The Book of Sand

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Jorge Luis Borges is a famous Spanish author, known best for his short stories. In this paper, I will discuss several short stories written by Mr. Borges, what influenced him in his writings, and a brief history of his place of origin, Argentina.

Borges' The Book of Sand is the story of a man who is visited by a stranger trying to sell a "holy book" called the Book of Sand. The narrator looks at the book and is unable to see the first or last pages of it because, as the stranger explains, the number of pages is infinite. The narrator is fascinated by the book and buys it, only to become obsessed with it, until the point that it is all he thinks about. He eventually gets rid of it by mixing it up in a pile of many other books in his basement.

As will be discussed in this paper, Borges wrote philosophy in a lot of his works. In The Book of Sand, infinity is depicted in the form of a mysterious book. It symbolizes man's constant search for the world's existence. Borges is saying that it is an endless search and therefore pointless.

The Other is the story of Borges sitting on a bench, as he feels as though he had lived that moment already. He begins to speak to the man seated besides him, and finds out the stranger has the same name, and the same address as he does. When Borges asks the man what year it is, the man answers 1918, even though it is 1969. It is then that the narrator figures out he is talking to the person whom he was fifty-one years earlier. He then tells "the other" him of the future, after which they part, knowing they will never meet like this again.

This story deals with time. The author is very nostalgic and lives for his memories. It also is a philosophical story where Borges expresses his doubt that we all may "just be an image of a greater being".

The Mirror and the Mask is the story of an Irish king who tells a poet to write a poem describing his power. The poet wrote a praise of his fighting success, and in reward for the...
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