Short story by Jorge Luis Borges
. A Chinese spy
in the employ of the Germans is being pursued by a relentless intelligence agent. For reasons which do not become clear until the end, he flees to the home of a stranger and discovers that the man is a respected Sinologist
whose life's work has been the study of a distant ancestor
of the spy himself.
The spy confesses that this ancestor has caused his family great shame: he claimed to have written a novel and built a great labyrinth, but the novel (entitled The Garden of Forking Paths) is incomprehensible and no labyrinth has never been found.
The remarkable truth about these claims is revealed, and a murder is committed with unexpectedly far-reaching effects. Borges has a facility for combining genre fiction such as mysteries and spy thrillers with lyrical language and thoughtful musings on the nature of reality, and it all comes together to perfection in this perhaps best-known of his tales.