Jorge Luis Borges’ “Library of Babel” Is Now a Real Website. Borges Would Be Alarmed

The expansive Trinity College Library is pint-sized compared to the fictional Library of Babel. Photo by Benoit Doppagne/AFP/Getty Images

The expansive Trinity College Library is pint-sized compared to the fictional Library of Babel.
Photo by Benoit Doppagne/AFP/Getty Images

Katy Waldman writes:

“Somewhere in Jorge Luis Borges’ “Library of Babel,” the imagined infinitude of hexagonal chambers lined with every book that has or will ever be written, this blog post already exists. The Library, subject of a 1941 Borges story by the same name, contains all possible combinations of letters, and is tended to by melancholy Librarians trying in vain to locate meaning within the nonsense. (Per the law of factorials, most of the precisely 410-page volumes hold nothing but gibberish.) If that sounds like a less-than-appealing place to spend your time—not to mention a logically impossible one—keep your rational, unfevered brain away from libraryofbabel.info, where Brooklyn-based writer and coder Jonathan Basile has set out to bring Borges’ dream/nightmare to life.”

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