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Title: Self, time, and the quest for God in selected essays, stories and poems by Jorge Luis Borges
Author: Menouar, Annette Ursula
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2002
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The thesis argues that the quest for God, though largely unheeded by the critical canon, was a major and enduring preoccupation for Borges. His reflections on time and identity are symptomatic of a deeper, spiritual searching which can only be answered by a Divine Absolute. A secondary aim is to trace the chronology of these reflections on the self, temporality and the Absolute. This chronological dimension has not received the attention it deserves, but it is of vital importance in establishing the links between these three inter-related preoccupations. The total of five chapters is divided into two parts. Part One constitutes a detailed, chronological analysis of Borges’ essays. Part Two examines the stories as organic explorations of the essayistic themes. Chapter I studies the texts of the early 1920s as first instances of Borges’ philosophical explorations. Chapter II traces the essays up to the mid-1930s in order to establish the correlation between Borges’ notion of time and selfhood, as well as the further link to the concept of God, as evident in Borges’ concern with the Cabbala and Gnosticism. Chapter III analyses the essays from 1936 to the early 1950s to explain how certain dualities are at the heart of Borges’ explorations. Mystical texts, from Buddhist, Sufi, and Christian spiritual traditions are discussed as evidence of a progression in Borges’ search. Chapter IV traces the development from essay to fiction. It identifies the interplay of themes between the genres, and demonstrates the continuities between them. Chapter V examines those stories which exemplify the quest for the Divine in the context of the fragmentation of personal, textual and authorial identities. The Conclusion further consolidates the links between the themes under discussion, and argues that their reappearance in the late poetry is an indication of Borges’ ever-deepening spiritual search.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available