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Ficciones | Story Summaries

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Story Summaries Chart

Story Summary
Part 1, Prologue The stories of Part 1 of Ficciones need no "extraneous elucidation," but Borges comments on some of the stories nonethel... Read More
Part 1, Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius Five years ago the narrator and his friend, Bioy Casares, spent time in a villa where they were disturbed by a mirror at... Read More
Part 1, The Approach to Al-Mu'tasim An unnamed first-person narrator comments on the commentary surrounding the novel The Approach to Al-Mu'tasim, by Bombay... Read More
Part 1, Pierre Menard, Author of Don Quixote The narrator describes the "visible works" left behind by Pierre Menard: a motley bunch of some sonnets, monographs (sch... Read More
Part 1, The Circular Ruins At night a lone man arrives at his destination, a temple in a jungle. The circular temple contains a statue of something... Read More
Part 1, The Babylon Lottery The first-person narrator describes the fortunes and misfortunes that have befallen him. He has been proconsul, "like al... Read More
Part 1, An Examination of the Work of Herbert Quain The writer Herbert Quain has just died in Ireland. The narrator thinks the obituaries in Times Literary Supplement and o... Read More
Part 1, The Library of Babel The first-person narrator describes "the Universe (which others call the Library)," made of six-sided galleries containi... Read More
Part 1, The Garden of Forking Paths During World War I Dr. Yu Tsun, formerly an English teacher in Tsingtao, China, hangs up the phone, ending a conversatio... Read More
Part 2, Prologue Borges introduces the stories in Part 2 with a left-handed compliment, saying these are "less torpidly executed" than th... Read More
Part 2, Funes, the Memorious The first-person Argentinean narrator recalls a deceased Uruguayan friend, Ireneo Funes. His written recollections will ... Read More
Part 2, The Form of the Sword The narrator recalls his encounter with "the Englishman of La Colorada," a man with a scar on his face. While the narrat... Read More
Part 2, Theme of the Traitor and the Hero The narrator describes a plot he has invented and then gives an abbreviated account of the story he might write. Its set... Read More
Part 2, Death and the Compass Master detective Erik Lönnrot foresees but does not prevent the last in a "staggered series of bloody acts." Although he... Read More
Part 2, The Secret Miracle On March 19, 1939, in Prague, Czechoslovakia, Jaromir Hladík is arrested by the Nazis. Hladík is an ambitious but unprod... Read More
Part 2, Three Versions of Judas The story starts with an epigraph about "degradation" by T.E. Lawrence, better known as Lawrence of Arabia. The narrator... Read More
Part 2, The End In the afternoon Recabarren, a paralyzed shop owner, lies in bed in a room next to his shop. In the shop a guitarist pla... Read More
Part 2, The Sect of the Phoenix A narrator describes conflicting descriptions by commentators on the age and origin of something called "the Sect of the... Read More
Part 2, The South The protagonist, Juan Dahlmann, is the grandson of a German evangelical pastor, Johannes Dahlmann who emigrated to Argen... Read More
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