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Borges and Eco and their thing about libraries 
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Post Borges and Eco and their thing about libraries
A story by Jorge Luis Borges called "The Library of Babel" http://jubal.westnet.com/hyperdiscordia/library_of_babel.html
starts this way: "The universe (which others call the Library) is composed of an indefinite and perhaps infinite number of hexagonal galleries, with vast air shafts between, surrounded by very low railings. From any of the hexagons one can see, interminably, the upper and lower floors. The distribution of the galleries is invariable. Twenty shelves, five long shelves per side, cover all the sides except two; their height, which is the distance from floor to ceiling, scarcely exceeds that of a normal bookcase. One of the free sides leads to a narrow hallway which opens onto another gallery, identical to the first and to all the rest. To the left and right of the hallway there are two very small closets. In the first, one may sleep standing up; in the other, satisfy one's fecal necessities. Also through here passes a spiral stairway, which sinks abysmally and soars upwards to remote distances. In the hallway there is a mirror which faithfully duplicates all appearances. Men usually infer from this mirror that the Library is not infinite (if it were, why this illusory duplication?); I prefer to dream that its polished surfaces represent and promise the infinite ... Light is provided by some spherical fruit which bear the name of lamps. There are two, transversally placed, in each hexagon. The light they emit is insufficient, incessant."

A comparison between Borges' library and that of the abbey is interesting. In his paper called "Jorge Borges, Author of the Name of the Rose" Leo Corry says this:

"The presence of Borges in the novel is a constitutive feature and not a superfluous detail imposed upon the writer by the initial setting of the plot, as Eco's claims in Reflections would have us believe. The intertextual relationship between the novel and Borges's writings is not simply one of borrowed ideas and motifs, but is a much subtler and more intricate one."

Jorge Borges is an amazing writer and I find much of his stuff deeply humorous in a magical realist kind of way. I wonder how the secret book of Aristotle reflects this (if it does)? In other words, what is the book a sign of given the name of the ultimate evil doer in the book is also named Jorge.



Sat Feb 07, 2009 1:30 am
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