Study Guide

The Garden of Forking Paths Tough-o-Meter

By Jorge Luis Borges


(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.