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May
23rd
Sun
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Etching by Eric  Desmazieres for The Library of Babel by Jorge Luis Borges

"The universe (which other calls the Library) is composed of an indefinite and perhaps infinite 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 book case. 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. (…)
And yet those who picture the world as unlimited forget that the number of possible books is not. I will be bold enough to suggest this solution to the ancient problem: The Library is unlimited but periodic. If an eternal traveler should journey in any direction, he would find after untold centuries that the same volumes are repeated in the same disorder—which, repeated, becomes order: the Order. My solitude is cheered by that elegant hope.”                                                               
—  Jorge Luis Borges, The Library of Babel,  Boston: David R. Godine, 200, Ficcionnes (1949), Rayo 2008 (source: boiteaoutils)

Etching by Eric Desmazieres for The Library of Babel by Jorge Luis Borges

"The universe (which other calls the Library) is composed of an indefinite and perhaps infinite 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 book case. 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. (…)

And yet those who picture the world as unlimited forget that the number of possible books is not. I will be bold enough to suggest this solution to the ancient problem: The Library is unlimited but periodic. If an eternal traveler should journey in any direction, he would find after untold centuries that the same volumes are repeated in the same disorder—which, repeated, becomes order: the Order. My solitude is cheered by that elegant hope. 

—  Jorge Luis Borges, The Library of Babel, Boston: David R. Godine, 200, Ficcionnes (1949), Rayo 2008 (source: boiteaoutils)

May
11th
Tue
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Dominic McGill, The Splitting of Reality in Two Parts is a Considerable Event, 2009, Graphite and collage on paper (thx defacedbook)

Dominic McGill, The Splitting of Reality in Two Parts is a Considerable Event, 2009, Graphite and collage on paper (thx defacedbook)

Mar
26th
Fri
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Drawing by Aleksander Kuś

Drawing by Aleksander Kuś

Feb
28th
Sun
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L’expérience de Pierre Testu-Brissy, le 16 octobre 1798

L’expérience de Pierre Testu-Brissy, le 16 octobre 1798

Jul
2nd
Thu
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May
22nd
Fri
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"Now for the evidence," said the King, "and then the sentence."
"No!" said the Queen, "first the sentence, and then the evidence!"
"Nonsense!" cried Alice, so loudly that everybody jumped, "the idea of having the sentence first!"

— Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures Under Ground
This manuscript - one of the British Library’s best - loved treasures - is the  original version of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll,  the pen-name of Charles Dodgson, an Oxford mathematician.

"Now for the evidence," said the King, "and then the sentence."

"No!" said the Queen, "first the sentence, and then the evidence!"

"Nonsense!" cried Alice, so loudly that everybody jumped, "the idea of having the sentence first!"

Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures Under Ground

This manuscript - one of the British Library’s best - loved treasures - is the original version of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll, the pen-name of Charles Dodgson, an Oxford mathematician.

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May
19th
Tue
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Picture of Native American Indian ornaments by F.W. Kuhnert, 1895
"What sets worlds in motion is the interplay of differences, their attractions and repulsions. Life is plurality, death is uniformity. By suppressing differences and pecularities, by eliminating different civilizations and cultures, progress weakens life and favors death.
The ideal of a single civilization for everyone, implicit in the cult of progress and technique, impoverishes and mutilates us. Every view of the world that becomes extinct, every culture that disappears, diminishes a possibility of life”.
 — Octavio Paz, Mexican writer, poet, and diplomat, and the winner of the 1990 Nobel Prize for Literature. (1914-1998)

Picture of Native American Indian ornaments by F.W. Kuhnert, 1895

"What sets worlds in motion is the interplay of differences, their attractions and repulsions. Life is plurality, death is uniformity. By suppressing differences and pecularities, by eliminating different civilizations and cultures, progress weakens life and favors death.

The ideal of a single civilization for everyone, implicit in the cult of progress and technique, impoverishes and mutilates us. Every view of the world that becomes extinct, every culture that disappears, diminishes a possibility of life”.

Octavio Paz, Mexican writer, poet, and diplomat, and the winner of the 1990 Nobel Prize for Literature. (1914-1998)

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Eugène Delacroix, The “gravedigger scene” (1839), Musée du Louvre, Paris

To be, or not to be, that is the question:Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to sufferThe slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,And by opposing end them. To die, to sleep—No more; and by a sleep to say we endThe heartache, and the thousand natural shocksThat flesh is heir to: ‘tis a consummationDevoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep— To sleep, perchance to dream, ay there’s the rub;For in that sleep of death what dreams may comeWhen we have shuffled off this mortal coilMust give us pause. There’s the respectThat makes calamity of so long life:For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,Th’ oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely,The pangs of despised love, the law’s delay,The insolence of office, and the spurnsThat patient merit of th’ unworthy takes,When he himself might his quietus makeWith a bare bodkin? Who would fardels bear,To grunt and sweat under a weary life,But that the dread of something after death,The undiscovered country, from whose bournNo traveller returns, puzzles the will,And makes us rather bear those ills we haveThan fly to others that we know not of?Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,And thus the native hue of resolutionIs sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought,And enterprises of great pitch and momentWith this regard their currents turn awryAnd lose the name of action. Soft you now,The fair Ophelia.—Nymph, in thy orisonsBe all my sins remembered.
— William Shakespeare, Hamlet, ed. by Cyrus Hoy. New York: W.W. Norton, 1992. More: "To be, or not to be"

Eugène Delacroix, The “gravedigger scene” (1839), Musée du Louvre, Paris

To be, or not to be, that is the question:
Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them. To die, to sleep—
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to: ‘tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep—
To sleep, perchance to dream, ay there’s the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil
Must give us pause. There’s the respect
That makes calamity of so long life:
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
Th’ oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely,
The pangs of despised love, the law’s delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of th’ unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? Who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscovered country, from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pitch and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry
And lose the name of action. Soft you now,
The fair Ophelia.—Nymph, in thy orisons
Be all my sins remembered.

William Shakespeare, Hamlet, ed. by Cyrus Hoy. New York: W.W. Norton, 1992. More: "To be, or not to be"