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Magical Realism in The Garden of Forking Paths

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Length: 1320 words (3.8 double-spaced pages)
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Magical Realism in The Garden of Forking Paths


While there may be some debate as to whether the Argentinian Jorge Luis Borges was technically a Magical Realist, some may feel that his works definitely do have some of the characteristics of what is considered Magical Realistic literature. Among his various types of works are poetry, essays, fantasies, and short fictions. Often referred to in essays that discuss the history and theory of Magical Realism, "The Garden of Forking Paths" is probably Borges' most popular short story. Published in 1964 in a collection of Borges works entitled Labyrinths: Selected Stories & Other Writings, his short story "The Garden of Forking Paths" appears to have several of the elements of Magical Realism.

At a glance, the main plot of "The Garden of Forking Paths" may seem fairly simple and very real. In this story the main character, Yu Tsun, is a German spy who knows the name of the British artillery park. Yu Tsun wants to tell his chief about this British artillery park so that the Germans can destroy it. However, Yu Tsun is afra...


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...pressionism." Magical Realism. Theory, History, Community. Ed. Lois Parkinson Zamora and Wendy B. Faris. Durham, N.C.: Duke UP, 1995: 15-30.

Simpkins, Scott. "Sources of Magic Realism/Supplements to Realism in Contemporary Latin American Literature." Magical Realism. Theory, History, Community. Ed. Lois Parkinson Zamora and Wendy B. Faris. Durham, N.C.: Duke UP, 1995: 145-157.

Wiehe, Roger E. "Jorge Luis Borges." Critical Survey of Short Fiction. Vol 3. Ed. Frank N. Magill. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Salem Press, 1981: 977-982.

 

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