Published: Last Edited:

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

As reader, we do not encounter a collection of love stories and family saga while examining Borges' oeuvre. Borges' writing introduces us in a world of imagination which goes beyond human mind. Throughout his writing, we can detect some elements of magic realism, reader comes across objects of our everyday life but contains an unexpected or improbable element that infuse strange effect leaving the reader in a state of bewilderment, amazement or fascination. Magic realism is a artistic movement or tendency that began in the 1918, it is the world and reality that have a dream-like quality about them which is captured by the presentation of improbable juxtaposition in a style that highly objective, precise and deceptively simple (weltanschauung). In Borges' labyrinth there is no element of supernatural which is an aspect of magic realism. Borges acts like a magician who astonishes the reader through his touch of magic. This can be supported by the fact that Borges' stories contains fantastic settings and mythical events that is significant in everyday life. He entitles his book labyrinth in which the reader feels they are in a kind of labyrinth which we have to find the way in order to be free. Labyrinth demands intellectual involvement as it confront unanswerable questions, the nature of existence and chaos of the universe. In his writing, we do not encounter much with human emotions but rather on metaphysical structure. Unlike short stories, Borges challenges our expectation by forcing us to reflect upon unanswerable question and the way his characters understand their own existence. We can deduce that Borges short stories are exceptional in nature. He shares with us human experience and widened our perception and horizon.

' the circular ruins' focuses on the character emotion. As reader, we are transported in the protagonist fictious world, Borges opens a world of magic where the character is an unusual character, a sorcerer who is a fascinating person performing magic which leaves us amazed. We enter the world of fascination, where the protagonist attempts to bring to life a man created in dreams. It can be seen as a kind of cloning through magical rites. Borges shows us that reality is a product of the mind, thus Borges challenges our perception. We as readers refers to the magician wish as an act of cloning. There is an allusion to cloning that Adam of the bible is just as imperfect as Adam being created in wizard dream. The ruins of the temple gives the story an original aspect emphasizing on antiquity. He is frustrated by his inability to create a man when the story. At the end of the story, we are surprised to find out that the magicians is an invention of another man's dream. This is the most striking part of the story whereby Borges challenges our expectation of the story. Borges plays with our imagination and explores the magic realism successfully with a touch of reality. This can be argued by the fact that though the sorcerer is a product of imagination, he experiences intense feeling like a human being. He is not devoid of feeling nevertheless and we are astonished by this fact. Borges does not create a superficial character in the sorcerer but has given him human attribution. The sorcerer feels overwhelmed 'with relief ,with humiliation, with terror ' ( Borges 100). He is in a state of delusion when discovering about the truth. 'The circular ruins' probes the concept of existence and reality.

Throughout Borges' writing, we notice that Borges gives little importance to individual lives. In 'the immortal' Borges challenges our bias concept of death. A roman soldier in search of the river that ' purifies men of death' . death is an inescapable reality which we often forget or denied because of the fear we have when thinking about it. We wish for eternal life and Borges will shows how life is worth of living with death which sounds absurd to some of us. Borges values death and gives it an important role in the story. According to Borges, life is worth of living because there is death shows the absurdity of this sentence. For Borges, it would be problematic if human beings can achieved immortality, an undesirable aspect. The soldier in search of immortality learns through his journey that life is worthwhile because there is death. Some reader is amazed by Borges perception on life while other disagree. Borges writes ' death makes men precious and pathetic' ( Borges 192).

'The library of Babel' contains much more than mathematical metaphor for the universe. It is about the uncovering of ultimate answer in the tale of humanity quest. The librarian pursuits for the book of the ' crims on the hexagon' books that holds the key to understand the immense library and incomprehensible books parallels western civilization search to understand the world and humanity's place in it. The librarians turns to desperation while realizing that it would be improbable and impossible to find a particular book in an infinite library. Some seek out a mythical ' book man' a prophet like figure who has supposedly read the true catalog of the library. Other seek to recreate the book through the random arrangement of letters. Still other turn to violence, destroying book and each other. Borges portraying of librarians reflect the fact that throughout history people have turned to religions, science and various philosophies and even violence to tackle their understanding of themselves and each other. Like the immortal, the library of Babel certify that it is beyond human capacity to find all answers. We can conclude that it is people who give meaning to book. Like in Borges story, it is reader who gives meaning to the book. The library of Babel is on the fundamental question of what it is to be human.

Italno Calvino is a famous Italian writer famous for his eccentricity in writing and is able to invent new form of plot development. ' If on a winter's night a traveler' is a marvel of ingenuity, an experimental text that look longingly back to the great age of narration : " when time no longer seemed stopped and did not yet seem to have exploded". Calvino challenges our perception of the narrative as we readers are the protagonist of the story which is unexpected. In the novel Calvino chooses the personal pronoun I, as a result the identity of the man is hidden. We are amazed by being the protagonist in the story. Calvino tries to emancipate and liberate the slaves of reading. Calvino starts off a book so that in the future readers will begin other books without any biased especially in regards to the author or genre. Calvino's style is unique and independent, we do not encounter with this style in any book. He breaks from the conventional writing structure and what amazed us when reading Calvino is that he successfully mixed different genres making them viable. His novel can be a fantasy novel, mystery novel and epistolary novel. It has the properties of a bricoleur as the writing describes the events, happening to the reader which is the protagonist in the story.

However, the noel starts up with second personal narration ' you' whereby we are brought into the text and we as reader is an integral part in it. This resembles the reader and author relationship which has been elaborated by Wolfgang Izer in his work entitled ' rezeption theory'. The text takes life only when it is read by the reader and is understood by the reader. This is an important aspect of reading and Calvino manages successfully to create the reader author relationship. The readers interpretation is multiple thus the space of imagination is unlimited. Calvino plays with pronoun like ' you' , 'He' and 'I' thus confusing us and obscuring the identity of the character. We are confused because we don't know exactly with whom Calvino is referring, is it his nameless character or us the reader? In the first part, Calvino writes : " let world around you fade. Best close the door : the TV is always on in the nest room. Tells others right away. " No, I don't want to watch TV" ( Calvino pp11). We are being addressed by the speaker : " you have now read about thirty pages and you're becoming caught up in the story". The element of suspense arouses curiosity among the reader. As Calvino ends on an incomplete notes. We are often left in a state of bewilderment challenging our expectation of what comes next. Another important issue Calvino's explores in the book is the dissociation of the book as a self and the story it carries inside. They both collaborate to form the novel. This can be supported by [… and it isn't only the book you are taking with you but it is the novel as well" ( Calvino pp 6).

The reader in the novel is allowed to become the major character exerting power over us. We can argue that it resembles a relationship between colonized and colonizers. Calvino is the colonizer and we reader are being colonized. For example he controls us and give orders : " wait a minute! Look at page number" ( Calvino, pp25). There is the idea of void that blends reality and fiction in Calvino's novel. There are elements of post modernism in Calvino's novel is the absence of concrete reality and a shift between two alternate realities . We are surprised by the descriptive and narrative style with its opening reading.


Borges and the world of fiction by Seamus Heaney, Richard Kearney, j. L.Borges . The crane bag vol 6 no 2 latin American issue ( 1982) pp71-18 jstor

j. L.Borges magic realism by Seymour Menton , Hispanic review Vol 50 no 4 ( 1982) pp 411-426 published by university press of pennyslivania. jstor.

Borges real concern by Emily cook

Udlike John ' the author as librarian ' ( 1995)

Italiano Calvino if a winter;s night a traveler ( 1998) vintage publication. 3rd edition.

The re-read of Calvino by David Mitchell