Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


College of Humanities and Social Sciences


Spanish and Latino Studies

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Roger Zapata

Committee Member

Diana Guemárez-Cruz

Committee Member

Marta López-Luaces


For many of us, connecting math and literature seems very bizarre since we think that it is very hard to use numbers to express our literary thoughts. Yet, we forget that first mathematicians were philosophers (or is it the other way around?) who wanted to explain nature and events around them in simple mathematical findings. Somehow throughout human history, as our knowledge was expanding and it became increasingly harder and harder to be well rounded like the Greeks, we became specialized and detached from other sciences. Nevertheless, math stayed in the core of each new science that would branch throughout history.

With his powerful symbols and fascinating metaphors, Borges takes us on a journey through the labyrinths of many seeking to achieve that original unity, elemental One. We gaze through the mirrors into the infinity of aleph, walk on endless lines of paradoxes, and find beauty and mathematical rhythm in infinite fractals and cosmic possibilities.

My thesis will be based on Borges’ fiction and significant mathematical findings throughout the history of thought that Borges uses to express his philosophical perspectives. I will simultaneously explore both scientific conclusions and Borges’ literal expression and show the connection that he strives to ascertain looking for a bridge between the two worlds: numerical and philosophical.

This search will happen on three levels: formal, structural and essential. On the formal level, through geometric figures and numbers, I will show how he establishes the connection between ancient Greek philosophy and math on one side and his own literal expression. On the structural level, using , harmony and mathematical symmetry I will explore his philosophical point of view on disharmony and chaos. On the essential level, I'll open up the door to infinity: I’ll start with Zeno’s linear paradox and how Georg Cantor used theory of sets to find solution; through Pascal and his perception of spherical God we’ll walk into Fibonnacci’s number theory which will take us to a final part of this work, to fractals and probability. Although continuously concerned with infinity, I’ll show how Borges uses fractals to create simultaneous possibilities and modem theory on probability that can offer some order to the random world of luck.

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