Jorge Luis Borges’s “La Trama”: Evidence of intertextual interpretation [«сюжет» х.Л. Борхеса: Опыт интертекстуального прочтения 1]

The research undertaken discusses the evidence of an intertextual interpretation of the micro-story “La trama” by Jorge Luis Borges included in the “El Hacedor” cycle of micro-stories, essays and verses, which makes an integral part of philological analysis. The narrative of both single textual components and the cycle on the whole unwinds as a nonlinear one basing on the net-principle while its node points serve to be certain comprehensive centers. The text makes up a dynamic heterogeneous structure capable of using a number of cultural codes simultaneously. A postmodernist interpretation of the plot as a multilayer structure involves the world view created within the text and beyond its limits which adds proverbial parabolic functional senses. It also helps design the way and means to apply intertextual analysis to explain the multi-purpose interpretation of a text as well as to interpret both linguistic and semiotic textual parameters. The “La trama” subject is treated differently: it is no longer linear, but parabolic, and contains a specific chronos/topos – time-and-place features, the variables adding to the text analysis and its interpretation. The application of the postmodernist parabola principle does not just rest upon the structural linguistic analysis of the form and content, but firstly helps discover and develop contensive senses of a post-modernist text due to parabolic floating free-ranging focal points, centerline narrative “branching” and the like; it also helps structuring and developing complex multiple non-linear semantic associations which bear and reveal the origins and nature of intertextuality, and consequently, a text turns into an intertext. Various types of interpretation explain the understanding of roles and functions of paratextual, metatextual and hypertextual interactions leading to the precedent hierarchy of senses and texts beyond Borges’s “La trama” micro-story appealing to world literature and literary works of different times and nations. Borges includes and describes the ethnospecific cultural component through the concept of gaucho, an Argentinian titular ethnic group, in correlation with the background of eternal human values. Another vivid ethnospecific textual component of Borges’s miniature “La Trama” is formed through the lexeme che possessing a variable textual status ranging from interjection to noun statuses. It may also function as an adjective to denote Argentinians in several Latin American countries, e.g., Honduras, Peru and Chili. The lexemes gaucho and che serve to the structuring and interpreting of associations and links of the story with other texts of the “El Hacedor” cycle, as well as beyond the texts of the cycle. This interaction and cooperation of intertextuality parameters enables constructing and interpreting associations and links of the “La trama” miniature with the other texts of the cycle, and further on allows it to be introduced to the larger precedent historical and cultural context of the works by Gaius Suetonius, Francisco de Quevedo, William Shakespeare, and evidently settle “La trama” by Borges into the global literature and culture environment. On the whole, the intertextuality of Borges’s cycle “El Hacedor” and its “La trama” miniature is supported by the category of the open text system while the author purposefully includes some fragments of other texts in his text, and the reader seeks to understand and interpret the author’s intention, and perceives the text as a possible interlocutory communication. Thus, the reader acquires the function of a co-author, and the text itself can start generating new allusions and meanings. © 2019 Tomsk State University. All Rights Reserved.

Tomsk State University
  • 1 Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University), Moscow, Russian Federation
Borges; Gaucho; Hypertextuality; Intertextuality; Metatextuality; Micro-story (miniature); Narrative; Parabola principle; Paratextuality; Precedent text
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