Borges, Hernandez, Arlt

From the beginning of “The Daisy Dolls” I felt it was pretty clear how crazy the story was going to be. The way things were laid out, though, I was expecting it to be one of those short stories where everything makes enough sense, initially, then at the end it’s revealed how completely insane the situation is. Besides that, I found the entire story quite confusing. It’s unclear where exactly the machines are, what they’re for, if they’re for making the dolls… And the whole thing with his shop. It’s mentioned briefly in the beginning how he has salesgirls in his “shop”, but then it’s never brought up again, like he doesn’t go back. And it almost seems like Frank could be working for him at the shop, but that is also unclear. The ending was not unexpected though. It seemed obvious that his affection for the dolls would wear off, because really, they don’t do anything. It must be exhausting taking care of them. You have to lug them around like a sack of potatoes, pretending that they’re real, dress them, and refill their hot water all the time. Seems like a lot of effort to me. Anyways, I liked the story well enough, just the details bothered me with their complete lack of clarity.

With “The Cooked Cat”, I thought the characters were really special. I couldn’t point out one of them that seemed completely normal. The husband is angry his wife went to the “dentist”. Not that anyone is believing that, but they all seem so strange. There’s the guy who’s consciously trying to make the other feel bad, by counting out his money on the counter right in front of him. The ending really fits with the character of the story. Completely strange, but not unexpected.

Borges has quite an imagination as well in his short stories. The Lottery of Babel was my favourite. It’s such a great conspiracy. The ending is really great, because it’s the kind that makes you question the rest of the story and what you assumed was true. I thought it was great how ludicrous it became. It was ingenious putting the negative side into the lottery and the myriad of punishments and how you could even choose your punishment for someone else sometimes. The fact that pretty much everybody played was confusing, but also added to the story. Just crazy good.

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