by mr



poems from the plenty
generic poem 067


A New Don Quixote

The builders of the library were great masters.1

One day he rose from his arm chair, and went to his library in search of a book.2 At the foot of the stairway there was a cell, and then a library, and then a sort of cabinet, or private study, filled with instruments of magic.3 The next five floors are devoted to eating, resting and socializing: they contain dining rooms—with a variety of privacies—kitchens, lounges, even a library.4 He had a well selected little library.5 There is, in every well made library, a Hell where live the books that must not be read.6 In Pierre Menard’s library there is no trace of such a work.7 Borges, less of an idealist, decided that his library was like the universe—and one understands then why he never felt the need to leave it.8 Even in this case, as Borges warned us, the library would contain the autobiographies of angels and a detailed history of the future.9 When it was announced that the library contained all books, the first reaction was unbounded joy.10 The true hero of the library of Babel is not the library itself but its Reader, a new Don Quixote, on the move, adventurous, restlessly inventive, alchemically combinatory, capable of overcoming the windmills he makes rotate ad infinitum.11 Those examples allowed a librarian of genius to discover the fundamental law of the library.12

The library is a sphere whose exact center is any hexagon and whose circumference is unattainable.13
I declare that the library is endless.14
In all the library, there are no two identical books.15
The library is unlimited but periodic.16
On a shelf in the library are very old books that tell of another past than the one the dreamer has known.17

You see, our library is not like others.18 “So the plan of the library reproduces the map of the world?”19 If a library of the year 3000 came into our hands to day, we could not understand its contents.20 No one ever leaves the world, but anyone can easily exit the library; we can enter objects infinitely, a book is quickly finished.21 Signore _professore dottore__ Eco, what a library you have!22 I shall be glad to have the library to myself as soon as may be.23


1, 18, 19 Eco_The Name of the Rose, 2, 5 Hugo_Les Miserables, 3, 7, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 Borges_Collected Fictions, 4 Koolhaas_Delirious New York, 6 Blanchot_The Book to Come, 8, 9, 11 Eco_On Literature, 17 Bachelard_The Poetics of Space, 20 Hayek_The Constitution of Liberty, 21 Serres_The Five Senses, 22 Taleb_The Black Swan, 23 Austen_Pride And Prejudice