Latest Book Summary & Questions

Ficciones book cover

In February, we read Ficciones.

The majority of the book club discussion occurs in our online book club where we post 2-3 questions a day for a week at the end of the month.

For reference, we've included a summary of the book below as well as all of the questions used for discussion.

BOOK SUMMARY

"The seventeen pieces in Ficciones demonstrate the gargantuan powers of imagination, intelligence, and style of one of the greatest writers of this or any other century. Borges sends us on a journey into a compelling, bizarre, and profoundly resonant realm; we enter the fearful sphere of Pascal’s abyss, the surreal and literal labyrinth of books, and the iconography of eternal return."

Part One: The Garden of Forking Paths

  • Prologue
  • Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius
  • The Approach to Al-Mu'tasim
  • Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote
  • The Circular Ruins
  • The Lottery in Babylon
  • An Examination of the Work of Herbert Quain
  • The Library of Babel
  • The Garden of Forking Paths

Part Two: Artifices

  • Prologue
  • Funes the Memorious
  • The Form of the Sword
  • Theme of the Traitor and the Hero
  • Death and the Compass
  • The Secret Miracle
  • Three Versions of Judas
  • The End
  • The Sect of the Phoenix
  • The South

Book Club Questions

  1. On a scale of 1-10 (10 being highest), did you like this book--why or why not? How did the book make you feel?
  2. What did you think of Borges writing style? Did you find it challenging?
  3. Do you like short stories in general? Do you think the short story format worked well for Borges in Ficciones?
  4. Why do you think Borges recurrently utilized mirrors in his short stories? What do mirrors in stories symbolize?
  5. Do you see Borges' influence in modern film, television shows or novels?
  6. Are there any resources of information in modern life that remind you of the Library of Babel? Do you find infinite fountains of information helpful or overwhelming?
  7. Which short story did you like the most? Why?
  8. Did any of the stories disturb you? Which one(s) & why?
  9. Are any other authors that you've read similar to Borges?
  10. Why do you believe Borges wrote about imaginary texts in some stories?
  11. Did Ficciones expand your idea of what reality is or isn't?
  12. In your opinion is Ficciones a work of fantasy or philosophy? Or both?