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Having learned that his cover as a German spy in London has been blown, Yu Tsun has only minutes to plan his next move. He must escape from Captain Richard Madden, the Irishman who has murdered his co-conspirator in espionage, and complete his mission by delivering the location of a secret cache of British weapons to his boss in Germany, whom he refers to as The Chief.
He checks the contents of his pockets — revealing a revolver with only one bullet — locates the address of the one person capable of passing on his missive, and runs to catch a train to the suburbs. Madden nearly catches up with Yu Tsun at the station, but he misses the train, filling Tsun with a sense of confidence that he will complete his mission successfully.
At the Ashgrove stop, some creepy-looking children direct Tsun to the home of Dr. Stephen Albert. Tsun follows their instructions, finding himself following a continually forking road. He finally arrives at a pavilion, or summer house, from which he can hear the familiar sounds of Chinese music. A man named Stephen Albert greets Yu Tsun, speaking Chinese, and invites him to see the "garden of forking paths.
Albert tells Tsun the story of his ancestor, Ts'ui Pen, a former governor who abandoned his political position to write a novel and build a labyrinth, or maze. In the opinion of his descendents, Ts'ui Pen had failed on both accounts — the novel made no chronological sense, and the labyrinth was never found. Stephen Albert, who has studied Ts'ui Pen's legacy for some time, explains to Yu Tsun that "the garden of forking paths" and the novel are one and the same and that the novel's seemingly incompatible storylines present the idea of the bifurcation, or splitting, of time, rather than space.
In other words, whenever the characters come to a point at which more than one outcome is possible, both outcomes occur. This causes the narrative to branch out into multiple narrative universes, which then provide the scenarios for new bifurcations. Albert for resolving the mystery of Ts'ui Pen's garden, then shoots him in the back.
Though Madden succeeds in arresting Yu Tsun, Tsun has succeeded in relaying his message — the secret weapons stash is in the city of Albert. Tsun reads about the bombing of Albert by the Germans in the British papers, the same papers in which The Chief was able to read the report of the murder of Dr.
Albert by Yu Tsun. Study Guide. By Jorge Luis Borges. The Garden of Forking Paths Summary An anonymous narrator introduces a document that will, he assures us, shed a little light on why a British offensive against the Germans had to be delayed by thirteen days. The Story.
The Garden of Forking Paths Summary
The passage starts off with a brief historical excerpt of World War I, where a planned offensive by the British divisions against the Germans was delayed. A recount of the event, written by Dr. Yu Tsun, then starts abruptly from its third page. In a mission to relate the information of the British artillery whereabouts to his Chief in Germany, he quickly plans his next move.
The Infinite Labyrinth of Time in Borges’ “The Garden of Forking Paths”
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“The Garden of Forking Paths” by Jorge Luis Borges
The Garden of Forking Paths
The story's theme has been said to foreshadow the many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics. Borges's vision of "forking paths" has been cited as inspiration by numerous new media scholars, in particular within the field of hypertext fiction. As the story begins, Doctor Tsun has realized that an MI5 agent called Captain Richard Madden is pursuing him, has entered the apartment of his handler Viktor Runeberg, and has either captured or killed him. Doctor Tsun is certain that his own arrest is next. He has just discovered the location of a new British artillery park and wishes to convey that knowledge to Berlin before he is captured. He at last hits upon a plan to achieve this.