Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote - “Ficciones” by Jorge Luis Borges

A Comprehensive Analysis of Literary Protagonists - Sykalo Evgen 2023

Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote - “Ficciones” by Jorge Luis Borges

An in-depth analysis of Pierre Menard, the author of the Quixote

"Ficciones" by Jorge Luis Borges is an anthology of surreal and thought-provoking short stories that subvert conventional ideas of reality and literature. Among the collection's most notable items is "Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote." Borges delves into intricate topics like authorship, interpretation, and the essence of creativity in this narrative. We will examine Pierre Menard's character type, role in the narrative, background, personality qualities, relationships, activities, conflicts, growth or change, and overall relevance in this analysis.

Is a character dynamic or static?

One could argue that Pierre Menard is a stagnant character. In contrast to characters that experience substantial growth or change, Menard's fundamental qualities stay constant throughout the story. His solitary, compulsive obsession—the full reproduction of Cervantes' "Don Quixote"—defines his persona.

The Story's Role of the Character

In a special way, Menard is the protagonist. Though Menard is not a traditional hero setting off on a physical or moral quest, his mental effort to retell "Don Quixote" serves as the story's impetus. His work questions conventional notions of authorship and literary interpretation, leaning more toward philosophy than action.

History of the Character

Borges gives scant details on Menard's upbringing, placing more emphasis on his creative and intellectual endeavors than his personal life. Menard's schooling, which is consistent with a profound appreciation of literature and a dedication to a specific kind of literary experimentation, defines his background.

Personality Qualities of the Character

Menard's commitment to his singular artistic endeavor and rigorous academic approach are what set him apart. He is shown to be a very intelligent and morally upright man. His choice to faithfully recreate "Don Quixote" rather than just copying it shows a steadfast devotion to his work.

Character Interactions

The story does not go into great detail regarding Menard's relationships with other characters. The emphasis is still on his affinity for literature, especially his close connections to Cervantes's writings. His lonesome quest to recreate "Don Quixote" emphasizes how alone he feels in his own thoughts.

Actions of the Character

Menard's actions are limited to his thoughts. It is evident from his audacious and ambitious intention to rewrite "Don Quixote" that he is determined to do more than just copy the text; rather, he will rework it via his own imaginative lens. His acts are a reflection of his artistic values and his ambition to write beyond the confines of traditional writing.

Conflicts of the Characters

Menard is confronted by both internal and foreign disputes. He struggles inside with the creative and philosophical difficulties of re-creating a masterpiece. His effort is met with confusion and suspicion from the literary community and readership on the outside. Tension exists between Menard's imaginative vision and accepted literary interpretation conventions.

Evolution or Change in Character

Menard does not experience emotional or personal development, but he does progress intellectually. The choice to reinvent "Don Quixote" rather than replicate it marks a turning point in his development as a person. With this choice, he has subtly changed his literary philosophy to emphasize the value of interpretation and unique artistic expression.

Provide Evidence to Back Up Your Analysis

Borges offers a number of passages and quotes that shed light on Menard's personality. Menard writes, for instance, "I have written Don Quixote; I shall write it again." This passage perfectly captures his resolve and the constant quality of his character throughout the narrative.

Importance of Character

The importance of Pierre Menard comes from his use as a vehicle for Borges' investigation of creative interpretation and literary interpretation. Borges exposes the subjectivity of reading and questions the idea of originality through Menard. Menard's search serves as a metaphor for how literary works are constantly reinvented and reinterpreted over time.


Through "Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote," Jorge Luis Borges introduces readers to a figure whose relevance goes beyond the story. The complex interaction that exists between the author, the text, and the reader is symbolized by Pierre Menard. We learn more about Borges' philosophical reflections on literature, creativity, and the enduring quality of great works of art by carefully dissecting Menard's persona. Menard's quiet but significant presence throughout the narrative has a lasting impression on the reader's comprehension of the difficulties involved in reading and writing.