Showing posts with tag: Jorge Luis Borges

The Tower of Babble: Borges’ Library and the Blogosphere

Seventy years ago the Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986) wrote "The Library of Babel", a short story about a cosmically vast library that contained all possible books — a whole universe based on the inconceivable number of permutations a length of text would allow, making possible not only all the books ever written, but all the ones that could be written. It was a richly imaginative idea in its day, but the metaphor of Borges’ Babel Library has, in the last decade, gained a relevance it could never hitherto possess. What expresses better our long slogs through the internet — the insipid pulse of Twittertopia, the unceasing verbal slurry of the blogosphere, and the multitude of social networks — than this Piranesian prism of senselessness: literature as chimera, jumbled apocrypha, and verbal ephemera? Read more →

Get Lost in a Book Maze

The word “maze” usually conjures up images of verdant hedges perfectly pruned into sinuous shapes, but this is not true of the maze with the punning title, aMAZEme, at the Southbank Centre’s Festival of the World. Leafy walls have been substituted with over 200,000 old and new books in the Clore Ballroom at the Royal Festival Hall. Brazilian artists Marcos Saboya and Gualter Pupo were both inspired by the fingerprint of the Argentinian poet and writer Jorge Luis Borges (1899–1986) to create this labyrinth, with walls 2.5 metres high.

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How Do You Shelve Your Books

It’s official: Amazon now sells more e-books in the US than it does paperbacks. The gradual disappearance of the physical book could be the long-awaited solution to that old problem: how do you organise your bookshelves?

It’s a subject close to my heart; we’re moving house soon and the whole issue is going to raise its ugly head again.

I work in a bookshop, so I like to think that shelving books is a bit of a skill of mine.

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