What is the rising action, the climax, and the resolution  

kc4u | Student

These neat structural identifications of the typical plot of fiction as in the Gustav Freytag Triangle is difficult to locate in the experimental form of a Borges short-story like The Circular Ruins.

As the title itself suggests, the story is about an endlessly circular process where simulation is the narrative device and thus the climactic point does not get a typical follow-up in a resolution but goes on to create a never ending series of climaxes. The point that initiates this fallcy of infinite regress is that the creator behind the created is also created by another creator in turn in a narrative tangent of an elsewhere.

The story is about a mysterious sorcerer who is all set to construct a human being through his dreams in the circular ruins of a mystical temple. It is about the tribulations of this dream-creation and its imposition upon reality and, once the sorcerer’s project is completed, the produced son is sent to another circular ruin according to a divine dream-instruction to get his making perfected. Towards the end of the story, a man comes to the sorcerer and tells him the story of a magical man unaffected by fire in the other ruin downstream. In the final moment, there is a fire in the forest, which destroys the circular ruins in a historical u-turn much like the earlier holocaust, which had turned the temple into a ruin. In the blaze of that devastating fire, the sorcerer finds himself unaffected. The fire soothingly embraces him and he is made to realize ironically that for all this time, when he had been dreaming and creating a human being, he himself was being dreamt and created by another dreaming and creating human being.

Thus, the rising action begins from the construction and ends with the other man's reporting of the miracle while the fire that grasps the sorcerer is a climax of sorts where his knowledge of himself as a simulacrum opens up infinite potential climactic points leading to more suspension than resolution.

Read the study guide:
The Circular Ruins

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