(1) Answer questions and write a “summative haiku” for “The Book of Sand”
(2) Write one (or two) original “magically realistic” haiku (a summative haiku for a story you have not yet written)
The Book of Sand discussion questions:
1. Borges writes that to proceed “more geometrico” is not the right way to begin, but nonetheless he leaves this as the beginning of the story? Why might he do this?
Those geometrico analogies can help the reader comprehend the following plot: there exists a book with countless pages.
2. What surprised the narrator most when he first examined the Book of Sand?
(1). the book has no beginning nor ending; (2). the characters in the book are unreadable.
3. Why couldn’t the narrator find the first and last pages of the Book of Sand?
Because there are always pages between the cover and his fingers.
4. Why doesn’t the bible seller haggle about the price of the Book of Sand?
Because his real purpose is to get rid of the book.
5. Why does the narrator stop going out of the house?
Because (1). he is absorbed in the book, (2). he fears that the book will be stolen.
6. Why does the narrator come to regard the Book of Sand as monstrous?
(1). the book prevents him from going outdoors and engage in social activities. (2) the book destroys his sleep.
7. Why does the narrator decide to “lose” the Book of Sand in the library?
Because he wants to get rid of it, and he hope no one can find it ever.
8. What sort of theme(s) does Borges explore in the story?
Mortals should not ask too much about the mysterious world.
9. What might the book of sand symbolize? Could it be a metaphor or analogy? For what?
Supernatural phenomena. Metaphor.
haiku on The Book of Sand:
The man disguised in grey
Comes with a shadow of seduction
Craze and terror
On a sandy road
I drift like a ghostly balloon
Trucks flash by, rumbling