‘The Garden of Forking Paths’ by Jorge Luis Borges

This web of time – the strands of which approach one another, bifurcate, intersect or ignore each other through the centuries – embraces every possibility.
Dr. Stephen Albert 

Every other Personal Anthology seems to include a Borges story, which suits me because as far as I’m concerned, he redefined what short fiction could be and transcended that same definition. I could choose any one of his stories and be happy, but I’ve gone with ‘The Garden of Forking Paths’ because, as far as I can remember, it was the first Borges story I ever read.

It contains his usual preoccupations: philosophy, time, labyrinths, but it also manages to be a spy thriller, almost cinematic in parts, and makes me wonder if anyone might be brave enough to adapt it in some way. Borges’ stories have everything. They contain, not multitudes, but infinities. 

First published in English in Fictions, 1962. Now available in Fictions and Labyrinths, Penguin Classics, 1999

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