Skip to main content


Index: La metáfora, Historia de la eternidad, OC,Obras completas. Buenos Aires: Emecé, 1974. 383. Guayaquil, El informe de Brodie, OC,Obras completas. Buenos Aires: Emecé, 1974. 1067. La Edda Mayor, Literaturas germánicas medievales, OCC,Obras completas en colaboración. Buenos Aires: Emecé, 1979. 931.

collection of Welsh tales, compiled in the 14th and 15th centuries

Fishburn and Hughes: A collection of Welsh mythological tales dating from the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. It comprises legends of Celtic and Norman origin, rich in supernatural and magical elements. The first English translation appeared in 1949. The episode of the two kings playing chess while their armies are engaged in battle is taken from 'The Dream of Rhonabwy' in which King Arthur and Owein play a game of 'gwyddbwyll' while Arthur's army is fighting the 'ravens' of Owein. The story may refer to a conflict between the old religion of the Celtic god Bran (or Vran), represented as a raven, hence the name of his followers, and Christianity, championed by Arthur. The game of gwyddbwyll was played on a board with two glass sets (one black and one white) of twelve pieces of similar size, each engraved with a different pattern; it was used at one time as a method of divination. Its translation into 'chess' probably indicates that Borges's source was a romantic Victorian edition of the Mabinogion. Borges also refers to this episode in his Cuentos breves where the source given is Edwin Morgan's Week-End Companion to Wales and Cornwall. Guayaquil