Most if not all comparatist studies of James Joyce and Jorge Luis Borges have focused upon the similarities between the labyrinthine aesthetics of their fiction, and not upon how they might be operating within a similar anti-colonial framework. Though Joyce has been regularly read as postcolonial since at least the 1990s, the idea that Borges can be read as a post-colonial subject remains contentious to this day. This paper, then, seeks to firmly locate Borges’s own anti-colonial sympathies within Joyce/Borges comparatist studies, by examining the specific modes by which Borges came to resist (though never fully reject) his onetime hero Joyce, whose expansive, totalizing tendencies Borges came to perceive as symptomatic of the larger totalizing global imperial system. In particular, this paper analyzes how a key scene from Borges’s 1948 story “El jardín de senderos que se bifurcan” (“The Garden of Forking Paths”) recreates and reenacts a key scene from Joyce’s 1914 story “The Dead,” a comparison that has been previously unattended by critics. A comparison of these two scenes can help illuminate how Borges’s fiction is as deeply embedded in anti-colonial concerns as Joyce’s is reputed to be.


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pp. 260-288
Launched on MUSE
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