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Publication Date

Summer 2013

Degree Type

Thesis - Campus Access Only

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


World Languages and Literatures


Anne Fountain


Borges and Idealist Philosophy, Borges Metaphysics Idealism, literary philosophy idealism, philosophical literature idealism, The South, El sur Idealism

Subject Areas

Latin American literature; Philosophy; Education


Jorge Luis Borges' short stories have been widely praised for their profound content and ingenious language and mark an important milestone in Latin American literature. Saturated with philosophical ideas, his literary tales have attracted much critical attention with regard to the way they connect literature and philosophy. Mostly, however, they have been identified as philosophy turned into literature.

This thesis argues that beyond its fame as brilliant literary artifact, Borges' fiction can be read as an instructive text that renders universal idealistic philosophy accessible to readers not steeped in philosophy. The analysis proposes a systematic approach to reading the stories that facilitates the process of distinguishing the intellectual skeleton from its aesthetic flesh and calls attention to the gaps left for the reader to fill in, which makes him an intimate partner in a speculative dialogue. The two representative short stories "Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius" and "The South" are examined and revealed as informal lessons in Idealist Philosophy between the author-mentor and the reader-disciple.