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, ...
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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'...
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  • 63.1k
13 votes
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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 ...
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13 votes
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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 ...
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  • 38.1k
11 votes
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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 ...
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  • 63.1k
11 votes
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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 ...
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11 votes
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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 ...
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  • 2,980
10 votes
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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 ...
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  • 2,980
10 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 ...
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  • 1,508
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 ...
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  • 2,068
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 ...
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  • 2,980
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 ...
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8 votes
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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", ...
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  • 2,980
7 votes
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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). ...
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  • 171
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 ...
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  • 1,818
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 ...
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6 votes
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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: ...
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6 votes
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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, ...
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  • 38.1k
6 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 ...
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  • 38.1k
6 votes

How long has El Cantar de mio Cid been considered a national epic of Spain?

It had such consideration from the 19th century, with the advent of Romanticism, to the 20th century. Note that El Poema de Mío Cid wasn't even printed before 1779, as you can read in the book La ...
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  • 917
5 votes
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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 ...
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5 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 ...
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  • 3,940
5 votes

What does "getting soaked" mean in this text?

Let's first get some more context from the excerpt and highlight a few words: It’s always raining there, and there’s hardly a breath of air. I travel to Pachuca to see her once a month, usually on ...
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  • 38.1k
5 votes
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English translation of "Encargo"

An English translation of "Encargo" appeared in New Orleans Review, vol. 6 no. 2, p. 105, with the title "Commission." The translators are Calvin Harlan, Manuel Menan, and Beatriz ...
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  • 15.2k
4 votes

Why is Macondo a city of mirages?

In the beginning, Macondo was a city solidly set in reality. Magical things happened, but everybody agreed they happened. However, as time passed by, gradually the hold of Macondo on reality started ...
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  • 6,624
4 votes
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Is there any deeper significance to the Borges story "The End"?

It turns out Recabarren was a political figure in Chile who was imprisoned for 8 months. As you will recall, the setting of the story is in Latin America. The loss of voice could be a reference to ...
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