and almost syllabic music kept coming and going, moving with the breeze, blurred by the leaves and by distance.

I thought that a man might be an enemy of other men, of the differing moments of other men, but forkign an enemy of a country: