The Man on the Threshold

Last updated
"The Man on the Threshold"
Author Jorge Luis Borges
Original title"El Hombre en el Umbral"
Country Argentina
Language Spanish
Genre(s) short story
Published in La Nación
Media typePrint
Publication dateApril 1952

"The Man on the Threshold" (original Spanish title "El Hombre en el Umbral") is a short story by Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges. It was published in La Nación in April 1952 and added to 1952 edition of short story collection Aleph.

Plot summary

A new governor, a Scotsman named Glencairn, is sent to a certain Muslim city in British India to restore order. He succeeds in that using violent measures, but after few years, mysteriously disappears. The narrator is assigned to find Glencairn. He goes to a certain address where a Muslim ceremony was being held. An old man on the threshold tells the narrator a story of a tyrant who was kidnapped and put to trial: he was judged by a madman and his verdict was death - this was in fact what happened to Glencairn, as the narrator discovers when he finds Glencairn's mutilated body.

Related Research Articles

The Black Cat (short story)

"The Black Cat" is a short story by American writer Edgar Allan Poe. It was first published in the August 19, 1843, edition of The Saturday Evening Post. In the story, an unnamed narrator has a strong affection for pets until he perversely turns to abusing them. His favorite, a pet black cat, scratches him one night and the narrator punishes it by cutting its eye out and then hanging it from a tree. The home burns down but one remaining wall shows a burned outline of a cat hanging from a noose. He soon finds another black cat, similar to the first except for a white mark on its chest, but he soon develops a hatred for it as well. He attempts to kill the cat with an axe but his wife stops him; instead, the narrator murders his wife. He conceals the body behind a brick wall in his basement. The police soon come and, after the narrator's tapping on the wall is met with a shrieking sound, they find not only the wife's corpse but also the black cat that had been accidentally walled in with the body and alerted them with its cry.

The Man Who Would Be King

"The Man Who Would Be King" (1888) is a story by Rudyard Kipling about two British adventurers in British India who become kings of Kafiristan, a remote part of Afghanistan. The story was first published in The Phantom Rickshaw and other Eerie Tales (1888). It also appeared in Wee Willie Winkie and Other Child Stories (1895), and numerous later editions of that collection. It has been adapted for other media a number of times.

A Descent into the Maelström Short story by Edgar Allan Poe

"A Descent into the Maelström" is an 1841 short story by Edgar Allan Poe. In the tale, a man recounts how he survived a shipwreck and a whirlpool. It has been grouped with Poe's tales of ratiocination and also labeled an early form of science fiction.

<i>Invisible Man</i> Novel by Ralph Ellison published 1952

Invisible Man is a novel by Ralph Ellison, published by Random House in 1952. It addresses many of the social and intellectual issues faced by the African Americans in the early twentieth century, including black nationalism, the relationship between black identity and Marxism, and the reformist racial policies of Booker T. Washington, as well as issues of individuality and personal identity.

"The Approach to Al-Mu'tasim" is a fantasy short story written in 1935 by Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges. In his autobiographical essay, Borges wrote about "The Approach to Al-Mu'tasim", "it now seems to me to foreshadow and even to set the pattern for those tales that were somehow awaiting me, and upon which my reputation as a storyteller was to be based."

<i>Strange Pilgrims</i>

Strange Pilgrims is a collection of twelve loosely related short stories by the Nobel Prize–winning Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez.

<i>A Sportsmans Sketches</i>

A Sportsman's Sketches is an 1852 collection of short stories by Ivan Turgenev. It was the first major writing that gained him recognition.

<i>The Aleph</i> (short story collection)

The Aleph and Other Stories is a book of short stories by Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges. The title work, "The Aleph", describes a point in space that contains all other spaces at once. The work also presents the idea of infinite time. Borges writes in the original afterword, dated May 3, 1949, that most of the stories belong to the genre of fantasy, mentioning themes such as identity and immortality. Borges added four new stories to the collection in the 1952 edition, for which he provided a brief postscript to the afterword.

<i>Green Shadows, White Whale</i>

Green Shadows, White Whale is a 1992 novel by Ray Bradbury. It gives a fictionalized account of his journey to Ireland in 1953-1954 to write a screen adaptation of the novel Moby-Dick with director John Huston. Bradbury has said he wrote it after reading actress Katharine Hepburn's account of filming The African Queen with Huston in Africa. The title itself is a play on Peter Viertel's novel White Hunter, Black Heart, which is also about Huston.

To Serve Man

"To Serve Man" is a science fiction short story by American writer Damon Knight. It first appeared in the November 1950 issue of Galaxy Science Fiction and has been reprinted a number of times, including in Frontiers in Space (1955), Far Out (1961), and The Best of Damon Knight (1976).

Frederick Francis Sears was an American film actor and director.

The Silver Key

"The Silver Key" is a fantasy short story by American writer H. P. Lovecraft. Written in 1926, it is considered part of his Dreamlands series. It was first published in the January 1929 issue of Weird Tales. It is a continuation of "The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath", and was followed by a sequel, "Through the Gates of the Silver Key", co-written with E. Hoffmann Price. The story and its sequel both feature Lovecraft's recurring character of Randolph Carter as the protagonist.

"The Evil Clergyman" is an excerpt from a letter written by American horror fiction writer H. P. Lovecraft in 1933. After his death, it was published in the April 1939 issue of Weird Tales as a short story. The story was later adapted into the unreleased 1987 anthology film Pulse Pounders.

<i>Contemplation</i> (short story collection)

Betrachtung is a collection of eighteen short stories by Franz Kafka written between 1904 and 1912. It was Kafka's first published book, printed at the end of 1912 in the Rowohlt Verlag on an initiative by Kurt Wolff.

<i>El Llano en llamas</i> Collection of short stories by Mexican author Juan Rulfo

El llano en llamas is a collection of short stories written in Spanish by Mexican author Juan Rulfo and first published in 1953.

<i>Jesus Son</i> (short story collection)

Jesus' Son is a collection of linked short stories by American author Denis Johnson.

"The Plattner Story" is a short story by English writer H. G. Wells, first published in 1896 in The New Review. It was included in The Plattner Story and Others, a collection of short stories by Wells first published in 1897, and in The Country of the Blind and Other Stories, a collection of his short stories first published in 1911. In the story, a man recounts his experiences in a parallel world, which he speculates is some form of Afterlife.

"The Boarded Window: An Incident in the Life of an Ohio Pioneer" is a short story by American Civil War soldier, wit, and writer Ambrose Bierce. It was first published in The San Francisco Examiner on April 12, 1891 and was reprinted the same year in Bierce's collection Tales of Soldiers and Civilians. The setting for the story is that part of Ohio where Bierce's family lived until 1846.

"That in Aleppo Once..." is a short story written by Russian-born author Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977). First published in Atlantic Monthly in 1943, the story takes epistolary form, with an unnamed narrator describing his recollections of himself and his wife's deteriorating relationship while fleeing German occupation during Case Anton. The narrator reveals to his correspondent the likelihood his wife was not real, examining this premise during the account of events.


Zaabalawi is a symbolic story written by the Egyptian writer Naguib Mahfouz, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1988. It was first published in 1961 and reprinted within the collection of God's World. in 1972. Issues affecting restrictions and customs and sometimes rebellion against controls, which causes writers and philosophers in general many troubles. Some of Mahfouz's writing were influenced by philosophical literature which allowed him to raise some questions about the social and traditional restrictions and sometimes it rebel on the regulations, and that causes many troubles to the authors and to the philosophers generally. Mahfouz was speaking about his late schooling and he said, speaking of his late schooling.. "The relationship between me and Sheikh Ajaj was very friendly. He was a fan of my writing style, He also considered my construction topics as role models for students." In this period, my view of religion was characterized by some emancipation, but I emphasize that it was a liberal view and not an infidel. For example, I was writing a topic about the great people of history and I put Muhammad among them. Sheikh Ajaj considered this offensive to the prophet." Zaabalawi contains a Sufi theme, Mahfouz mentions that he is interested in the Sufi ideas by saying: "When I set to myself a program of self-education at the beginning of my life, a large part of this program was about studying major religions and the history of civilization, and I was interested in the Sufi and Islamic writings. Although I do not believe in the ideas and beliefs of Sufism as the Sufis believe, I found in reading their books and contemplated great mental and psychological comfort. In Sufism I was attracted by the idea of spiritual supremacy.”