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The Garden of Forking Paths

The Garden of Forking Paths

by Jorge Luis Borges

Betrayal Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

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: the discovery, capture and perhaps the deaths of two agents of Imperial Germany? (2)

In the world of espionage, everyone's loyalties are suspect. In the middle of one of the most impassioned periods of Irish nationalism, Madden's capturing a German spy helps prove his loyalty to England.

Quote #2

I did not do it for Germany – no! Such a barbarous country is of no importance to me, particularly since it had degraded me by making me become a spy. (8)

Yu Tsun finds himself in the unenviable position of working at a job he finds degrading for a country that he despises. It seems as though working as a spy makes him guilty of betraying... himself.

Quote #3

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. (8)

The man Yu Tsun most admires (Stephen Albert) is English, and yet it's the English that he is spying against. Is this a betrayal, or merely an indication that true bonds of loyalty don't line up with national boundaries?

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