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The Garden of Forking Paths

The Garden of Forking Paths

by Jorge Luis Borges

Analysis: Tough-o-Meter

We've got your back. With the Tough-O-Meter, you'll know whether to bring extra layers or Swiss army knives as you summit the literary mountain. (10 = Toughest)

(8) Snow Line

A Borges story is like a brain-teaser. He's a fan of including little puzzles for the reader to decipher, obscure references for us to tease out, and phrases in foreign languages for us to translate. Reading Borges, we often feel like he is two steps ahead of us... because he is. Borges was a child prodigy, publishing translations of English literature into Spanish at the age of 9 (!) and eventually learning to speak or read seven languages, including Anglo-Saxon and Old Norse. His depictions of abstract concepts like infinite and parallel universes have caused some to point to him as a precursor of everything from the Internet to quantum physics.

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