The Garden of Forking Paths
Literature and Writing Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
"No one realized that the book and the labyrinth were one and the same." (40)
This confusion was clearly due to the fact that great-grandpa Ts'ui Pen liked to speak in metaphor all the time.
Two circumstances showed me the direct solution to the problem. First, the curious legend that Ts'ui Pen had proposed to create an infinite maze, second, a fragment of a letter which I discovered. (41)
The novel isn't the only text that shows up within the short story. Borges uses all sorts of documents and documents-within-documents. Here Dr. Albert refers to a fragment of a letter to show Yu Tsun how he solved the riddle.
"... I kept asking myself how a book could be infinite. I could not imagine any other than a cyclic volume, circular. A volume whose last page would be the same as the first and so have the possibility of continuing indefinitely." (44)
This is a very cool idea in its own right, and one that appears significantly in the magical realist novel One Hundred Years of Solitude by Nobel Prize winner Gabriel García Márquez. He obviously read Borges.