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Borges and Bertolucci

There are a number of differences between Bernardo Bertolucci's movie "The Spider Stratagem" and the story on which it is based, Jorge Louis Borges' "The Theme of The Traitor and The Hero;" however, overall Bertolucci does a pretty accurate portrayal of the essence, at least, of Borges' story. Besides changing the "setting" of the plot, there is also much more information relayed in the movie. This is very much due to that the story is simply a suggestive piece, while the movie had to fill in all of the blanks. In the movie, Bertolucci had to add characters, motivations, and many vast details that are left out of the story.To begin with, Borges is very vague in his ideas on the semantics of his story. He begins filling in the details somewhat with the story taking place in Ireland. But Borges himself says that this is simply, "(for narrative convenience)." (Borges 72) Borges then expands on his idea within an Irish backdrop Bertolucci keeps the story intact, and simply transplants it to Italy in the twentieth century. The names are all changed; but that is because Borges chose Irish names which would not work in the new setting. The entirety of Borges' story is written in vague possibilities of ideas. He uses "for example" a number of times throughout the story and only offers these examples to give the reader an idea not the actual plot. It is more the plot than the setting which concerns Borges and Bertolucci does exact Borges' plot with his movie. At the beginning of the story, Borges says that our narrator is writing an autobiography of his great-grandfather, the hero. However, in the movie, Bertolucci's narrator is summoned to his father (not great-grandfather)'s hometown by his father's ex-mistress. (Borges does not mention an "ex-mistress.") He has no interest in knowing about his father. It is only in concern of the health of this ex-mistress that he actually chooses to stay. (She has a propensity for fainti...

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