Ficciones Short Essay - Answer Key

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Short Essay Questions Key

1. In "Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius," what dispute arises from the discussion about mirrors?

In the short story, "Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius," a dispute arises about a quote from a section of an encyclopedia that describes the country of Uqbar. The narrator and his friends attempt to locate the quote in the encyclopedia, but are unable to find the section on Uqbar. The man who quoted from the summary of Uqbar decides to locate his copy of the encyclopedia to prove his point. His copy of the encyclopedia does contain an entry on the country of Uqbar, as well as the quote in question. The rest of the story is dedicated to solving the mystery of why two supposedly identical encyclopedias would contain different entries.

2. What is discovered among the late Herbert Ashe's belongings?

The narrator discovers a book entitled "The First Encyclopedia of Tlon" among the late Herbert Ashe's belongings. This encyclopedia describes the planet Tlon in great detail. The narrator is fascinated by the construction of the different languages on Tlon. He learns that the people of Tlon trust philosophy over science, and believe that the mind is the most powerful tool a person can possess.

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