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The Library of Babel

The Library of Babel


by Jorge Luis Borges

Analysis: Narrator Point of View

Who is the narrator, can she or he read minds, and, more importantly, can we trust her or him?

First Person (Central Narrator)

Practically this whole story is told in the first person, from the point of view of a central narrator – an inhabitant of the Library who writes in order to narrate the Library's history, and in order to distract himself from the depressing state of current affairs. (Want to learn more about the narrator? Check out "Characters: The Librarian.")

There is, however, the minor issue of the teensy tiny footnote to paragraph 5. This little comment is written by a later editor, whom we can think of as a peripheral narrator, even though he only gets one line. He is the one, after all, who interprets, publishes, comments on, and maybe even translates the librarian's manuscript. For more of a discussion about the Editor, check out our discussion of him under "Character Roles."

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