Collected Fictions Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. In "A Survey of the Works of Herbert Quain," Quain's work can best be described as which of the following?

2. In "The Cult of the Phoenix," what is the Cult of the Phoenix?

3. In "The Lottery in Babylon," who sometimes arbitrates the result of a lottery drawing?

4. In "Man on the Pink Corner," what does Rosendo do after the fight with the Yardmaster?

5. In "Hakim, the Masked Dyer of Merv," Hakim is revealed to have what disease?

Short Essay Questions

1. In "The Other Death," how does Borges suggest that Pedro Damian could actually be both a hero and a coward?

2. In "The Writing of the God," why does Tzinacan decide to stay in his cell?

3. In "The Improbable Impostor Tom Castro," what is Tom's relationship to Ebenezer Bogle?

4. In "Hakim The Masked Dyer of Merv," Hakim's sect abhor mirrors and copulation. What is the significance of this abhorrence?

5. How can the story "Tlon, Uqbar, and Orbis Tertius" best be described?

6. In "The Library of Babel," the imaginary library of the title is an allusion to the Tower of Babel. How is this appropriate?

7. In "Ibn-Hakam-Al Bokhari, Murdered in his Labyrinth," according to Unwin, why did Sa'id truly steal the treasure, and what are the implications of this motivation?

8. In "Emma Zunz," how does Emma exact revenge on Lowenthal for her father's death?

9. In "Funes, His Memory," is Funes's prodigious memory a good thing or a bad thing?

10. In "A Biography of Tadeo Isidoro Cruz (1829-1874)," what makes Tadeo decide to fight for Martin Fierro, the man he pursues?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Write an essay on issues of race in Borges' stories. "The Cruel Redeemer Lazarus Morell" seems to point out the evils of slavery. At the same time, Borges will often describe a character simply as a "black man," as if that were the defining characteristic. In "The Improbable Impostor Tom Castro," Ebenezer Bogle is described as "black" and a "genius." Does this juxtaposition suggest a belief that the two terms are usually mutually exclusive? Is Borges, in terms of race, merely the product of his times? Or, is he critiquing the racial views of his times? Use at least two stories in arguing your point.

Essay Topic 2

Is Pierre Menard's project worthwhile? Is he a fool? A visionary? Does his project say something about the nature of interpretation and meaning? Your answer should display a thorough familiarity with "Pierre Menard, Author of Quixote." Be specific in why his project is worthy or not.

Essay Topic 3

The concept of Time is a frequent theme of Borges'. Think of "The Secret Miracle," "The Man on the Threshold," "The Plot," "The Immortal," as some major examples. Pick one of these stories or choose one of your own, and describe the depiction of time. Is the passage of time contingent upon our subjective perceptions? Do events repeat themselves endlessly?

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