web site hit counter The Library of Babel - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

The Library of Babel

Availability: Ready to download

Jorge Luis Borges's famous 1941 meditation on language, alphabets, and the library that contains all knowledge is an allegory of our Universe, and in this edition is complemented and enhanced by the etching of the French artist, Érik Desmazières.


Compare

Jorge Luis Borges's famous 1941 meditation on language, alphabets, and the library that contains all knowledge is an allegory of our Universe, and in this edition is complemented and enhanced by the etching of the French artist, Érik Desmazières.

30 review for The Library of Babel

  1. 5 out of 5

    Vit Babenco

    In the brief prose piece The Four Cycles Jorge Luis Borges wrote that there are only four stories in the world: the story of war, the story of return, the story of search and the story of sacrifice (Troy, Ulysses, Jason, Prometheus). “Four are the stories. During the time left to us we will continue telling them, transformed.” And there is no other writer who can retell these four stories the way Jorge Luis Borges does, transforming them into intellectual labyrinths and scholarly conundrums. Like In the brief prose piece The Four Cycles Jorge Luis Borges wrote that there are only four stories in the world: the story of war, the story of return, the story of search and the story of sacrifice (Troy, Ulysses, Jason, Prometheus). “Four are the stories. During the time left to us we will continue telling them, transformed.” And there is no other writer who can retell these four stories the way Jorge Luis Borges does, transforming them into intellectual labyrinths and scholarly conundrums. Like all the men of the Library, in my younger days I traveled; I have journeyed in quest of a book, perhaps the catalog of catalogs. Now that my eyes can hardly make out what I myself have written, I am preparing to die, a few leagues from the hexagon where I was born. When I am dead, compassionate hands will throw me over the railing; my tomb will be the unfathomable air, my body will sink for ages, and will decay and dissolve in the wind engendered by my fall, which shall be infinite. He turns the universe into The Library of Babel, the probability theory into The Garden of Forking Paths and the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet into a locus of all the magic – Aleph.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Manny

    In Borges's short story, the world consists of a gigantic library which contains every possible book that can ever be written. So, somewhere, there must logically be the book, the one that reveals the Library's secret! Unfortunately, there is no filing system, and no one has any idea of how to find the elusive book. In fact, it's challenging even to locate one which contains a meaningful sentence: most of them are gibberish from beginning to end. Well, our own world isn't quite as bad - but it's In Borges's short story, the world consists of a gigantic library which contains every possible book that can ever be written. So, somewhere, there must logically be the book, the one that reveals the Library's secret! Unfortunately, there is no filing system, and no one has any idea of how to find the elusive book. In fact, it's challenging even to locate one which contains a meaningful sentence: most of them are gibberish from beginning to end. Well, our own world isn't quite as bad - but it's still harder than it should be to locate the books you really want to read, when they're mixed up with the ones you just think you might want to read. I am often appalled at the amount of time I waste on this site, but comfort myself with the thought that it has helped me find some amazing books I normally wouldn't even have considered. But exactly how helpful has it been? The other day, it occurred to me to try and answer this question quantitatively. I calculate that, since I started hanging out here in late 2008, I have read 42 books just because someone here has recommended them. (I didn't count books recommended by people on Goodreads whom I also know in real life, otherwise the figure would be considerably higher). After some more thought, I've picked out a Top Ten, which I present here for your amusement: 10. I've never seen anyone outside Goodreads mention Everything Explained Through Flowcharts , recommended to me by David G, but it's the funniest thing I've seen in ages. I challenge you to read it without giggling helplessly at least a couple of times. Why it isn't more famous is more than I understand. 9. À rebours , a weird 19th century French novel recommended to me by Sabrina, is another book that deserves to be better known. Nothing happens, but it's somehow utterly compelling. I think it's also been very influential. 8. I love books written under strong formalist constraints, but I'd never heard of Eunoia , recommended by Gary. Five chapters, each using only one vowel, and, even though it sounds impossible, it works remarkably well as poetry. Really! 7. Eric W recommended The Terrible Hours: The Greatest Submarine Rescue in History . If you're after inspiration and good old-fashioned heroism, look no further. 6. Choupette was so indignant about Plateforme that I had to check it out for myself. I liked it enough that I also read Les particules élémentaires . I won't promise that you'll enjoy them, but they're certainly going to make you think. 5. Everyone recommended The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains . Alas, all too true. The mere fact that I'm sitting here writing this proves his point. 4. Would you believe it, I hadn't even heard of Infinite Jest before I joined GR. Within a couple of months, I'd given in and bought a copy. Admittedly, I also bought a copy of Twilight at the same time... 3. Pavel told me I had to read Voices from Chernobyl , and he was right. Whatever your opinions on nuclear power, it's irresponsible not to. You can't take more than a chapter or so at a time; after that, you just sit there stunned, doing your best not to cry. Another book that people have unaccountably overlooked. 2. Was I really going to read a thousand page physics text full of scary math? I did a math degree in the late 70s, but this looked way over my level. However, Nick called me chicken enough times that I decided to tackle The Road to Reality: A Complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe . I've finally got to the end, and wow, was it a fascinating read! If you like math and physics, take Nick's advice: forget the pop science books and go for the big one. It's worth the effort. 1. I don't really know Norwegian, and how likely was it that I'd buy a three volume magical-realist Norwegian novel by an author I'd never heard of? But, moved by Oriana's glowing review, I started thinking that I speak Swedish, Norwegian isn't that different (it's a kind of Spanish/Portugese deal), so why not give it a shot? By the time I was 20 pages into Forføreren , I was hooked, and then I immediately continued with Erobreren and Oppdageren . The trilogy is the most brilliant thing I have read this century, and I can't recommend it highly enough. Thank you Oriana! So, there you are, and I hope I've made at least one sale :) In the interests of completeness, here's the rest of the list, in alphabetical order: 99 Ways to Tell a Story: Exercises in Style The Authoritarians The Bent Sword Breaking Dawn Crowds and Power The Dreamfighter: And Other Creation Tales Eclipse L'élégance du hérisson Exercices de Style Fate, Time, and Language: An Essay on Free Will Go the Fuck to Sleep Galatea 2.2 Gray Matters Help! Mom! There Are Liberals Under My Bed! The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos How To Learn Any Language: Quickly, Easily, Inexpensively, Enjoyably and on Your Own Musical Chairs Mysterier New Moon No Hope for Gomez! Not a Chance: Fictions The Riddler's Gift (Lifesong, #1) The Sparrow Sult The Triple A's Check It Out Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights Whom God Would Destroy Zazie dans le métro Happy Goodreading!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽

    I read "The Library of Babel," one of Jorge Luis Borges’ most famous stories, as part of the Ficciones collection. “The Library of Babel” posits a universe in the form of a library made out of connected hexagonal rooms, each room filled with books and the barest necessities for life. Each book contains 410 pages, with 40 lines of 80 letters each. There are 25 letters and punctuation marks in the alphabet. The Library contains every possible combination of those letters. Most of the books are com I read "The Library of Babel," one of Jorge Luis Borges’ most famous stories, as part of the Ficciones collection. “The Library of Babel” posits a universe in the form of a library made out of connected hexagonal rooms, each room filled with books and the barest necessities for life. Each book contains 410 pages, with 40 lines of 80 letters each. There are 25 letters and punctuation marks in the alphabet. The Library contains every possible combination of those letters. Most of the books are complete gibberish, of course, but like the Infinite Monkey Theorem says, if you have enough monkeys banging away on typewriters for long enough (i.e., infinite time and infinite monkeys), eventually they’ll write Hamlet. But life for the people dwelling in this library is profoundly frustrating, even depressing, since only a vanishingly small percentage of the books make any sense at all. Borges explores the ways that people might react to this, with several nods to religion and philosophy. There's not any real plot to this story; it feels more like an essay or an intellectual exercise ("How would people react if..."). Mathematicians have had a field day with this book’s concept, figuring out how many books such a library would contain. Per Wikipedia’s article on this story, there would be far more books in this library (1.956 x 10 to the 1,834,097th power) than there are thought to be atoms in the observable universe (10 to the 80th power). It's mind-boggling. But this story is not so much about the numbers, as about what it would be like to live in this intriguing but highly frustrating world. You can read a copy of this story here.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sr3yas

    Hey, you. Yea, I am talking to you! Do you want to get freaked out by the sheer magnitude of an idea that's right in front of you? Step right in! In this short story, Author Jorge Luis Borges envisions a universe in the form of a vast library, a library of meticulous pattern and structure. In this library, you can find an incomprehensible number of hexagonal rooms with a specific number of books: Books that contain all knowledge of the universe. But here is the catch: All this knowledge is mix Hey, you. Yea, I am talking to you! Do you want to get freaked out by the sheer magnitude of an idea that's right in front of you? Step right in! In this short story, Author Jorge Luis Borges envisions a universe in the form of a vast library, a library of meticulous pattern and structure. In this library, you can find an incomprehensible number of hexagonal rooms with a specific number of books: Books that contain all knowledge of the universe. But here is the catch: All this knowledge is mixed with utter gibberish. The author, Mr. Borges, was a librarian himself and it is safe to assume that the inspiration of his unique universe came from his surroundings, and it is quite brilliant. He reflects the flaws of human kind subtly here in form of rogue librarians, mystical legends, and slow madness. Nevertheless, the short story itself is filled with bits of Babel as it's more of a detailed description of an alternative universe and not a story. I was going to give a three stars rating and move on with my life. But then I found a Website. I think I am late to the party, but two years before, a man named Jonathan Basile created the library of Babel online using an algorithm. Any English sentence/paragraph of length 3200 characters can be found this library mixed with Babel. There are about 10^5000 books in this library (Age of Earth is 10^17 seconds). To understand What's actually happening, you might need to watch a Youtube video. But let me tell you something, the library contains every sentence you have ever said or will say in future, It contains every book ever written or will be written, It contains the first words you ever said and last words you will say, it contains secrets to the universe and unfortunately or fortunately, it contains a lot of gibberish. And before even I wrote this review, these sentences were there in Library of Babel. *Zoom this image* It's no trick, it's just about exhausting every possible combination the 26 letters of the alphabet can create!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Cyndi

    So, this is a short story, but there is so much in it that I reread it a half dozen times, found a few audio readings and looked up summaries trying to grasp the whole story. Basically its weird, but cool. In this guys universe the world is made up of libraries. Each room is a hexagon with two small closets. One is a bathroom and the other is a room to sleep standing up. People are born, live and die in these rooms. Now here is where it gets really bad. There are only four shelves of books in So, this is a short story, but there is so much in it that I reread it a half dozen times, found a few audio readings and looked up summaries trying to grasp the whole story. Basically its weird, but cool. In this guys universe the world is made up of libraries. Each room is a hexagon with two small closets. One is a bathroom and the other is a room to sleep standing up. People are born, live and die in these rooms. Now here is where it gets really bad. There are only four shelves of books in each room and most are in languages hard to decipher. When they are finally deciphered the are gibberish. No fiction, none of your favorite authors. No wonder they are suicidal. There are some wanderers who travel from hexagon to hexagon looking for the perfect book. (Which they never find) and there are others on a pilgrimage looking for a magical book that was read by a messiah. There is also a group of dissenters who destroy books that they disagree with. But the author says that doesn't matter because there are hundreds of copies of each book spread throughout. This is a short story and definitely worth a read.😊

  6. 4 out of 5

    Cecily

    “For a book to exist, it is sufficient that it is possible. Only the impossible is excluded.” Paradoxes abound in this allegory that has aspects of The Blind Watchmaker, especially DNA, and also the Infinite Monkey Theorem. I have the Collected Fictions (with copious translator's notes), but am splitting my review of that into its components, in publication order: Collected Fictions - all reviews. This is one of the the longer stories in The Garden of Forking Paths, published in 1941. The universe “For a book to exist, it is sufficient that it is possible. Only the impossible is excluded.” Paradoxes abound in this allegory that has aspects of The Blind Watchmaker, especially DNA, and also the Infinite Monkey Theorem. I have the Collected Fictions (with copious translator's notes), but am splitting my review of that into its components, in publication order: Collected Fictions - all reviews. This is one of the the longer stories in The Garden of Forking Paths, published in 1941. The universe is an infinite Library. Maybe the universe is the internet? But Borges’ library is more beautiful: an endless series of connecting, identical, hexagons, and it has - and will - exist for eternity. Each vestibule has “a mirror which faithfully duplicates appearances”, leading men to infer that the Library is not infinite, otherwise “what need would there be for that illusory replication?” But it is infinite: the books contain “all that is able to be expressed, in every language”, composed of the same alphabetic elements, and each is unique. But are uniqueness and infinity contradictory? Most of the books are indecipherable, and “trying to find sense in books” is “a vain and superstitious habit”, likened to palmistry and numerology. Surely that doesn’t apply to this, or does it? (Recursion, again.) “You who read me – are you certain you understand my language?” “Man, the imperfect librarian, may be the work of chance or malevolent demiurges; the universe… can only be the work of a god.” That’s “a god”, not “God”. Who or what made me? Am I real, or just making marks on one of an infinite number of pages that may never be read? These ideas of infinity are explored and elaborated on in “Undr” and The Mirror and the Mask, which throw minimalism into the mix. More specifically, the story of The Book of Sand is like the Library of Babel in miniature: a single, infinite book. They are all in The Book of Sand.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Capsguy

    Found this to be a great analogy to the world we live in. Everyone seems to have the answer to all of life's problems, but the issue is it's not so simple to sort through all of the variables when you have little to no means of measuring each option. That's pretty much how I read this short story, in life it is feasible to live the 'perfect' life, since the variables are there, however since there is no distinctive guide to do so, we are forced to do our best to sort through the gibberish (in th Found this to be a great analogy to the world we live in. Everyone seems to have the answer to all of life's problems, but the issue is it's not so simple to sort through all of the variables when you have little to no means of measuring each option. That's pretty much how I read this short story, in life it is feasible to live the 'perfect' life, since the variables are there, however since there is no distinctive guide to do so, we are forced to do our best to sort through the gibberish (in the story, being the books which made sense no matter how you looked at them) to opportunities that may have a glimpse of hope for positive results. So yeah, we live in a world like The Library of Babel, where potentially the answer to all of life's issues are out there somewhere, but since we have no means of locating it, we're stuck in the chaos that is existence as we know it. The build-up of imagery at the beginning was also spectacular. Cheers Borges!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Steven Godin

    Borges's philosophical short-story describes the universe in terms of an infinite library constructed in a series of hexagon galleries in which the books contain every possible combination of letters, spaces and punctuation marks providing a metaphor for thinking about knowledge and truth. As a paradox of infinite possibilities, some of the volumes within turn out to be what appears to be complete gibberish, Some go nuts from the despair of trying to logically understand and catalogue every book Borges's philosophical short-story describes the universe in terms of an infinite library constructed in a series of hexagon galleries in which the books contain every possible combination of letters, spaces and punctuation marks providing a metaphor for thinking about knowledge and truth. As a paradox of infinite possibilities, some of the volumes within turn out to be what appears to be complete gibberish, Some go nuts from the despair of trying to logically understand and catalogue every book in the library, whilst some take a leap of faith. Beyond the abstract intentions, Borges was also expressing the angst of simply being lost in the universe, and of not being able to understand it. In other words, the limited knowledge of this infinite library by the narrator inhabiting this vast space reflects Borges’s own uncertainty about Life and the Universe, the nature of hope, and the creation of meaning. It's quite simply quintessential Borges, and not a bad place to start for the newbie, although, it still feels like throwing yourself in at the deep end. He evokes a sense of wonder and the infinite possibilities that go with it like nobody else.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Vimal Thiagarajan

    You who read me - are you certain you understand my language? Understanding? Certain? Wouldn't even pretend. A Kaleidoscope of earlier ideas like Borel's dactylographic monkey theorem, Pascal's metaphor and Robert Burton's variations, a mathematical thought experiment with infinities and labyrinths that employs cabalistic reasoning which blurs the infinite and the finite with philosophical implications that puts the Gita in mind, a melting pot of motifs that would influence Eco's influential mast You who read me - are you certain you understand my language? Understanding? Certain? Wouldn't even pretend. A Kaleidoscope of earlier ideas like Borel's dactylographic monkey theorem, Pascal's metaphor and Robert Burton's variations, a mathematical thought experiment with infinities and labyrinths that employs cabalistic reasoning which blurs the infinite and the finite with philosophical implications that puts the Gita in mind, a melting pot of motifs that would influence Eco's influential masterpiece - the name of the rose, and a strange allegory that had me reading all over the internet and pondering for hours I know not how many. And all these in a short-story. Moving his bigger works to top-priority.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Leonard

    Jorge Luis Borges, one of the most imaginative writers I have come across, could have been a mathematician, a physicist, a philosopher or a theologian. I can see his influence on Umberto Eco in the manipulation of text and the blending between fiction and reality. To read Borges is to immerse myself in a magical world where the concept of infinity manifests in space and time, where the boundary between dream and reality fades, where the past and the future converge into an instant, where levels Jorge Luis Borges, one of the most imaginative writers I have come across, could have been a mathematician, a physicist, a philosopher or a theologian. I can see his influence on Umberto Eco in the manipulation of text and the blending between fiction and reality. To read Borges is to immerse myself in a magical world where the concept of infinity manifests in space and time, where the boundary between dream and reality fades, where the past and the future converge into an instant, where levels of texts superimpose on one another, where fiction imitates nonfiction and life is a drama on stage. To read Borges is to become children again, listening to stories of magic and wonder, of unfathomable worlds. In “The Library of Babel,” Borges again plays around with the concept of infinity, but this time also with combinatorial and I can imagine Borges as a mathematician or computer scientist. A labyrinth of infinite number of rooms stores books that include all combinations of a 22-letter alphabet plus spaces and the comma and period. Since we know the number of characters in each book, we can calculate the number of possible books (not infinite). Of course, most of them are meaningless. Is this universe of repeated rooms each with five shelves and thirty-five books a mirror of our world? Interestingly, in Eco’s The Name of the Rose, the blind monk who oversees the library is named Jorge of Burges. I recommend Borges to anyone who wants to dream of magical worlds, who wants to reflect on reality and fiction, who wants to analyze the boundary between text and the interpreter, and who wants to contemplate on the nature of infinity.

  11. 4 out of 5

    John Wiswell

    Easily one of the strangest books I've ever read. I actually ordered it by accident, thinking it was an anthology. But actually this entire slender volume is devoted to one Borges short story, complete with beautiful etchings showing that his impossible library is actually possible. While it's not worth the cover price for everyone, anyone who dismissed his fictional library should flip through these pages and see that he wasn't writing flippantly. As "Library of Babel" was possibly Borges' most Easily one of the strangest books I've ever read. I actually ordered it by accident, thinking it was an anthology. But actually this entire slender volume is devoted to one Borges short story, complete with beautiful etchings showing that his impossible library is actually possible. While it's not worth the cover price for everyone, anyone who dismissed his fictional library should flip through these pages and see that he wasn't writing flippantly. As "Library of Babel" was possibly Borges' most imaginative piece of fiction, it's wonderful to see it given shape - as wonderful as it is unexpected.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ramona Arsene

    " I am perhaps misled by old age and fear, but I suspect that the human species - the only species - teeters at the verge of extinction, yet that the Library enlightened, solitary, infinite, perfectly unmoving, armed with precious volumes, pointless, incorruptible, and secret-will endure."

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kris

    Uh, what? Order randomly arises from chaos because of repetition? Why was this title on my TBR again?

  14. 4 out of 5

    Aiden Heavilin

    This story is not fiction. The library of babel exists. You can view it here: https://libraryofbabel.info/ At present, the site has catalogued every possible combination of 3200 characters. You can read how its done on the site – its really incredible. You can type in any paragraph, from the opening of your own novel to the end of your favorite thriller, and find that it already exists in a specific page of a specific book on a specific shelf in the library. Navigating the site is an eerie experie This story is not fiction. The library of babel exists. You can view it here: https://libraryofbabel.info/ At present, the site has catalogued every possible combination of 3200 characters. You can read how its done on the site – its really incredible. You can type in any paragraph, from the opening of your own novel to the end of your favorite thriller, and find that it already exists in a specific page of a specific book on a specific shelf in the library. Navigating the site is an eerie experience. You can look through pages upon pages of gibberish, encountering random words, mysterious strings of letters. I highly recommend you spend a little while getting acquainted with the library. Every conversation you have had or will ever have exists there. A precise description of the manner and date of your death exists in the library. A precise description of what your friends really think about you exists in the library. They already exist, waiting to be uncovered, amongst unimaginable piles of gibberish and fragments. I only wonder what Borges would've thought of it.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mohammed Amarnah

    Before you read this book, drink a cup of coffee and solve a math problem or two (preferably a geometrical problem, and it would be great if it involved hexagons). This is definitely not an easy book. At least not for me. But it is amazing, full of imagination and wonder! :)

  16. 5 out of 5

    Patrick St-Amand

    Excellent collection of stories with meditation on life, chance and the universe.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Martyn

    This is a fantastic and thought provoking book. I first heard of it while reading this essay by Christopher Rowe. I know that Borges is really discussing the history, and completeness, of human knowledge but his essay, as Rowe suggests, has marked implications for those trying to create a universal library today. Such entities might include Google or Amazon, amongst others. The sheer futility of gathering every last letter of every last book that has ever existed, or that could possibly have exis This is a fantastic and thought provoking book. I first heard of it while reading this essay by Christopher Rowe. I know that Borges is really discussing the history, and completeness, of human knowledge but his essay, as Rowe suggests, has marked implications for those trying to create a universal library today. Such entities might include Google or Amazon, amongst others. The sheer futility of gathering every last letter of every last book that has ever existed, or that could possibly have existed, is put across quite clearly by Borges. The resulting chaos of having to wade through mountains of garbage to find the occasional book that is readable, or desirable, seems to point directly to our modern experience with the internet. The internet is viewed as having the potential to contain "everything". Whether that is even something we should be striving for is not even open for discussion at present as the digitizers run rampant with information. I guess I should be happy that librarians will become more, not less, necessary in the digital world in order to help confused souls navigate their way to useful information amongst the sea of dross and because they will be needed to navigate and critically analyze that dross themselves in order to create robust bibliographies for digi-patrons. The start of my library science studies have proved a remarkable place for philosophical thinking, thankfully.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Janelle

    I’m not sure I’m smart enough to understand this story completely but I loved the idea of an infinite library even if the majority of books are incomprehensible because every combination of characters is printed and yet there’s no key or index so you can’t find anything. It reminded me a bit of genetic codes, the library in Interstellar and I had visions of monkeys at typewriters writing the books. Themes of infinity, and understanding reality, and finding meaning in life. Gets you thinking defi I’m not sure I’m smart enough to understand this story completely but I loved the idea of an infinite library even if the majority of books are incomprehensible because every combination of characters is printed and yet there’s no key or index so you can’t find anything. It reminded me a bit of genetic codes, the library in Interstellar and I had visions of monkeys at typewriters writing the books. Themes of infinity, and understanding reality, and finding meaning in life. Gets you thinking definitely.

  19. 5 out of 5

    RJ from the LBC

    Works best as a philosophical exercise contemplating the nature of the infinite and the human process for decoding reality.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Hirdesh

    Remarkable ! !

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sal Majak

    I felt like I was in another universe, floating in the most surreal way. Watching events unfold before me like a 3D TV through time and space. I saw the history of a collective civilization, their peak and demise, their wars and pilgrimages. Seeking to find meaning in a chaotic world. It was so weird, yet so peaceful and nostalgic at the same time... Nostalgic for something I've never known before. That's Borges for you.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jake

    All books that will ever be written exist, we have just not created them yet. This is what Borges postulates with this short story. My initial reaction to reading this is that it is a mildly arrogant viewpoint. But then again, is it really less arrogant than us saying that we were the ones that wrote the book, that it was generated by the human mind? I don’t think we can answer for certain either of these things. What I do know is that this is a damn good short story.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kateblue

    Interesting allegory written in 1941 about a library that seems to be an entire universe. Glad it wasn't longer because it was pretty crunchy. Apparently there has been much intellectual discussion about it over the years. Try it! I found it online here for free here: https://maskofreason.files.wordpress.... Added 5 28--Here's an interesting Wikipedia argument about the story and some of the concepts within--https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lib... Interesting allegory written in 1941 about a library that seems to be an entire universe. Glad it wasn't longer because it was pretty crunchy. Apparently there has been much intellectual discussion about it over the years. Try it! I found it online here for free here: https://maskofreason.files.wordpress.... Added 5 28--Here's an interesting Wikipedia argument about the story and some of the concepts within--https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lib...

  24. 5 out of 5

    Carly

    The concept of infinity never fails to perplex me. Previously, my visions of infinity were focused mainly on the idea of outer space. I imagined swirling galaxies of nebulas and planets and dark matter. Each time, I was filled with this overwhelming feeling of being a tiny insignificant speck in the cosmos. Perhaps that’s why, when I first read The Library of Babel, I was so perplexed by this new idea of infinity. Jorge Luis Borges' The Library of Babel describes the universe as an infinite lib The concept of infinity never fails to perplex me. Previously, my visions of infinity were focused mainly on the idea of outer space. I imagined swirling galaxies of nebulas and planets and dark matter. Each time, I was filled with this overwhelming feeling of being a tiny insignificant speck in the cosmos. Perhaps that’s why, when I first read The Library of Babel, I was so perplexed by this new idea of infinity. Jorge Luis Borges' The Library of Babel describes the universe as an infinite library. The library is composed of an indefinite number of identical hexagonal galleries. The wall of each hexagon contains five bookshelves. Each bookshelf contains thirty-two books, each with 410 pages. The only 25 symbols found is each book are the comma, period, space, and twenty two letters of the alphabet. For the most part, the books in the Library of Babel are filled with gibberish with the twenty five symbols arranged in random orders. However, with the library being infinite in size, it contains the complete expression of all words and every story. The narrator was on a quest in search of a book as a young man, but he has grown old in the library and is preparing to die. The Library of Babel gave me a new contrasting sense of perhaps how to view infinity. In the cosmos, I imagine an infinite expanse of dark nothingness, but in the Library of Babel, there would be an infinite collection of knowledge and information surrounding me. Reading The Library of Babel, I envisioned the library to be akin to an impossible maze - each turn into a new gallery would present an identical view of bookshelves. Being stuck in an infinite library initially seemed like a dream to me, but as I read on, I realized that the identical hexagonal rooms with identical bookshelves and identical book-forms would push me to the brink of lunacy. If I were stuck in the Library of Babel, I would likely wander off and become lost, and eventually feel an overwhelming sense of personal insignificance in comparison to the uncountable books and information around me. I think the idea I’m trying to encapsulate in this stream of consciousness-style reflection is that reading Jorge Luis Borges’ work created a new perspective to think about infinity. Perhaps I’ll reread The Library of Babel in a few year and glean more from what Jorge Luis Borges was trying to convey about infinity. I’d previously never read any of Jorge Luis Borges’, but The Library of Babel was definitely a fascinating first read. Link to my review + other reviews on my blog: https://thestorystash.wixsite.com/the...

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jordan Taylor

    It has been a year or two since I have last read anything by my favorite author of all time, Jorge Luis Borges. "The Library of Babel" was always one of the short stories that stayed with me, and I am glad that I decided to re-read it last night. Here, the Universe and the Library are one and the same, and the world is made up of shelves upon shelves of countless, infinite numbers of books. The books, however, do not contain stories and histories and vast knowledge. Or, perhaps they do. In fact, ma It has been a year or two since I have last read anything by my favorite author of all time, Jorge Luis Borges. "The Library of Babel" was always one of the short stories that stayed with me, and I am glad that I decided to re-read it last night. Here, the Universe and the Library are one and the same, and the world is made up of shelves upon shelves of countless, infinite numbers of books. The books, however, do not contain stories and histories and vast knowledge. Or, perhaps they do. In fact, many scholars insist that they must. Sadly, however, no meaning has yet been found in their pages. The books are a jumbled, random, confusing mess of letters and commas and periods that make no sense. Here, books are things to be studied, to have theories about, and to experiment upon. They are not so much literary as they are scientific. The people of Babel known that the books are important, that the books define them. They simply cannot figure out how. There appear to be so many varying views about the books, they are a highly controversial topic. Irrelevant or vital? There are those who worship books but cannot read, those who believe in a secret Librarian somewhere who has unlocked the Library's secrets, those who go on pilgrimages to try and find "their" book, Inquisitors who destroy books with offensive letters, and still more. Borges does a marvelous job here of writing an allegorical story in which books parallel religion and the controversial debate of creation. No conclusion is reached in the story, but rather you come away from it with pages of questions that you may not have thought of before. I loved that Borges slipped in a mirror, right on the first page - of course one had to make an appearance somewhere! Two quotes jumped out at me this time... "When I am dead, compassionate hands will throw me over the railing; my tomb will be the unfathomable air, my body will sink for ages, and will decay and dissolve in the wind engendered by my fall, which shall be infinite." And.. "There was no problem whose eloquent solution did not exist - somewhere in some hexagon... The universe suddenly became congruent with the unlimited width and breadth of humankind's hope." I absolutely love Borges, above any and all other writer of all time. I think that his are the only books that I will always, always read, over and over, for the rest of my life.

  26. 4 out of 5

    David Lafferty

    As a fan of Umberto Eco and The Name of the Rose I knew that Borges and Joyce were required reading. This short story by Borges is brilliant and demands many more readings. His influence on Eco is clearly seen. Looking forward to reading more of his work, and then on to Joyce! As a fan of Umberto Eco and The Name of the Rose I knew that Borges and Joyce were required reading. This short story by Borges is brilliant and demands many more readings. His influence on Eco is clearly seen. Looking forward to reading more of his work, and then on to Joyce!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Claudia

    Imagine that the Universe could be a library....and the worlds its books. It's important that we all read this story because it's the story of our shared experiences... of our shared humanity. It's a short story yet an epic. And speaking anymore of it would disturb its outrageously imaginative story line. Read it. You will be glad you did! 4.5 stars.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sandra Ramirez

    "When I am dead, compassionate hands will throw me over the railing; my tomb will be the unfathomable air, my body will sink for ages, and will decay and dissolve in the wind engendered by my fall, which shall be infinite."

  29. 5 out of 5

    Voldemort

    You who read me, are you sure you’re understanding my language? Nope, not this time Borges. I still like you!!!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Angie (Literary Labors)

    All these four-star ratings for The Library of Babel! Y’all are either high af or just lying. I don’t buy it for a minute.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.