Essay on The Book of Sand

This essay has a total of 1212 words and 6 pages.

The Book of Sand


Jorge Luis Borges is a famous Spanish author, known best for his short stories. In this
paper, I will discuss several short stories written by Mr. Borges, what influenced him in
his writings, and a brief history of his place of origin, Argentina.


Borges' The Book of Sand is the story of a man who is visited by a stranger trying to sell
a "holy book" called the Book of Sand. The narrator looks at the book and is unable to see
the first or last pages of it because, as the stranger explains, the number of pages is
infinite. The narrator is fascinated by the book and buys it, only to become obsessed with
it, until the point that it is all he thinks about. He eventually gets rid of it by mixing
it up in a pile of many other books in his basement.


As will be discussed in this paper, Borges wrote philosophy in a lot of his works. In The
Book of Sand, infinity is depicted in the form of a mysterious book. It symbolizes man's
constant search for the world's existence. Borges is saying that it is an endless search
and therefore pointless.


The Other is the story of Borges sitting on a bench, as he feels as though he had lived
that moment already. He begins to speak to the man seated besides him, and finds out the
stranger has the same name, and the same address as he does. When Borges asks the man what
year it is, the man answers 1918, even though it is 1969. It is then that the narrator
figures out he is talking to the person whom he was fifty-one years earlier. He then tells
"the other" him of the future, after which they part, knowing they will never meet like
this again.


This story deals with time. The author is very nostalgic and lives for his memories. It
also is a philosophical story where Borges expresses his doubt that we all may "just be an
image of a greater being".


The Mirror and the Mask is the story of an Irish king who tells a poet to write a poem
describing his power. The poet wrote a praise of his fighting success, and in reward for
the excellent poem, the king gives the poet a beautiful mirror and tells him to write
another poem. In reward for his next work, the king gives the poet a mask. The king then
asks for a third poem and receives a one line poem of perfection and in return gives him
an elaborate dagger. The poet feels it to be a sin to hear such perfection and so he stabs
himself with the dagger. The king also feels he has done wrong and becomes a beggar in his
own kingdom never to repeat the poem again.


What Borges is saying in this story is that should not try to understand G-d because he is
unable to comprehend Him. He claims that "man's quest for truth is an utterly vain task".


Jorge Luis Borges was born August 24, 1899 to a financially comfortable family in Buenos
Aires, Argentina. His father was a writer, a professor of psychology, and modern
languages. He learned at home with a tutor until he was nine and began to learn English at
home from his father, who always encouraged him to write. He came from a very literate
family, and shared much cherished time with his father's books. Borges once said "for
years I believed I had been brought up in a suburb of Buenos Aires, a suburb of dangerous
streets and conspicuous sunsets. What is certain is that I was brought up in a garden,
behind lanceolate iron railings, in a library of unlimited English books."(Here, he was
referring to his father's library) He was also greatly influenced by published poets and
writers who were friends of the family and often visited.


In 1914, before World War I, Borges' family went to Europe where they traveled until the
war was over. During these years of traveling, Borges, in his teenage years, depended a
lot on the company of his readings (mainly German philosophy and poetry).


Continues for 3 more pages >>




  • Leaves of Grass
    Leaves of Grass I attended one of the many presentations at the Book Fair in MDCC Wolfson Campus on Thursday 18, 199 at 7:30pm. This presentation was called “Art and Literature in Argentina” and it was the introduction of the new translation of “Leaves of Grass” (Hojas de Hierva). “Leaves of Grass” is a book full of inspiring poems; Walt Whitman issued the first of many editions more than 100 years ago in 1895. Many writers translated this book into many languages, especially into Spanish but it
  • Jardin
    Jardin El jardín de senderos que se bifurcan En este breve ensayo analizaremos sobre la obra del escritor argentino Jorge Luis Borges, El jardín de senderos que se bifurcan. En el primer párrafo de la obra se puede observar que la narración está escrita en presente y en tercera persona en sigular. En este párrafo, el autor no sólo introduce al personaje principal de la obra, Yu-Tsun, quien es un chino espía aleman, sino también presenta el tema del cuento que es la demora de una ofensiva británi
  • Movimientos Vanguardistas Espaloes
    Movimientos Vanguardistas Espaloes Movimiento vanguardista español e hispanoamericano Con este nombre se designan los movimientos artísticos y literarios que nacen en el siglo XX, aproximadamente desde 1910 a 1939. Su época de máximo esplendor es hasta 1920, a partir de 1930 decaen pues el arte se acerca de nuevo a la realidad y se hace social y comprometido políticamente. En la Gaceta Literaria, junio de 1930, Guillermo de Torre da una larga lista con los movimientos de vanguardia: Cubismo Cara
  • Jorge Luis Borges Su vida con sus obras
    Jorge Luis Borges Su vida con sus obras Jorge Luis Borges Su vida con sus obras Tico Sproul Español V 23 de marzo Jorge Luis Borges fue un genio de la palabra escrita y un maestro de varias lenguas. Fue poeta, ensayista, y cuentista magnífico. John Barth le llamó «one of the old masters of twentieth century fiction. » Toda su vida, él se preparaba para ser escritor. Tenía una familia famosa y un amor por su ciudad y demostró estas cosas en su poesía. Su vejez, cuando era ciego, cambió sus cuento
  • Labyrinths Death and the Compass
    Labyrinths Death and the Compass Upon my first reading of Jorge Luis Borges “Death and the Compass” I found myself reacting to the chain of events not unlike the bland but efficient Inspector Treviranus. The Hotel du Nord with its hateful whiteness, numbered divisibility, and general appearance of a bordello seemed a natural place for a crime of greed and betrayal to have gone sour on a luckless criminal. The lure of priceless sapphires and mistaken destination was more than enough to recreate t
  • Short Antholigies
    Short Antholigies An Anthology of Short Stories by Jorge Borges In the following three short stories by Jorge Luis Borges, we see how the idea of real the and illusion influence one another as described by the author and in his work. In the first short story, Everything and Nothing, Borges explains how people hide behind the illusion of being an actor in order to be some one other than themselves. In this short story, From Something to No One, he demonstrates the idea that G-d is " nothing " in
  • Argentina
    argentina Argentina Argentina, officially known as the Argentine Republic or Republica Argentina, is a country occupying the most southern portion of South America. For many foreigners, especially Europeans, Argentina has presented the traditional New World image of a land of romance and opportunity. It received its name, "roughly translated as \'land of silver\' or \'silvery one,\' from the Spanish explorers of the 16th century who were lured there by rumors that portrayed the presence of vast
  • Rock and Roll1
    Rock and Roll1 This realization, that to study an art form is to explore a sensibility, that such a sensibility is essentially a collective formation, and that the foundations of such a formation are as wide as social existence and as deep, leads away not only from the view that aesthetic power is a grandiloquence for the pleasures of craft. It leads also away from [the idea that] works of art are elaborate mechanisms for defining social relationships, sustaining social rules, and strengthening
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez
    Gabriel Garcia Marquez Gabriel Garcia Marquez Gabriel Jose Garcia Marquez was born on March 6, 1928 in Aracataca, a town in Northern Colombia, where he was raised by his maternal grandparents in a house filled with countless aunts and the rumors of ghosts. But in order to get a better grasp on Garcia Marquez\'s life, it helps to understand something first about both the history of Colombia and the unusual background of his family. Colombia Colombia won its independence from Spain in 1810, techni
  • Ficciones
    Ficciones Jorge Luis Borges possesses writing styles unlike others of his time. Through his series of works, he has acquired the title of the greatest living writer in the Spanish language. The particular example of work that I read, titled Ficciones, was a definite portrayal of his culture. The book was not merely a list of facts from his birth country; instead the real cultural knowledge came from his writing style. The book consisted of two parts; each part was broken up into stories. Each on
  • Edgar allen poe
    edgar allen poe Poe\'s first collection, Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque, appeared in 1840. It contained one of his most famous work, \'The Fall of the House of Usher.\' In the story the narrator visits the crumbling mansion of his friend, Roderick Usher, and tries to dispel Roderick\'s gloom. Although his twin sister, Madeline, has been placed in the family vault dead, Roderick is convinced she lives. Madeline arises in trance, and carries her brother to death. The house itself splits asun
  • Ficciones
    Ficciones Jorge Luis Borges possesses writing styles unlike others of his time. Through his series of works, he has acquired the title of the greatest living writer in the Spanish language. The particular example of work that I read, titled Ficciones, was a definite portrayal of his culture. The book was not merely a list of facts from his birth country; instead the real cultural knowledge came from his writing style. The book consisted of two parts; each part was broken up into stories. Each on
  • The Book Of Sand
    The Book Of Sand Jorge Luis Borges is a famous Spanish author, known best for his short stories. In this paper, I will discuss several short stories written by Mr. Borges, what influenced him in his writings, and a brief history of his place of origin, Argentina. Borges\' The Book of Sand is the story of a man who is visited by a stranger trying to sell a holy book called the Book of Sand. The narrator looks at the book and is unable to see the first or last pages of it because, as the stranger
  • The Book Of Sand
    The Book Of Sand Jorge Luis Borges is a famous Spanish author, known best for his short stories. In this paper, I will discuss several short stories written by Mr. Borges, what influenced him in his writings, and a brief history of his place of origin, Argentina.Borges\' The Book of Sand is the story of a man who is visited by a stranger trying to sell a holy book called the Book of Sand. The narrator looks at the book and is unable to see the first or last pages of it because, as the stranger e
  • The Labyrinth of Life in ?The Garden of Forking Pa
    The Labyrinth of Life in ?The Garden of Forking Paths? A labyrinth is classically a human construction designed to confuse. It can trap our lives, hiding our past and future and constantly forcing us to make choices, even though we may not know what the consequences of those choices might be. The confusion of the puzzle may even tempt us to run blindly through the labyrinth, ending in disaster. Life itself is often considered such a labyrinth, and by adopting the strategies of travelers who came
  • Players Book Report
    Players Book Report Players Book Report 395 pages (Word Count: 854) General Questions Part A 1. What is the title of your book? Players: Con Men, Hustlers, Gamblers and Scam Artists. 2. What is the author\'s name? Edited by Stephen Hyde and Geno Zanetti. 3. Which company published the book? (Give the publishing company\'s name, not the printer\'s name.) Thunder\'s Mouth Press. 4. When was the book published? (Give the latest date of publication.) 2002. 5. In what city was it published? (If your
  • The Book of Sand
    The Book of Sand Jorge Luis Borges is a famous Spanish author, known best for his short stories. In this paper, I will discuss several short stories written by Mr. Borges, what influenced him in his writings, and a brief history of his place of origin, Argentina. Borges\' The Book of Sand is the story of a man who is visited by a stranger trying to sell a "holy book" called the Book of Sand. The narrator looks at the book and is unable to see the first or last pages of it because, as the strange
  • Jorge Luis Borges
    Jorge Luis Borges "The Circular Ruins" begins with a man disembarking from a canoe. The stranger wanders around in the wilderness, sleeps, dreams, wakes up, and makes himself a son. This is a lot let less complicated than sex and, it appears, not that unusual. The fire god makes the magician\'s creation come alive in such a way that all creatures, except the fire god and the magician, will take him for a man of flesh and bones. The young man is sent on his way, ignorant of his origins. The story