25 votes

Does Don Quijote in fact say "Facts are the enemy of truth"?

As the OP noted, this quote does not appear in Don Quijote de la Mancha by Cervantes. It does, however, appear in a different version of Quijote: the musical based on Cervantes' work, with libretto by ...
Clara Diaz Sanchez's user avatar
23 votes
Accepted

Where does this Federico Garcia Lorca quote come from? Is it a fake?

This is a quote from an interview he gave in 1931. Traigo preparados cuatro libros. De teatro. De poesía. Y de impresiones neoyorkinas, el que puede titularse : la ciudad, interpretación personal, ...
Gilles 'SO- stop being evil''s user avatar
16 votes
Accepted

Is the original manuscript of Don Quixote extant?

In 2016, on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of Cervantes' death, Taberna Libraria published a facsimile edition of all of the author's manuscripts. This edition contains only 12 manuscripts. For ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
  • 44.6k
15 votes

Meaning of 'white mask on my otherwise tan face'

Going on to the next sentence makes clear the context: the narrator is so nearsighted that he usually needs to use glasses or contact lenses to see properly. When he's at the beach, however, he doesn'...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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14 votes

What is the meaning of "Not even Jonah’s wife would swallow that story" in Marquez's "Love in the Time of Cholera"?

Does the use of the verb swallow have anything to do with the fish that swallowed Jonah? Exactly. Jonah's wife had to "swallow" (accept) the ridiculous story (as an explanation for his disappearance ...
fundagain's user avatar
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13 votes
Accepted

Why does Modesta Gómez demand payment from the indigenous girl?

Brenci Patiño makes the point that the two women, Modesta and the indigenous woman, are "pitted against each other" by the social structure around them. They "share similar experiences ...
Nathaniel is protesting's user avatar
11 votes
Accepted

What does the "crimson hexagon" represent in "The Library of Babel"?

A central concern of The Library of Babel -- and particularly this section of it -- is the search for order and meaning within a chaotic world. In this passage, Borges introduces the Purifiers; those ...
Standback's user avatar
  • 3,088
11 votes
Accepted

In "The Library of Babel" is the "cyclical book" really God?

You are bringing the first quote a little out of context: The idealists argue that the hexagonal rooms are a necessary from of absolute space or, at least, of our intuition of space. They reason ...
Standback's user avatar
  • 3,088
11 votes
Accepted

How do real-world languages exist in "The Library of Babel"?

Remember that the Library is infinite and complete: the Library is "total" - perfect, complete, and whole - and that its bookshelves contain all possible combinations of the twenty-two orthographic ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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11 votes
Accepted

How do people eat in "The Library of Babel"?

Like many of Borges's tales, The Library of Babel is meant more as a thought experiment than a realistic story. Don't overthink it. There's no mention anywhere in the story of any of various ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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9 votes

Why is "pensión" left untranslated in "The Shadow of the Wind"?

As Cascabel rightly says, there is no direct equivalent to a Pension in Britain - in terms of the particular facilities provided. As mentioned, this is not the only work in which Pension is not ...
Chenmunka's user avatar
  • 2,307
9 votes

How do real-world languages exist in "The Library of Babel"?

The Library of Babel cannot be taken as plausible, realistic worldbuilding. "How can real-world languages exist" is not going to have more of an answer than "How does an immense number of bound books ...
Standback's user avatar
  • 3,088
9 votes
Accepted

What does Jorge Luis Borges mean by the library being infinite in "The Library of Babel"?

There are several options -- which makes sense, as this is a story which explores the idea of infinity. The Library is spherical Immediately following the line "I say that the Library is unending", ...
Standback's user avatar
  • 3,088
8 votes
Accepted

What is the significance/symbolism of the hexagon in "The Library of Babel"?

Hexagons are a natural pattern found in various orderly structures in nature: for example, the cells of a beehive, or the columns of the Giant's Causeway. By making his Library a hexagonal ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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7 votes
Accepted

Which South or Central American female author wrote a short story about frozen cockroaches?

My comment about Borges got me web searching and this time I was able to find the author, by researching South American female contemporaries of Borges. She is Clarice Lispector (b. 1920, d. 1977). ...
loopernow's user avatar
  • 181
7 votes

Is there any deeper significance to Borges's "The South"?

Note that has outlined by Beastly Gerbil, the protagonist is living through events based on Borges's on life: in his novel, the protagonist hits a recently painted door jamb, while in his ...
VicAche's user avatar
  • 1,908
7 votes

Is there any deeper significance to Borges's "The South"?

While this does not answer the significance of the entire book, it focuses on a few key points. The story is actually partially autobiographical. In his early life, Borges worked in a library. In ...
Beastly Gerbil's user avatar
7 votes

Meaning of 'white mask on my otherwise tan face'

Since the narrator of this excerpt is near-sighted, he needs either glasses or contact lenses to see things sharply, especially at a distance. Wearing glasses would cover part of his face, so it would ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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6 votes
Accepted

In Don Quixote, why wasn't Sancho Panza allowed to speak in the black mountains?

Note that Sancho's request in Ch 25 is not the first time he has asked for the injunction against his speaking be lifted. In Ch 21 (Mabrino's helmet) Sancho asks As they went along, then, in this ...
green_ideas's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

Federico García Lorca quote: "I'm a capitalist and a socialist and a communist and an anarchist and a monarchist"

As far as I can see it's not a direct quote; I only found examples of indirect speech. In LOS POETAS Y SU VOZ - 3 Federico García Lorca, Gabriel Celaya, Gerardo Diego, the "quote" goes as follows: ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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6 votes

Is there any deeper significance to the Borges story "The End"?

Thank you for asking this question! (Not least because I am itinerant and my Borges is all in boxes, but your question led me to this collected stories of Borges in pdf, which will provide ℵ value on ...
DukeZhou's user avatar
  • 4,188
6 votes

What is the meaning of "Not even Jonah’s wife would swallow that story" in Marquez's "Love in the Time of Cholera"?

The wording of the Spanish original is: Dijo: “Ese pretexto no se lo traga ni la mujer de Jonás”. In Spanish, there is a colloquial figurative use of the verb tragar, that is, "to swallow",...
Charo's user avatar
  • 2,214
6 votes
Accepted

What does "atom" mean in Don Quixote?

Enrique Suárez Figaredo, in his edition to El ingenioso hidalgo don Quijote de La Mancha, uses the contents of the entry "átomo" in the Tesoro de la lengua castellana o española by Sebastián ...
Charo's user avatar
  • 2,214
6 votes
Accepted

What does Borges' reference to the Greek mean in "The Lottery in Babylon"?

Looking through various annotated versions of Borges' work I have not encountered any discussion of this remark. I believe, however, that it refers to the Greek style of doing mathematics. The ancient ...
Clara Diaz Sanchez's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

Is there any evidence that Lope de Vega influenced William Shakespeare?

I consulted a number of reference works, handbooks and biographies on Shakespeare to check whether Lope de Vega is mentioned at all. The results are listed below. A Shakespeare Companion 1564-1964, ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
  • 44.6k
6 votes
Accepted

"Cease, cows, life is short" - what does it mean?

In the Spanish text, the context is as follows: while living with his mistress Petra Cotes, Aureliano Segundo is faced with the issue that his rabbits proliferate wildly: Fue en esa época que el dio ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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