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Tutor profile: Jolon T.

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Jolon T.
Fulbright Scholar
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Questions

Subject: Spanish

TutorMe
Question:

Borges, "La biblioteca de Babel". Explica la relación que establece Borges entre la biblioteca y el universo.  Una pregunta que se plantea al respecto sería: ¿qué relación establecen los libros con éste (el universo)? ¿Lo reflejan?  ¿Lo explican?  ¿Dilucidan sus misterios?

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Jolon T.
Answer:

A mi me pareció muy cómico este relato. La biblioteca es no más que el universo, pero también es solamente el universo literario. Es decir que, “la biblioteca es ilimitada y periódica”; la super-imposición de la eternidad y el momento (99). La biblioteca está hecha de “galerías hexagonales” “de un numero indefinido” (89). Todos partes de la biblioteca son contradicciones: en el zaguán hay un espejo que “fielmente duplica las apariencias” (89). El efecto de infinitud (que es efecto y real al mismo tiempo) es perpetuado por el espejo y la luz insuficiente (90). Pero las contradicciones no son sino parecen así a la primera vista. Lo que emerge a partir de la contradicción, por ejemplo, entre “El hombre” (“obra de azar”) y “el universo” (“obra de dios”) es la verdad de “la eternidad futura del mundo,” que también es parecido a una contradicción (91). Los libros, entonces, no son reflexiones o explicaciones. Los libros son partes infinitesimales y también lo total de la biblioteca al mismo tiempo, como el relato de Borges.

Subject: Writing

TutorMe
Question:

How does Derrida conceptualize writing?

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Jolon T.
Answer:

Writing (also ‘trace’ or ‘grapheme’ or ‘mark’), Derrida’s unit of analysis in his discourse on writing, is not a sheer extension of one’s presence (“logocentrism”), but an always performative reference that exists prior to speech and in this way represents an ontology that re-figures the ‘self’ as a ruptured, historical self that necessarily changes across time/space/context, much like the meaning of the written mark itself.

Subject: Anthropology

TutorMe
Question:

What does the French linguist Saussure mean by "sign"?

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Jolon T.
Answer:

For Saussure, a “sign” is the coming together of a “concept” and a “sound-image” as the at once physical, physiological, and psychological unit of all languages. In other words, the relation between Saussure’s concept and sound-image is constituted in the sign. The connection between the signifier and the signified is considered arbitrary because it only exists because of the conventions agreed on and shared by all speakers of a given language. That is, for Saussure, there is no intrinsic link between the phonemes produced in the sound-image, or signifier, and the concept, or signified, it invokes.

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