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 "Averroes' Search," who is Averroes?

2. In "The Aleph," what is the Aleph?

3. In "The Immortal," the troglodyte who recites poetry to Marcus is what writer?

4. In "The Man on the Threshold," how is the story the narrator hears relevant?

5. In "The Disinterested Killer Bill Harrigan," where does Bill commit most of his outlaw acts?

Short Essay Questions

1. In "Three Versions of Judas," what are the three ways Runeberg portrays Judas?

2. What does "Story of the Warrior and the Captive Maiden" say about the nature of human identity?

3. In "Averroes' Search," how is Borges' attempt to write of Averroes similar to Averroes own difficulties?

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

5. 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?

6. In "The End," does the black man who plays his guitar and continually waits outside the bar get what he has been waiting for?

7. In "House of Asterion," is there anything sympathetic about Asterion?

8. In "The Zahir," what is a possible reason for the narrator becoming obsessed with the coin?

9. In "The Cruel Redeemer Lazarus Morell," describe Lazarus' moral character.

10. "The Two Kings and the Two Labyrinths" ends with the words, "Glory to Him who does not die." Who is the one "who does not die," and what is the reason for this invocation?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Describe the style of Borges. Is it spare? Baroque? Academic? Opaque? Etc. Think, for instance, of "The Approach to Al Mu'tasim," which is written as a book review of the book "The Approach to Al Mu'tasim." Is his style mostly consistent throughout his stories, or are there any significant changes? Is his style appropriate for his subjects? Does his style itself often mirror the themes of the stories? Use at least three different stories to illustrate your point .

Essay Topic 2

Choose a story and analyze the narrative structure. How does the structure propel the action? How does it inform the meaning or themes of the story? "The Shape of the Sword," the story of the traitorous John Vincent Moon, is an excellent example for examining the structure. Feel free to use this story or choose your own. Remember to be as specific as you can.

Essay Topic 3

What is your favorite story in "Collected Fictions"? Why? Though you are free to describe why you like the story on a gut level, make sure you also include your reasoning as to why that story is an artistic success. Evaluate some of its formal elements, such as its plot, imagery, themes, tone, style, etc.

(see the answer keys)

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