Library Of Babel

1410 Words6 Pages
In The Library of Babel by Jorge Borges as well as S. by Doug Dorst, people and books are intertwined in inseparable ways. While The Library of Babel deals with a more big picture version of people’s relationships with books and each other, S. provides in-depth characterizations as well as powerful relationships. Despite a major difference in how characters interact with each other and the rest of the world in these two texts, each story focuses on how people are deeply affected by books in both positive and negative ways. In each text, even though books are shown to be the determining factors of interpersonal relationships, people are still the main focus in both cases.
At the core of each story lies a strong sense of the human condition, but the ways in which this theme is presented differs between the two texts. The use of intricate character development in S. allows readers the chance to build up a relationship
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Even though both stories center around worlds that are not real, they include the possibility of allegorically representing reality by asking readers to reflect on how books shape their own lives. The Library of Babel makes it possible to extend the problem at the center to many people by keeping the characters as general as possible, while S. restricts reader relatability to a few highly developed main characters and one of which, V. M. Straka, who is very obscure and leads to more questions than answers. Each story could also be seen as a response to moments of book history. For S., the way the story is presented is incredibly experimental, especially through its reliance on physical inserts to allow the reader to become immersed in the story. Through its innovative approach to writing and reading, S. could be seen as postmodern. As for Borges’s story, it represents the modernist book, as Borges rethinks tradition through the plot’s philosophical and inquiring
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