Annotated Bibliography

Bronstein, Catalina. “Borges, Immortality and the Circular Ruins.” The International Journal of Psychoanalysis 83.3 (2002): 647-660. Print.

In this article, Bronstein looks at the ideas of Borges when dealing with the subject of death and immortality. To solidify his arguments or for more conclusive arguments, the author incorporates Borges ideas in both The Immortal and The Circular Ruins.

Bronstein looks at how these ideas manifest in patients. According to the author, many patients are in a desperate need for immortality and seek this immortality desperately. The desperate move, according to the author, does not stem from general wish of living forever. Instead, the wish stems from the mental pain that most people experience in the face of death. In addition, pain comes from human loss and vulnerability in the face of death. Finally, the vulnerability is seen when humans succumb to death.

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According to Bronstein, the persistent pursuit of immortality shows how individuals have a helpless need of ridding themselves from emotional pain and from fear of being alive. The need or the persistent for this pursuit, according to Brownstein, leads to a patient’s denial of other passages of time, which are of more emotional significance. An individual is almost in a complete loss of his human identity and almost passes through emotional death since he/she becomes numb or lives in a delusional world.

Eventually, an individual succumbs in emotional death or a world that he has created. Using Borges book, the author feels that an individual can be revived and that he/she can be made to be in contact with things that had been lost earlier.

Zandstra, Diane. “Creation and Incarnation in Borges.” Journal of Christianity and Foreign Languages. Print.

In this article, the author looks at two of Borges’ works simultaneously. Mostly, the author focuses on the idea of incarnation and creation. The author starts by noticing Borges’ assertion that the writer and God share some similarity when it comes to creation since both are creators. The author is also quick to note the use of symbolism in Borges’ work. Focusing on The Circular Ruins, the author explains that the Rabbi described in the story has his regrets after adding some symbols in the series of infinity that were already in existence. The sorcerer in the same story also understands humiliation or relief that he was a creation of another creator. In fact, the sorcerer feels humiliated by the fact that he was created by another to an extent that he hides the same thing from his son. He views himself as a man. In fact, in his own feelings, he is “a projection of another man’s dream”.

When interpreted using Borges’ other work that is under same review, the author notes that The Circular Ruins and the other work acts as a symbol of artistic creation. Creation in The Circular Ruins is symbolized using dreaming. As for artists, the failure to remember a certain dream is equated to the inability of putting some artistic vision into words. Eventually, the author of this article comes into an argument that if people explained in Borges’ article feel bad about what they created, then Christ feels the same way too. He describes this feeling as a bittersweet feeling; for instance, the fact that he came into this world ushered in a state of rejection and a state of physical separation. Therefore, coming to his own and being rejected by his own was very bitter to him. Similarly, Borges’ writing, which is equated to creation, brings a bittersweet feeling as the readers do not receive it as the creator or the writer expected. Sometimes, the works of an author if not rejected are misinterpreted.

Cohn, Heather. How to Dream a Man: Eight Countries Collaborate in the Philippines on the Borges Project. American Theatre. 01 Sept. 2006. Web. 01 Sept. 2014.

The selected article gives the details of an American play based on the story, The Circular Ruins by Borges. The author gives the exact happenings at the stage and their use of Borges’ work. The name of the article is based on the poetic words asserted by Borges in his short story. The author also explains the story in details. He explains about the sorcerer who slept many nights trying to dream a man. His first dreams are not fulfilling as he dreams of many people instead of one. He is then forced to dream about another man who is composed of every part of his boy including his hair and his organs.

While explaining about the story in the words of the actors, the author argues that Borges’ story gives a glimpse into the world of creative or generative art. Therefore, the main theme identified in this story to be acted and developed by the actors is the creation theme. Therefore, just like the sorcerer in Borges’ story, artists and actors in the theater hope to dream.

In their expedition, the artists understand that the work is not simple, explains the author. However, Borges’ artistic and compelling words are soothing and also motivate them. For example, Borges explains that dreams are not easily made. Instead, they are molded in the most difficult way.

Unlike other plays that recite the works of another author word by word, the play in question is unique. Artists came up with artistic ways of presenting the play and each of these ways according to the author, were impressive. For example, some artists tried to use the camera to project some images related to dreams in order to make the play as real as possible. Other artists tried to use words in order to translate and explain some concepts to the viewers. Just like the sorcerer explained in Borges’ story, the author of the article argues that the artists were able to accomplish their mission. Although this story explains what happens in the theatre, the story is important as it helps in understanding Borges’ short story, which is quite symbolic.

Meyers, Walter. The Circular Ruins. Short Story Series, Revised Edition. Print.

Unlike other articles on Borges’ story, The Circular Ruins, this article looks at the story in relation to its themes, styles and other literary elements. Just like any other article of this kind, the article starts by summarizing the story in details. The author argues that Borges’ does not specify the story’s time and place. Instead, only the character seems to continue with his mission in this circular ruin. His mission, as explained by the author is one and definite; dreaming a man. The author summarizes Borges’ argument on how the man tries to dream and fails, then tries again. Eventually, the man dreams and comes up with another man.

However, a fire makes the man to realize that he too was made out of illusion; he was made from another man’s dream.

One of the themes identified by this story is the theme of idealism as the author terms Borges’ work as philosophical. In fact, the author explains that the story is only an extension of the philosophies identified in other works by the same philosopher. The main idealism theme that is used in Borges’ work is the pluralist idealism, which holds that the real world is only in the existence of people’s consciousness.

Apart from the themes, the styles identified by this author in reference to Borges’s work are the use of fiction and philosophical idealism. The story also uses a classic detective story style, which allows the mystery of the story to fall together into pieces at the end of the story. For example, in the named story, the reader gains some understanding of the story being told as some revelations about the sorcerer are made in this part. Some of these revelations, according to the author, are fulfilling while others are shocking.

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Penuel, Arnold M. “Paradox and Parable: The Theme of Creativity in Borges’” The Circular Ruins”.” Latin American Literary Review 17.34 (1989): 52-61. Print.

In this article, the author mostly dwells on parables and paradoxes used in The Circular Ruins. The author argues that these parables and these paradoxes make the story to be more gratifying, especially when reading and re-reading it. Unlike other stories that do not include many re-readings, the author notes that this story sustains or keeps the reader busy severally while going through the story again. This can easily be sustained despite the author knowing about the story’s plot and how it ends. According to the author’s revelation, the story shows originality in mythology and in literature.

The story’s use of philosophy, especially Platonic philosophy, has also been acknowledged by this author. This ability gives the story more meaning as the sorcerer’s knowledge that he was also a product of another creator gives this story increased meaning. Therefore, the author is not shy to use other scholars’ word in praise of Borges. For example, Penuel says that short stories by Borges do not exhaust. Instead, his stories epitomize.

While explaining more about the paradoxes in this story, the author argues that they have been used to sharpen the denial of reality’s existence. The best of all paradoxes identified in this story is the paradox of a man being unreal and the man’s real knowledge existing in his unreality. The unreality is what makes the wizard in the story to have a bittersweet feeling after realizing that he is an unreal being and that his knowledge is not a reality. According to the author, the fact that the sorcerer is not real at the end of the story gives the reader a warning not to give any value to things discussed at the beginning of the story.

Brower, Keith. Jorge Luis Borges. Critical Survey of Short Fiction, Second Revised Edition. Print.

The article talks about Borges and his short stories including The Circular Ruin. Although this is the case, the article mostly contains Borges’ bibliography and a little content of the short story. However, an investigation of other authors’ view of the short story shows that Borges’ story are inseparable. It is hard to discuss the content of one story without integrating the stories of another.

For example, it is hard to explain The Circular Ruins without having to refer to the Golem.

The biography, which makes some important parts of this article, is also important in explaining the short story since most of the story is philosophical. Therefore, the part where the author of this biography notes that facts, false titles and mythical anecdotes from Borges’ life used in his short stories can help in understanding why some parts of the short story are very mythical or out of this world.

From the biography, it is clear that Borges once suffered from a head injury, which according to him, did not leave him in the same position as earlier can help in explaining some part of the short story. For example, the story talks of subordination, humiliation and the realization that the earlier held beliefs did not hold. This, probably, explains why the short story focuses on humiliation and realization that the knowledge that existed before was not true.

When talking about the short story, the author notes that it was used by Borges to illustrate some of his philosophical concepts. Just like other articles, the part that discusses the novel stresses on the creation theme involving the sorcerer, his creation and his later realization that he was a part of another man’s creation too.

Bruce, Dylan. Envisioning Language and Creating the Hyperreal: The Postmodern Condition in Jorge Luis Borges’ Ficciones. The University of North Carolina. 2007. Print.

In this article, the author addresses Borges’ short stories including The Circular Ruin in a comprehensive manner. The author argues that Borges’ short stories are similar in structure and in style. For example, most lack an absolute sense of truth.

Unfortunately, this lack of truth acts as the foundation of Borges’ language in the short stories.

The author also notices that Borges’ literature is full of philosophical speculations and symbolism. Most of his symbols, especially those used in the story in question, are Judaic images. The author explains this while referring to the man in the story and his dreams. The same images are present in other stories by the same author. For example, in yet another story, Borges makes reference to golem, which is an image not made by God. The two short stories involve dreams of life. The author explains that the symbolism used by the author is done with the main aim of incorporating his presence in the text. This eventually comes to mean that all text comes from a divine part.

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