I understood and liked the first two of the three stories we had to read this week much more than I did the stories of last week. I am split though on which one I liked more, Death in the Compass or The Three Versions of Judas. Death in the Compass reminded me of the really bad cartoon villain speeches as the end. Before Red Scharlach kills Lonnerot, he explains each and every thing he did to get Lonnerot to his present position. Though extremely interesting, I was waiting for Lonnerot to jump up and somehow be save by the police force. This is what normally happens when the villain takes too long telling us about his crime. Instead, the story just ends with Lonnerot being killed. My question is: Is this Borges trying to give Scharlach revenge because it makes the story circular or does he have another reason to do away with the main character? I thought that Scharlach’s way of trapping Lonnerot was inspired. He did everything exactly right and Lonnerot fell into his trap. Does this have a feeling of fate? Was Lonnerot destined to die that day? Is that why he could do nothing but listen as Scharlach tells of his undoing?
The Three Versions of Judas was especially interesting for me, as I grew up Catholic. I was taught that Judas blatantly betrayed Jesus for money. We were all taught to hate him as the great betrayer of Our Lord. I very much enjoyed Runeberg’s first version of Judas. It is a very interesting prospect and makes me wonder if it was his motivation. My question though, is what made Runeberg try to tell Judas’s story if he was so religious. That does not make sense to me.