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Questions

The Secret Miracle Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.
  1. What is going on in Jaromir's dreams? Have you ever had a dream about chess, searching for something in a library, or trying to get someplace and never reaching it? What do you think they mean? Yes, we're getting intense: what do they mean…?
  2. Check out our biography of Franz Kafka. Does anything about Jaromir Hladik or his story seem Kafkaesque? (Yes, that's a real word.) If so, why do you think Borges wants to make this connection to Kafka's work?
  3. What is Jaromir's understanding of God? If God were not a figure in the story, how would that change things for Jaromir? How would it change things for us as readers?
  4. Who or what are the bad guys in "The Secret Miracle"? Is it clear cut? Should it be?
  5. Jaromir is pretty obsessive, right? Can we blame him? How does Borges describe obsession? Are we supposed to be fully sympathetic or think he's a little nuts? Why?
  6. Think about Julia de Weidenau for a second. How did Jaromir come up with this lady? We invite you to come up with something deliciously intriguing and scandalous – let your imagination run wild!
  7. How would this story be different if it were set in a different historical context? Give some specific examples to drive your point home.
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