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The Library of Babel

  • Posted Feb. 7, 2007 by Tortoise in Abstract. Viewed 3593 times

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When it was proclaimed that the Library contained all books, the first impression was one of extravagant happiness. All men felt themselves to be the masters of an intact and secret treasure. There was no personal or world problem whose eloquent solution did not exist in some hexagon. The universe was justified, the universe suddenly usurped the unlimited dimensions of hope. At that time a great deal was said about the Vindications: books of apology and prophecy which vindicated for all time the acts of every man in the universe and retained prodigious arcana for his future. Thousands of the greedy abandoned their sweet native hexagons and rushed up the stairways, urged on by the vain intention of finding their Vindication. These pilgrims disputed in the narrow corridors, proferred dark curses, strangled each other on the divine stairways, flung the deceptive books into the air shafts, met their death cast down in a similar fashion by the inhabitants of remote regions. Others went mad … The Vindications exist (I have seen two which refer to persons of the future, to persons who are perhaps not imaginary) but the searchers did not remember that the possibility of a man's finding his Vindication, or some treacherous variation thereof, can be computed as zero.

~ Jorge Luis Borges [jubal.westnet.com]

The book in the photographs is Edward Tufte's Envisioning Information. [edwardtufte.com] Tufte is a hero of mine, and the book is one of the most beautiful in existence. A true work of art, based on its design alone, and the content is phenomenal as well.

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    There are 15 comments, add yours!

    • # Guy Armitage

      You can almost smell the air old books radiate around you, this is underlined by the wood you've paired it with. Very nice selection..

      2007.02.13 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Lynda

      Ah. Bravo. First the quote and then the sepia tone photos that are like a thread weaving it all together. Beautiful.

      2007.02.08 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Jannie

      The photographs are beautiful! #2 & #3 look like microscope pictures. Love the sepia, really sets off the old book theme.

      2007.02.07 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Sean

      I love the focus on the books. The texture on 2 & 3 is amazing. Really great job.

      2007.02.07 Edited Reply Cancel