Borges – Tom Castro ,the implausible impostor

Tom castro – published 30 sept 1933

translated by Norman Thomas di Giovanni

Collection  A universal history of infamy

Well after a couple of months I finally get round to my Borges project ,the stories I choice will be ad hoc todays is Tom castro this is one of Borges earliest stories from the thirties .It is about Tom castro or Arthur Orton a con man from the 1800’s ,he and his manservant a black man called ben Bogle tried to pass them selves of as the long dead Sir Roger Tichborne ,The story actually is an authentic telling of the actual  story .Castro a large built australian man tried to pass him self of as the slim English heir to the ninth largest fortune in england  as his Tichbourne mother believes he is still alive even thou she was told he died .This case made the headlines and had a lengthy court case ,which Castro was found guilty .Borges is at his sparest with his writing here no fleshing out just the bare facts and a little window dressing but enough to get the facts of the story in ten pages .This story was also made into a film called The Tichbourne Claimant  in the 1980’s

Have you read this story or seen the film ?

11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Vishy
    Oct 21, 2011 @ 17:19:07

    Interesting review, Stu! Interesting to know that this Borges story is based on an actual incident which happened. Love your Borges project!


  2. Richard
    Oct 21, 2011 @ 18:56:03

    Very much looking forward to more of this Borges project of yours, Stu. I’ve read some of the book this comes from, but the so-called “Man on Pink Corner” is the only title that sticks with me for some reason or other. I like Borges’ later stories a lot better for the most part, but this book is an important bridge between past pseudo-biographies from Marcel Schwob and future pseudo-biographies from J.R. Wilcock and Roberto Bolaño.


  3. Parrish
    Oct 21, 2011 @ 20:04:13

    I was wondering about this project the other day & hoping you hadn’t discarded it, so thanks for this timely post on a favourite writer.


  4. Rise
    Oct 22, 2011 @ 08:52:12

    I couldn’t place this story anymore. I do remember the spareness of the prose in the Infamy collection, which surprises one of the readability of the stories. I think I’m going to read it again if and when I buy Collected Fictions


  5. Andrew Blackman
    Oct 22, 2011 @ 20:13:19

    Borges is my favourite writer! I have his Collected Fictions on my nightstand and often pick out a story to read. I’d once planned to review all of them on my blog, but never got further than the first story! Look forward to reading more of your project. I liked this story, and love the way Borges melds fact and fiction. Didn’t know there was a film of it as well!


  6. Kinna
    Nov 04, 2011 @ 09:48:23

    Have not read the story nor seen the film. here comes Borges and I’m excited about this project. Good luck and keep them coming!


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October 2011


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