This dissertation is a study of Jorge Luis Borges’ (1899-1986) short story “Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius” from the collection Ficciones (1944). Critical commentary on the story frequently invokes it as metafictional, but it has not been studied adequately as such. I have chosen to make three separate, but related analyses of the story, interpreting the findings with the overarching theoretical framework of metafiction, and in its extension, the literary theory of possible worlds.
The first analysis is a structural narratological analysis of the narrator of the story and of narrative frames, finding that the regular reading of the narrator as a fictional dramatization of Borges himself is upset due to the complexity of the frames. The second analysis discusses the philosophical system of the fictional planet Tlön and its corresponding allusions to realworld philosophers, finding that the philosophical system describes an ontology of fiction. The final analysis looks at the myriad duplications and mirrorings in the story, positing the duplicating objects called hrönir as a structural metaphor, and analysing two instances of the metafictional device mise en abyme. I show that the myriad duplications is dramatized as a way of perceiving the actual world, and, as a consequence breaching the boundaries betweenthe fictional and real world.