An Analysis of Jorge Luis Borges'

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"The Garden of Forking Paths" as a Detective Story.
In comparing Jorge Luis Borges' "The Garden of Forking Paths" to that of the modern day detective story, I will discuss Borges' use of characters, theme, and also his unique use of narration. The combination of these three things puts Borges' "The Garden of Forking Paths" into a totally different class than the detective stories we have grown up reading and the ones we still read today. The genre of detective stories was invented by an American author by the name of Edgar Allen Poe in the 1840's. In detective stories, details are very important. A writer of a detective story is obligated to follow certain rules and conventions, including the inclusion of clues and details that will allow the reader to solve the mystery at just the same moment the detective does. Sometimes, the resolution of a detective story requires some small bit of information that the writer withholds from the reader until the very last moment. (Bell) Most often "The Garden of Forking Paths" is referred to as a detective story. Borges follows the conventional ways of writing a detective story. His protagonist, Yu Tsun, is a spy. He has a secret he must transmit. He has limited time. He offers clues to the reader without revealing the final secret. All staples in a typical detective story. Borges even goes one step further by placing another mystery within the framework of Yu Tsun's mystery. That is, he offers readers the mystery of Yu Tsun's ancestor and his labyrinth, a mystery that Dr. Albert solves.

Stadelmann 2
Although "The Garden of Forking Paths" fills the conventions of the detective story, it only resembles a detective story in structure. In reality, by Borges playing games with the readers, the story comes off to be more of a philosophical piece that is disguised as a detective story. Borges' unique and unusual use of narration in "The Garden of Forking Paths" is just that unique and...
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