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The Garden of Forking Paths

The Garden of Forking Paths

  

by Jorge Luis Borges

Dr. Stephen Albert Timeline and Summary

  • Dr. Albert greets Yu Tsun at the gate of his summer home. He speaks Chinese and is carrying a paper lantern.
  • He invites the stranger, whom he presumes to be an envoy of one of the Chinese consuls, to see "the garden of forking paths."
  • He is surprised when the visitor turns out to be a descendant of the garden's creator, Ts'ui Pen.
  • Albert spends an hour in his library explaining to Yu Tsun how he came to discover that the labyrinth and the novel created by Ts'ui Pen were one and the same.
  • He shows Yu Tsun a scrap of a letter written by Ts'ui Pen that holds the key to deciphering the novel's meaning.
  • Dr. Albert explains that the novel embodies all possible futures, creating a sort of literary labyrinth, and serves as an analogy for time.
  • In turning to retrieve the letter from his writing cabinet, Dr. Albert is shot in the back and killed by his visitor.
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