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Stranger than fiction March 9, 2007

Posted by Mia in Uncategorized.

Someone once told me that there is a story published somewhere, short story it might have been –(Borges? science fiction?)–about someone who is interested in finding some information, and has a set of references to other references, which point to indexes, which in turn lead to other indexes, which lead to more references, which finally after many convolutions, lead to the place where the actual originally sought-after information resides, but there is no original information there to be had.

I need to find the reference for that story.

(ironic, isn’t it?)



1. Mia - March 14, 2007

Thanks Joanna! Some great one-liners in there.

2. Joanna - March 12, 2007

It may possibly be Borges’ Library of Babel, but I’m not sure. I read it in a “philosophy of of library and information science” course at Western. His description of what a library contains sticks with me:

“Everything: the minutely detailed history of the future, the archangels’ autobiographies, the faithful catalogues of the Library, thousands and thousands of false catalogues, the demonstration of the fallacy of those catalogues, the demonstration of the fallacy of the true catalogue, the Gnostic gospel of Basilides, the commentary on that gospel, the commentary on the commentary on that gospel, the true story of your death, the translation of every book in all languages, the interpolations of every book in all books.”

Type Library of Babel into Google and you can see the full text of the story, along with a Wikipedia entry for it. It’s a pretty quick read – completely understanding the story is another issue, however!

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