by Jorge Luis Borges,
Magical realism/Short stories
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Today, I’ll share my thoughts on three stories:
The Secret Miracle
A Jewish author is arrested by the Nazis. While in prison, he tries to imagine all the different ways he could be executed, with as many details as possible, telling himself that as things never turn out the way you thought they would, he may not be executed at all if he manages to think about all the possibilities!
Then he thinks about one of his works, which focuses on the concept of time and eternity (does history repeats itself? a theme seen in a previous story). Is time a fallacy?
He argues that the number of experiences possible to man is not infinite, and that a single “repetition” suffices to demonstrate that time is a fallacy.
He asks God to give him to finish this story, at least in his mind.
The next morning, he is brought before the firing squad. At the moment of the first shot, universe suddenly stands still. He realizes he has been given that time. And then final shot comes…
But was all this actually just happening in his mind?
…unreality, which is the necessary condition of art.
This was a very good story. I enjoy how Borges focuses on time and reflects on many facets of it throughout this collection.
Three Versions of Judas
This one is about a fictional theologian and his defense of Judas – some of his ideas are based on the real author De Quincey.
Although some of the ideas were over the top, I really enjoyed this story and some of its other options. In my previous life, I did study the issue around Judas (what he really did or not, and why), as presented by some very serious theologians. So it was really neat to see this question in fiction, analyzed here along the ideas of free will and destiny.
There are a lot of real and fictional references, including some lines in French.
A guitarist has lost a contest and looks for vengeance. And a paralyzed shop owner watches the scene.
Apparently this is based on an epic poem well-known in Argentina, The Return of Martín Fierro.
I don’t think I understood this one.
To go more in depth, check the Course Hero page on this book.
Come back tomorrow for my thoughts on the last stoies.
HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK?
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF IT,
OR OF THIS STORY?
Halo, hope things are going well! Just saw you posted a series of reviews on Ficciones. I’m going to check out each of those, but in the meantime — wishing you the best of Season’s Greetings and a wonderful 2022.
Thanks, and happy new year to you too!
Yes, I thought this was an important book, so for once decided to post a few notes on each story
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